Do not be too quick…

Do not be too quick to assume that your enemy is an enemy of God just because he is your enemy. Perhaps he is your enemy precisely because he can find nothing in you that gives glory to God. Perhaps he fears you because he can find nothing in you of God’s love and God’s kindness and God’s patience and mercy and understanding of the weaknesses of people.

Do not be too quick to condemn people who no longer believe in God, for it is perhaps your own coldness and avarice, your mediocrity and materialism, your sensuality and selfishness that have killed their faith.

Thomas Merton New Seeds of Contemplation

blossom
Tender Opening

Perhaps you are the only best example of your faith, he has or will encounter. Be the person you wish everyone to be.

 

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Winners and losers

In the interest of being able to persuade others to their side and hopefully arrive at a majority, in the perceived interest of their constituents. A division is created. What if someone has a great idea for most if not everybody, except that this someone has the opposition’s party affiliation? It then becomes evil and the greatest atrocity ever imagined. Sadly it cuts both ways.

Be Peace

From my perspective and in action. I choose to attempt indifference to the insanity going on in our nation’s capital. My aim is to smile and to be at peace with myself. Be kind to, and understanding of those I encounter. Help when I am able, say no when I cannot. This I pray will ripple out from here and impact more than I am aware of.

Comming to grips with and accepting that no one does anything that is not motivated by self-interest is key to understanding the motivations of leaders and followers. We all desire to be on the winning side. But what if the people you follow are not being completely honest? They’re human and are self-interested, so I’ll just attend to what I have influence over, namely me.img_3788

With gratitude, generosity, and love. Peace be with you all and may God bless all you endeavor.

 

XIX

I am reflecting on receiving my 19-year medallion this past Saturday’s monthly sobriety recognition and speaker meeting. Ther was an Al-Anon speaker and an AA speaker. It very enlightening to hear the perspective of the emotions of the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics. The AA speaker was very good as well.

I am struck recently that, there is no more original thought. It has all been thought, proclaimed and disseminated throughout time. The thoughts and writings merely seem to be presented in a slightly different way and offered to a new generation.

Of course, this is all only a matter of opinion and I am most certainly wrong.

Here are a couple examples, where I feel as though I have felt these things all my life and are somewhat eternally true.

Heraclitus

Heraclitus or Heracleitos was a pre-Socratic Greek Philosopher he lived from c. 535 – c. 475 BC her is some of his writing

“The majority of men think they see and do not. They believe they listen but they do not hear. They are absent when present, because in the act of seeing and hearing they substitute the familiar cliches of familiar prejudice for the new and unexpected truth that is being offered to them. They complacently imagine they are receiving a new light, but in the very moment of apprehension they renew their obsession with the old darkness, which is so familiar that it and it alone, appears to be light to them.”

Sound familiar? It does to me. I cant say why or where, but it seems universal.

thomas-merton-150x150

And the next is an excerpt from The Literary Essays of Thomas Merton

(pp. 367)

“Since there is no genuine creativity apart from God, the man who attempts to be a “creator” outside of God and independent of him is forced to fall back on magic. The sin of the wizard is not so much that he usurps and exercises a real preternatural power, but that his postures travesty the divine by degrading man’s freedom in absurd and servile manipulations of reality.”

rose

Any of that ring a bell? Seems, to me we are surrounded by those that tell us down is up and black is white and bad is good. I’m happy to be on a quest toward emptiness.

God Bless You-Namaste

 

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.

 

 

How does that lead to Integrity?

Welcome, if you’ve not been following along on our trip, investigating the spiritual principles behind working the steps found in the 12 Steps, primarily from the book Alcoholics Anonymous

So here we are at Step 5 Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. I am not going to talk here, about how it’s done, or why, or the ways to overcome the inevitable reluctance to performing this step. There is a plethora of writing on those subjects.

I want to relay my experience of how admitting the sheer wretchedness of myself leads to integrity.

Integrity- noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished:

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition.

 

When I first learned that integrity was the principle behind this, I automatically thought #1 here and was confused other than the idea of integrating my entire past, however repulsive, by honest admission.
I have found, though that this step is imperative to arriving at #2 being whole.
Throughout my life, I denied or fought my demons or impaired myself to escape it. In doing so I gave these secrets power, which in turn pushed me to even more erratic insanity. I have to be a member of the human race and society, however painful it is. By sharing my weaknesses and flaws with another, healing my battered character can begin.