Saturday, January 22, 2011
"If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." -- G.K. Chesterton
Ever turn a proverb upside down? In “Way of All Flesh” by Samuel Butler, Ernest was annoyed and surprised at his parents for wanting him to be more religious all his life, and when he did, they were still not satisfied. He said to himself that a prophet was not without honors save in his own country, but he had gotten into an odious habit of turning proverbs upside down, and it occurred to him that a country is sometimes not without honor save for its own prophet.
It helps sometimes, to see what happens. Many of us are brought up to believe that we have to do, excel, finish first, get on the team, do a good job, see it through, get it done on time, say it right, get ahead, and on and on, better and better as we go. Why? Maybe that's the way Dad did it; and Grandma did it and that's just the way it's supposed to be.
And then, inevitably, we'd fail or fall. So we'd turn back on ourselves in shame, beat ourselves up, maybe turn to alcohol or drugs or some other addiction. If we were failures in public, then many of us would make up our own private world where failure doesn't exist. In this little world fantasy ruled, and in fantasy there are only successes; everybody scores
But I have come to know that it doesn't have to be so. We can break the spell and stop beating ourselves, and get away from Father's angry voice or that disappointed look on Mother's face. We can do things at our own speed, in our own unique way, on our own timeline, just for the joy of doing them.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
“For so it must be, and help me to do my part.” -- A Tibetan Master
It’s been said that God exists only in the present. That means we must live in the present if we are to find God. In God’s eyes, we are worthy and loveable as we are, today. ‘God never rejects part of creation.
Can we accept that our God, Higher Power or Universe loved us even we were at our very worst? Can we accept that God loves us if we are struggling, or slipping today? If this happens, we can pick ourselves up again and make better choices and pray to God for help.
The power of the present makes it possible for God to love each one of us unconditionally because God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, just willing to do our very best. Only in the present do we have the power to choose our attitudes and actions, and it is this freedom that links us to God’s power.
Monday, May 25, 2009
There’s an old fable about the competition between the reed and the oak during a gale storm. As the wind howled, the oak boasted, while the reed said nothing. The wind became a tempest, and the reed bent down flexibly to the ground. The oak fell, uprooted.
Sometimes we seem strong but we are just being stubborn. We become rigid in our moral positions and don’t even try to understand the problems of those around us. We like to be thought of as uncompromising and tough.
Maybe we’re frightened. Perhaps we fear that if we even start to compromise we will be lost; on sign of weakness and the dam will burst and we’ll be up to our old tricks again.
Don’t confuse rigidity with true strength. To be strong we need to be tolerant, responsive, and gentle. We need to be strong in a loving, flexible, human way. This is a central part of one’s personal growth.
I’m learning that when we lose faith in our feelings, we lose faith in ourselves and become outer-directed. That is, we look to the world to tell us how to feel and what to do. We seek approval and love from others so we can prove to ourselves that we are worthy. Paradoxically, to be outer-directed is to be self-absorbed. How can this be? We feel so unsure of who we are , that we cannot let go, be spontaneous or real.
We can reclaim ourselves by becoming inner-directed. This means looking within ourselves for the direction we need. When we’re just beginning to learn to trust our feelings, this can seem to be truly agonizing. It means trusting the reality of our needs and our right to express them. Only then can we find the faith in ourselves and in life, that we have lacked.
Becoming inner-directed takes self-acceptance and self-love. It also takes time. Until then, there will be no real peace because it is the only way to find ourselves.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I am a Gemini. There was a time when I was ashamed to say that I'm a Gemini. People would begin to go off about how horrible their entire life experience has been with us Gems. Really. And then they'd hurl their judgments of me (cloaked as comparisons of course), by the time they were done, I felt like an inappropriate, over talkative, manipulative ass. I'd try to recover by saying, "I'm gregarious". But you wouldn't even believe the number of individuals that chose to believe that I'm not a safe person to be around - because I'm a Gemini. Well let me tell you this: there is a duality about me. And it's all good. Sure, I may be Bi-polar. But that's all good too.
Some of my friends and family actually enjoy that I'm a Gemini. My duality. Yes, there seems to be two of me in many aspects of my life. But to a degree, it balances me. I still love myself when I hate myself. See myself as honest when I'm lying. See myself as creative when I feel like a slug. See what I mean? And you know what? I am gregarious! I love people. Love to hate 'em and love to love 'em. Sometimes I love too fast. Sometimes I want all that I cannot have or possess. But overall, I love who I am, and am happy that I'm loved by someone else.