And boy, do I have some. Astronomical in size comes to mind. What brought this on? One might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. If you have been following along, you know of my desire to help. Well, it has become painfully apparent the I can do more.
Through reading blogs, scripture, news and so on. The question arises, what have you done for “the least of mine”. Not a lot I must admit. Lately, though I have given some dollars to those requesting “anything helps” at intersections.
I had, in the past that these people were actually just doing this for their job and that they probably made more money than I do. Upon reflection, I found within that this was devoid of compassion.
Another area in my sorted life, where I find room for improvement is in refraining from the judgment of others. This has been brought about reading from Thomas Merton’s No Man is an Island “If we are to love sincerely, and with simplicity…We must somehow strip ourselves of our greatest illusions about ourselves, frankly recognize in how many ways we are unlovable, descend into the depths of our being until we come to the basic reality that is in us, and learn to see that we are lovable after all in spite of everything”, and that we are loved precisely because of our flaws.
As I emerge from the other side, I am better able to love, any and all. And, most important understand.
To be honest with you, I can’t put my finger on it. I’m fairly level headed, open-minded I am committed to improving myself. I still can’t shake the idea that I’ll be found to be unappealing, odd what have you. I am petrified at the thought of putting myself out there and opening myself up for disappointment and ridicule.
I like who I have become. I want to be counted on, to be thought about and anticipated. Perhaps, I should give myself more time. I’m still afraid.
I wouldn’t mind having a conversation with this innocent fellow.
Have you ever been stricken with a sudden drastic change in appearance? One where you just want to avoid seeing or especially talking to people. I had that happen to me last night. Eating my late night huge bowl of cereal. When I realize my front tooth was detached from where it belongs.
I have been what I like to refer to as an ideal dental patient. It is however expensive to keep up for me. Turns out a filling failed and lead to the whole thing coming apart. Oh well, I’ll get back to the dentist.
My point here is I was consumed all day with, thinking about it. What shall I do if I encounter anyone? I’ll just get my work done and hide out until I can get the damn thing fixed. I was forgetful, inattentive, distracted, my whole day was like I was not of this earth.
I found though, that I was more aware of myself and actually enjoyed my work day tremendously. I slowed down and noticed how much smoother my day went than the previous day.
This has definitely been a wake-up call to take care of things I’ve been putting off. I just want to keep working and taking care of my customers, and I can wait until more convenient time to get these things attended to. NOT!
Well, I’ll be hiding out until I can get my tooth/teeth taken care of. Have a great weekend!
In light of the disastrous nature of discourse in the headlines, I am struck with the poignancy of Thomas Merton’s words in this excerpt from No Man Is an Island written in 1955
“I cannot make good choices unless I develop a mature and prudent conscience that gives me an accurate account of my motives, my intentions, and my moral acts. The word to be stressed here is mature. An infant, not having a conscience, is guided in its “decisions” by the attitude of somebody else. The immature conscience is one that bases its judgments partly, or even entirely, on the way other people seem to be disposed toward its decisions. The good is what is admired or accepted by the people it lives with. The evil is what irritates or upsets them. Even when the immature conscience is not entirely dominated by people outside itself, it nevertheless acts only as a representative of some other conscience. The immature conscience is not its own master. It is merely the delegate of the conscience of another person, or of a group, or of a party, or of a social class, or of a nation, or of a race. Therefore, it does not make real moral decisions of its own, it simply parrots the decisions of others. It does not make judgments of its own, it merely “conforms” to the party line. It does not really have motives or intentions of its own. Or if it does, it wrecks them by twisting and rationalizing them to fit the intentions of another. That is not moral freedom. It makes true love impossible. For if I am to love truly and freely, I must be able to give something that is truly my own to another. If my heart does not first belong to me, how can I give it to another? It is not mine to give.”
Woah, just woah! Have I some growing up to do. Just a bit of nutrition I am consuming.
When I do something for you, I’m not doing it for you, I’m doing it for me. “Charity is really self-interest disguised under the form of altruism” Anthony de Mello Awareness
My life today depends on being of service. Not only am I self employed in a service oriented profession, I have integrated a desire to be helpful and generous wherever possible. The most important realization to me about this is, that it truly is selfishness that is behind it. By recognizing and admitting that, I am relived of the urge to pat myself on the back. It’s just something I have to do today. I must give back in measure of what has been freely given to me.
This is, in case you were wondering, the last installment on principles to live by. (For me in particular) Service is the principle behind the 12th step from Alcoholics Anonymous. In the book this is where it describes how by sharing our experience with recovery from alcoholism/addiction, we are able to stay sober/clean.
I am of the mind that I can take this idea and incorporate it into the entire way I am. Looking for and finding ways I can be helpful. Being generous with my time money and acquisitions. Listening when someone is speaking, without formulating a response before they’re finished. And most of all acknowledging and expressing gratitude when someone is helpful to me.
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