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 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.

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.

Advertisements

The things I see

The sun beating down brightly, as I am focused on the task at hand. Earbuds blasting from the playlist. The hum of the mower’s engine is evident through my body. And yet I remain aware of my surroundings. Yesterday I was working and an unusually large and overgrown lawn when I sensed something. I turned, and there she was scouting what I think is the location of her den.

coyote 2
Checking me out
Coyote 1
All good I’m out

She was trotting through where I had previously worked stopped looked at me then carried on. I guess I have adapted to my loss of hearing sense (earbuds) and pick up on other queues. I am glad I was able to capture the moment. The toad population is great this year.

toad
spots
green toad
light green

I don’t even want to think of what happens to these creatures if pass over them.

I observe all kinds of things and I saw the first snake I have ever witnessed in Minnesota. Scared the crap out of me at first, then I tried to take a picture but it found cover quickly. It was a gartter snake. Do you find thistles as beautiful as I do?

Thistle
Ooh Ouch!

These and so much more to fill my being with wonder at how much life there is beyond our immediate perception.

working
Busy Bee

It is simple but not easy to see

 

Sensitivity

This composition was inspired by a post on Sacred Touches  https://sacredtouches.com/2017/06/13/when-inward-tenderness/

When our natural sensitivity, coupled with silence and awareness. A deep sorrow is revealed. I summon the courage, strength and mercy from the infinite to face this otherwise unbearable pain.

Just as in the quantum realm the activity, behavior, and result is altered by observation. I have discovered something to be embraced, not to escape from. I feel the discomfort fully, without having to know the details of the reason.

A light and warmth exude from the cold abyss, a new depth of compassion is realized and integrated

 

 

Right Sized

On the brink of May 2017, I am continuing to share my experience with spiritual principals learned and incorporated into my life as the result of following the program of recovery from alcoholism. The 12 steps in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today we’re at step seven, “Humbly asked Him, to remove our shortcomings.” The principle behind this one is Humility. I’ll start with the definition then relate what I’ve heard and learned.

Humility

noun

  1. the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

Humble

noun

  1. not proud or arrogant; modest
  2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc
  3. low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly
  4. courteously respectful
  5. low in height, level, etc.; small in size 

Now considering all of that and what I know of humility it’s just a bunch of words trying to describe something that is on the verge of indescribable.

Being humble or having humility is, I have heard, “Not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” “Being Right Sized”

For me, it is the polar opposite of what we’re taught to be. Consider others before myself. My importance is derived from what I have to offer, not what’s in it for me. If I’m in pain or struggling, that is within me and not the result of what I may think has been done to me. I’m responsible. I’m willing to be a cause in the matter.

If you want to make a difference, start with the person you’ve known, longer than anybody else. Me 😛

I’ll leave you with this inspired piece of music

 

Willingness

“If you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengths to get it.” Then you are ready to take certain steps. From How it works. Here we/I are/am at step 6

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

So I have identified and shared my less than savory aspects of my behavior. I have also discovered where I have been deceitful to myself and others to achieve my objectives and the self-centered fear behind all of that.

How does one become entirely ready for anything, much less having all of my survival mechanisms removed? I must first recognize that they might not be and that it’s not up to me that they are removed. As with all the occasions where I find that I am reluctant, I am instructed to pray.

As I become willing for my character to be repaired, I am faced with being an active participant. Namely, where I have been dishonest, I need to stop lying. Where I have been lazy, I need to get up off my ass and do something positive/productive. Where I have been disingenuous, I need to learn how to say no.

The most important thing, in my opinion here, is to have and cultivate greater faith that all is well and I will be allowed to make mistakes to learn valuable lessons. And that is not only ok, it is Good.

 

 

Gratitude

Gratitude

With me,
it happens in a split second
— and for no discernible reason.
Out of nowhere, I find myself overcome
with a wash of gratitude for everything,
everyone.

 

And each time I know that whatever
divine human potential generates
the sudden waterfall of thanks,
it certainly does not come from me —
the little I who trundles along keeping
a watchful eye out for sand traps
and bee stings.

Gratitude and Spiritual Growth

No, it comes from a place much deeper —
from my Higher Consciousness
— and accordingly, it seems
both odd and familiar at the same time.
Although I walk around as ordinary as ever,
this unseen Visitor rushes forward with quiet feet
and tumbles over everything I meet.

Spiritual Growth

As a result, I find myself
staring with gratitude at the chair,
the radio, at a cup of tea in my hand.
Feeling grateful for the sun, reaching inside
to paint itself across the living room floor.
And grateful for the windows that permit me
to watch elm leaves dancing in the sky.

Spiritual Gratitude

Grateful for an ant, alive and purposeful,
hurrying along a baseboard to complete its chores.
Grateful for the familiar face of a neighbor,
jogging casually along my street.
Grateful for an unexpected idea which burst
into my morning out of the blue.
Grateful for an old jacket, which has served me
kindly and gently for so many years.
Grateful for breath, grateful for flowers,
grateful for life.

Gratitude to God

But that isn’t all. I tell you this
unearthly gratitude is so expansive,
so oceanwide and unblinking,
that it even embraces things that would
normally be triggerpoints: like bills,
like burnt toast, like a sore back.

Giving Thanks

So that, for a while, all irritants
are bathed away in a wash of inordinate kindness.
Without these blocks, I am left
with the largest and simplest element of all:
true peace.

Spiritual Growth

And after some time it passes,
this immense blessing, as quietly as it comes.
For a while, I just sit there,
looking around the apartment with a sense
of emptiness, wanting it back again..
this formless, timeless, healing,
heart-filling taste of Divine Love.

Gratitude

And of course, It has never left.
It is I, with my subtle attachments
to this world, who keeps Love
at a distance.

Personal Growth

But here is my wish for all of us:
may the Sacred Visitor come to our door,
and find us ready.

by Elsa Joy Bailey