“When the Past Isn’t Gone”

By Jon Sievert

The Rev. Catherine Torpey discusses the pain of loss and the difficulties of life and letting go at Sunday’s Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Service.

UU Service

“When the Past Isn’t Gone”
By Rev. Catherine Torpey
Sun, Nov 20, 10:30am
La Posada de la Aldea
Ancha de San Antonio 215

When we suffer difficulties in life, it is common to experience that others are very sympathetic. Often, however, the sympathy lasts only for a set period of time. In the immediate aftermath, we get hugs and kind words, but in many instances, it isn’t long before we are advised that it is time to “move on,” “let it go,” or even “get over it.” The friends and colleagues who urge us to put the past behind us probably believe that they are giving good advice, and sometimes perhaps that advice is indeed useful. We ourselves might be the ones who most fervently admonish ourselves, saying “I should be over it by now; it’s been (fill in the time period).” The hurt might seem small—such as an unintentional slight by a friend—or the hurt might be as devastating as the death of a loved one. Whatever it is, sometimes things won’t let us go, no matter how much we try to let them go. This sermon explores how we can live differently with that which will not let us go.

Catherine Torpey is the executive director of the International Focusing Institute, located in Nyack, New York. The Institute teaches and promotes the use of the mind-body connection practice known as “Focusing,” developed by Eugene Gendlin, based on empathic listening as taught by Carl Rogers. The Institute supports those practicing, teaching, and advancing Focusing worldwide. Prior to working with the Institute, Catherine was the minister of the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Freeport, New York, for nine years where, under her leadership, the congregation’s arts and music ministries thrived. It strengthened its finances and leadership and enhanced its spiritual and cultural life.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at La Posada de Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at www.uufsma.org.


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