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Monday, June 25, 2012

That Good Ole 20/20 Hindsight

Yesterday I woke up with the realization that there have been big swatches of my life that I've been not as aware as I might have been. Being busy with this and that (mostly service and creativity) I've missed some big clues that might have helped me and others I care about avoid some pitfalls, some even huge stumbling pits. Or maybe we needed the pitfalls to learn what we need to learn. Maybe they cannot really be changed.

I realize that in many ways I've been naive. I've trusted where it was not warranted. I've given slack where I should not have. I've excused behaviors that I should have seen as patterns of mental problems. I've been patient way too much. I've allowed too much.

I see suddenly that what I decided was a personality thing, an individuality thing, in someone incredibly special to me, is more likely to have been a pattern of mental illness - obsessive, paranoid, narcissistic, hypochondriac, a raging storm within him from the very beginning. I loved/love this person, but I think maybe I failed him. The signs were there. They set up and became prominent as life progressed.

There are some dilemmas. On odd days I wonder about how it could have been different. How do I love fully, unconditionally and not be naive? Is tough love actually love? Could I really have changed the course of life anyway? Am I my parents'/son's/daughter's/husband's/friend's/etc. keeper? When I leave here, am I accountable for myself and my own responses only or also for all others who came into my life? Is the observer, non-attached position the only way to extricate oneself from the drama? Are the tears I've wept futile?

I want very much to live as God intended. Sometimes it all seems as if a puzzle. In trying to be the most loving, kind, caring, spiritual, creative person I can be and give the gifts instilled in me, is that enough? I think of Carl Jung saying if your love does not engender love back, it is impotent.

What do I do about the mean, the cruel, the mentally disturbed, the arrogant, the fanatics that cross my path either briefly or in the form of family? I pray for them, sure. Sometimes they go away, sometimes I go away eventually. Sometimes they stay around for a long time. In the short or long term, I don't seem all that effective in helping them. They remain as they were. They have on occasion turned on me, sometimes viciously and for no actual reason. I find myself bewildered by this. I cannot change others, okay. But if I love sufficiently, can't I change their responses and model for them another way which they will want to find for themselves?

It seems to me, for example, I've had more than my share of mentally disturbed people come into my life. Of course, maybe we're all a bit tilted, but I mean way off center people. I am sure there are many lessons here, and since it doesn't seem to stop, I guess I've not learned the lesson too well.

Maybe this all leads back to the book I'm working on - "What On Earth Is Going On?" So I just muse today with questions long asked and not well answered over history.

As my dear, dear friend in Russia says so often, "Life Continues."

Oh God, open my eyes to see what I am to do. Open my ears to fully hear Your Guidance. Open my heart to love as You call me to love. I am here; I am willing; lead me Lord. What on earth IS going on?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Spirituality is Quiet

My relationship with God, with Christ is a quiet, personal, intimate, precious, treasured relationship. Our communion together informs my life, leads me, guides me. focuses me. If you watch how I live, the choices I make, the way I treat others, how I spend my time, what I read, etc., hopefully you can see the visible part of my relationship with God. But you cannot see my relationship. It cannot fit it into words. It is in a deep secret place in the temple at the center of my being. It is not for PR. It is the richness of oneness that is far too precious, treasured & intimate to be cast about willy nilly.

I am suspect of those who loudly speak their faith, especially those who think they are the only ones who are right. The show of faith, the theatrics, they ring false.

Jesus said to go into the closet to pray & didn't much care for the hypocrites who publicly & with fanfare did their prayers.

There is a humility in knowing & living from the deep well of actual communion. It is not to be shouted & pridefully displayed; it is not of or for ego. It is to be quietly lived, the example being an irresistible magnet to others who are drawn to the light & joy & love & kindness emanating from a heart actually attuned to God.

It is not furthered by entertainment with drums & guitar, but is rather pushed down by the loud, spectacular, entertainment based "churches." It is not the outer dance at all. It is quietly living & being one with God. It is Brother Lawrence, the humble brother whose enlightened life drew people to him from far & wide. It is Jacob Boehme,the cobbler who knew God & great princes came from all over to sit & listen to him. It is Hildegard von Bingen whose deep communion with God drew so many to her & draws us today as we read her words or hear her music. Those who hear & see & experience Reality, are humble. They do not seek power, fame or wealth of the world. They do not feed the ego. The simply live as they are guided. Maybe there is some such one unnoticed nearby. Maybe there is such a one inside of you, waiting to be set free.

Lord, I turn to You this moment. Show me the way to simply be with You, learn from You & live as You would have me live. I cast aside the ego & seek the genuine. I choose to be a spiritual adult, not needing distracting entertainment, only needing You. Help me live more quietly and humbly. Help me live kindly, lovingly. I ask this in Your name. Amen

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Life Lessons from an Ole Grandma, Me

I feel led to share some ole grandma thoughts - some things I've learned over 72 years here on earth & I wish I'd known earlier. Maybe I can save you some detours.

  • Jesus said that it is not what we put into our mouths (what we eat) the defiles us, it is what comes out (our words). One of the keys to a successful, fulfilling life is kindness. Speak kindly, act kindly, never do harm or hurt on purpose. My daddy said often "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Confucius said we would do well to act as the gracious host or hostess at all times.
  • Everyone, yes everyone, is our teacher. Each comes into our lives so that we may learn something and become more awake, more spiritual, more what we are intended to be. 
  • Observe rather than get emotional as much as possible. Once upset takes over, someone else is in control of you. The task is to stay in control of yourself.
  • You are sort of an extra in the story of other people's lives and they are the star of their lives. Usually whatever is going on with them, it's not about you.
  • People often get hurt because they say they trusted the other person who let them down. What most people mean is they expect other people to act, think and be like they do. Instead it is wise to just watch people and their patterns and trust they will be them. For example, if someone is always late, you can expect/trust they are likely to be late. It is useless and silly to take their patterns personally. This goes back to observe. Everyone has one or two major patterns and several secondary patterns. Observe what these are and expect/trust that is how they will be. It takes a huge amount of desire and effort to change a pattern, and for sure you cannot change some else's. 
  • Which leads to this, do all the healing, thinking, praying you need to be the best person you can be. You are the one person you are in charge of, responsible for and ultimately accountable for.
  • Love is the key. Jesus told us to love our neighbors (everyone) as ourselves (must love oneself) and to love God are the key to it all. Develop a loving attitude and way and you will find great happiness.
  • But do know that as they say, "into each life some rain will fall." There will be challenges. It is a sort of soul school here. Observe and respond from the highest place within you. Don't let it all control you. 

I love you tons and tons and wish for you a marvelous life. But in the end, it really is up to you. Please think on the things I've shared.