What’s going on in there?

Inside your head, thinking, beliefs and behaviors. This is a perpetual exercise for me so I continue growing. If you’re standing still everything else is passing you by, consequently losing ground. Do you want to be better, have more to contribute? Can you be honest about that? I say YES! Well, then a rigorous self-examination is in order.

muck

What is found there will be of use or is worthy of elimination through admission to one’s self, God and another. If you’ve made it this far, congratulations and thank you! I don’t suggest what anyone should do, I merely tell you what I do. Please continue.

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Kierkegaard Painting – Soren Kierkegaard – Watercolor Portrait by Fabrizio Cassetta

“Repentance must not only have its time but also its time of preparation. And herein lies the need of confession, the holy act that ought to be preceded by preparation. Just as a person changes his/her clothes for a celebration, so a person preparing for confession is inwardly changed. But if in the hour of one has not truly made up his/her mind (decision) he/she is still only distracted. He/she only see his/her faults with half an eye. When he/she talks it’s just talk-not a true confession. The all-knowing One does not get to know something about those who confess, rather those who confess find out something about themselves.” Soren Kierkegaard Provocations.

the unexamined life

So this sort of thing seems to be a universal truth, few, however, are fortunate to have experienced enough pain to consider, trying something new/old as it were.

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An Apparition

A mirage of sorts, though it can’t be seen or even concretely described. I know it, feel it and can almost taste it. When I can capture it and possess it for my own, I will finally feel relieved of this wretched craving. Therein lies my affliction. Reliance on created things for solace.

As soon as the slightest acknowledgment of my existence is perceived the twinge of hunger evolves into an insatiable need. It must fill me up. I know well the error of my ways. I consistently regularly want what I ultimately can never have. As much as I chase cajole attempt to persuade bribe or buy and as close as I think I might be to quelling this thirst the object of my desire vanishes, evaporates turns to dust, or realizes the futility of my endeavor and erects a barricade of silence which I dare not penetrate.

I correctly assign the blame squarely where it belongs, right here with me. Things money, status, the adulation and “love” from beings will always disappoint and it’s not their fault. I have established an impossible feat for them to achieve. Being highly sensitive the initial sensation that touches is exhilarating and is what leads me to abandon any sense I might have ever had.

The solution though is readily available and inexhaustible. It is of course “The Source” God, Abba, Yahweh, Allah, it is the same in whatever language, culture, the religion where the gift of your faith abides. It is our essence It is eternal. I must only stop, thinking, doing, striving, and most of all grasping, wishing to possess. That is all “the world” The eternal is within me and around me, apart of me and I a part of it.

As long as I continue to “use” the urges will never subside and the onset of withdrawal starts as soon as I try to quit. Resistance is futile and surrender is the highest and best option. I don’t want to, and so it goes.

Please Help Me, I am nothing without You

May your day be as it should.

 

The winners actively seek and practice a new way of living. A new way of being. A new way of thinking. A new way of behaving. A new way of relating. The losers wait until they are in so much pain that the choice becomes obvious, and they choose to participate only enough to get the pain to stop.” Drop the rock Bill P., Todd W., Sara S.

There was a time I would count myself among the losers. No longer. I am through beating my head against the wall. “The best part of beating your head against the wall is, that you can choose to stop”.

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Today I will actively choose to be better, considerate, patient, kind, grateful, and generous.

May your day be all it is supposed to be.

J

There’s always room for improvement!

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 that 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, thought 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.

it's here
Like it or not-Fall is upon us

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.

Suffering

I posted this as a reflection to my Instagram a year ago. I have migrated to this delightful world called WordPress. This is an excerpt from Thomas Merton’s autobiography Seven Storey Mountain.

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“Indeed, the truth that many people never understand,
until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid
suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and
more insignificant things begin to torture you, in
proportion to your fear of being hurt.
The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the
end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering
comes to him from things so little and so trivial that
one can say it is no longer objective at all.
It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once
the subject and the source of his pain, and his very
existence and consciousness are his greatest torture.
This is another of the great perversions by which the
devil (Ego) uses our philosophies to turn our whole nature
inside out, and eviscerate all our capacities for good,
turning them against ourselves.”

I feel blessed to have been guided by Grace to endeavor to acknowledge and embrace my discomfort and “suffering” and have emerged on the other side the better for it.

“And now for something completely different” listen and be with whatever arises

 

 

Enlightened Self Interest

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.

 

 

 

Please and Thank You

I feel so lucky to be able to embrace, wholeheartedly, the idea that I can improve my conscious contact with God. I acknowledge that many face seemingly insurmountable obstacles when even considering this. It started with the barest beginnings with me. Saying Please when I wake and Thank you as I lay down to end my day.

I am, in this piece, divulging my experience with spirituality. This is the principle behind AAs 11th step- Sought, through prayer and meditation, to improve our conscious contact with God As we understood Him, Praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 

There are a couple posts where I have talked/written about my faith both are here one within the other if you’re curious  https://wtfaiblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/15/what-is-easter-to-you/

stages
life cycle
I find it impossible to describe what or who my God is. I ascribe to the idea that God is incomprehensible to the human mind. In addition, that the greatest obstacle to finding God is the word, God. In my endeavor to get and stay clean and sober, I devoured all sorts of spiritual and religious texts. We here in the U.S.,  how each of us is exposed to God is one of family tradition. Neither my mother or father was outwardly religious, from what I can remember. I consider that a blessing, I had not been, “indoctrinated”, in any one flavor of Christianity. I, to this day, could not tell you the difference between a Baptist to a Lutheran and don’t think it matters. My encounter with God is personal and unique to myself. I have no right to say what is right for you.

I do believe though it is important to exhibit (be) an example of the change that God/Christ has made in my life, however failingly.

wild
Growing Wild
There is a source of Grace, Mercy, Strength, and Love available to any and all who find a reason to seek for any of those. It is unlimited and infinite. I have found it is also not possible to ever stop getting closer to this source. Call what you will, if any who care to, can stop and be still for even a moment, will find it is there and always will be.

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touched by the rain
Like the fragrance of a flower, the warmth of the sun, the refreshment of a summer rain, God is in me and I am in Him. Spirituality is the cornerstone/keystone of my life today. As best as I am able I am in a constant state of prayer/meditation/mindfulness. If I get caught up in my natural frailties, inevitably something brings me back, a bug hitting my windshield,  a bird in flight, the breeze on a hot day, the smile of a stranger, the beauty of a piece of music or the way lyrics of a song touch. Events such as these will help me remember what I’m here for. To be of service, more in my next installment.