Yearly Archives


Choosing Hope

Glimmers February 11, 2023

Dear Friends

I recently made an interesting decision. I decided to let go of shame.

It was a slip-off-of-a-stool kind of decision, it was just the next natural thing. Considering how I process things to death, it feels like a moment of Grace.

As a spiritual director, I sit with people as they share their hearts. It is a remarkable, grace-filled experience to be present to another’s heart. But listening to my own heart? It has been a rough path. I think I’m stubborn. I suspect that’s how it is for some of us, some would say Ego is putting up a fight.

I recently sat with a man who described a moment as “freeing.” The look on his face when he spoke was so inspiring. His expression invited me to imagine what it feels like to b-e  f-r-e-e. Free of self-consciousness, free of questions about self-worth, free of fear, free of doubt. I’ve had “freeing” moments, a sacred awareness of God’s love for me. But in daily life, the very human patterns slide back in and I get caught in the “not enough.”

I’ve been writing to you, friends, for 9 years – drawing connections between my little life, the complex world that we share and the healing presence of Divine Love that surrounds us. Primary themes have been Hope and Conscious Grieving, since many of you, like me, come to these Glimmers through the path of Loss.  As I consider my call as a guide in the Land of Loss, I pause and gratefully remember, that I am, like you, a child of God. And as I consider our journey together, I rejoice. With your companionship, I deepen my trust in the Abiding Love that surrounds us all. Together, let us open our eyes to the Land of Hope that has been here, all along.

To continue the conversation, I invite Connecticut friends to join me on Thursday, March 2 at 7pm, at John P Webster Library. Part of First Church in West Hartford, JPW is hosting, “An Evening with Lisa Irish: Hope in the Land of Loss.” It’s free, will include book giveaways and sales, and is designed to share messages of hope that I have encountered in my journeys. I hope you can come, it would be a gift to share the experience with you. You can find JPW at 12 S Main St in West Hartford and register for the program with this link. And if you can’t be there, please keep those who attend in your prayer, in your loving intention for peace in human hearts.

All my best, Lisa

Seeking Clarity

Glimmers January 23, 2023

Dear Friends,

I’ve joined the statistics, was it inevitable?

My husband and I had symptoms, each tested positive, and landed in bed for several days. Our schedules were rearranged and I repeatedly thanked God for a working furnace and the kindness of neighbors to keep us safe.

I’m fully aware that the circumstances of my encounter with Covid were very fortunate. During these long, isolated days I thought about those who suffer and those who grieve. As our world-wide pandemic becomes endemic to our way of life, we are confronted with loss. How do we find our way through the consistent drumbeat of difficulties in 2023? I offer a hopeful reminder, the gift of those who accompany us, our human family.

“I’ve heard it said that people come into our lives, for a reason, bringing something we must learn.And we are led to those, who help us most to grow if we let them, and we help them in returnWell, I don’t know if I believe that’s trueBut I know I’m who I am today, because I knew you”

This message from the musical “Wicked” arrived in my life, recently, and offered comfort to my lonely heart.  A golden arrow pointed at the relationships in my life as the Covid-enforced quarantine prevented simple, every-day contact. I thought about friends long-past, our lives moving apart in different directions, but the gifts remaining. I recalled single moments of connection, never followed-up, but sacred in their way. Filled with love, I remembered hugs, a shared cup of tea, a quiet breath of another…. And I, too, could sing, “I know I’m who I am today, because I knew you.”

How do we find our way? Where is Hope housed in these confusing times? For me, on this first day of the rest of my life, I place my trust in our human connections of love and compassion, of tenderness and kindness. I rest in this singular moment, dear friends, and continue to sing “because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

“You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heartAnd now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend
Like a ship blown from its mooring, by a wind off the seaLike a seed dropped by a sky bird in a distant woodWho can say if I’ve been changed for the betterBut because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
I invite you to take a moment to listen to this song written by Stephen Lawrence Schwartz, let us all be changed for good.
Peace, Lisa