One of the greatest lessons of wisdom; “failure is an option. It’s a guarantee.” It’s also the path to a life well lived and one of genuine contentment.
Failure isn’t the end of the road. It’s not the final say. Failure is how we know we’re still alive. The dead in spirit, the lifeless, are those who stop trying, risking, taking leaps of faith and instead choose to despair not hope, crumble not rise, surrender not fight.
Only when we experience failure do we discover what matters. Only when we lose our way do we chart a new course. Only when everything is taken away do we learn to be thankful. Only those who are broken know how to heal.
There are many choices in our every day existence. Some have short term effects, others longer lasting consequences and on rare occasions there is the choice of a path to follow which will determine our destiny. It may be a gut feeling, a nagging thought, a warning or a calm assurance that one path leads to the destruction of our true selves and the other leads us home. Too often we ignore the intuition and embark on a journey that brings pain, heartache, misery.
Neither path is bliss, both have their struggles and obstacles to overcome but our true path gives strength and doesn’t drain us. It bestows upon the traveller a heart that can endure not a spirit which surrenders.
In life there are those moments when our choice will either take us down the path of life and light or to a place of darkness and death. Let us be sure we know how to choose wisely.
“The dark night descends on a soul only when everything else has failed. When you are no longer the best meditator in the class because your meditation produces absolutely nothing. When prayer evaporates on your tongue and you have nothing left to say to God. When you are not even tempted to return to a life of worldly pleasures because the world has proven empty and yet taking another step through the void of the spiritual life feels futile because you are no good at it and it seems that God has given up on you, anyway.
“This, says John, is the beginning of blessedness! This is the choiceless choice when the soul can do nothing but surrender. Because even if you cannot sense a shred of the Beloved’s love for you, even if you can scarcely conjure up your old passion for him, it has become perfectly clear that you are incapable of doing anything on your own to remedy your spiritual brokenness. All efforts to purge your unspiritual inclinations have only honed the laser of attention on the false self. Unwilling to keep struggling, the soul finds itself surrendering to its deepest inner wound and breathing in the stillness there.
“The only action left to the soul, ultimately, is to put down its self-importance and cultivate a simple loving attention toward the Beloved. That’s when the Beloved takes over and all our holy intentions vaporize. That’s when the soul, says John, is infused passively with his love. Though his radiance is imperceptible to the faculty of the senses and invisible to the faculty of the intellect, the soul that has allowed itself to be empty can at last be filled and overflow with him.”…” #John_of_the_Cross
I took my Siberian Husky for a walk on this picture perfect day in Tennessee. He’s always ready for a walk, run, to play, move. So, out the door we went and I tried to keep up. Another walker passed us and commented; “that’s a beautiful dog!” This happens a lot when I take Trooper out to meet the public. He is a good-looking dog and it’s cool people notice but I’m never sure how to reply. Sometimes I simply say; “thanks” but that seems pretentious, as if I had something to do with it. I might quip; “thanks but he was that way when I got him” or “yes, and he knows it!”
After the woman’s remark today I thought about some of the beautiful things in our lives of which we have no control. There are people who choose to love us even with our flaws and failings, gorgeous days, pets who think we’re perfect, being alive at this moment, the ability to think, the breath we just took, the heart that’s beating inside.blessings, @BrianLoging http://www.thewannabesaint.com
Imagine a test designed to tell if a person was worthy of our time, passion, emotional investment, a way to tell if someone was worthy to be loved.
What questions should be included on such a test? Would it be a sliding scale? Letter graded or pass/fail?
It seems a ridiculous idea but we give these tests each day to countless people. We look them over, listen to them talk, observe their behavior and grade them on their worthiness to receive our love. We withhold ourselves until they take a test written by our biases, culture, upbringing and then stamp them with approval or disapproval. Our love becomes a commodity to be brokered. “What will you give me in return for an investment of me?” As a result of failings, foibles and flaws many go unloved.
Worthiness to be loved is a simple test that we make complicated. If someone is breathing…they pass. When someone doesn’t pass they did not fail us, we failed them.blessings, @brianloging http://www.thewannabesaint.com
Yesterday I said; “goodbye” to a house or rather to the person who once lived there. My friend Mary, who passed away in June, called this place home for many years. Each room is still saturated with her presence. As I walked through the house, for possibly the last time, I talked to her hoping eternity has connections to this other side.
Saying; “goodbye” isn’t easy. Sifting through feelings of pain and loss can be incredibly difficult. Life has a way of giving and taking, blessing and cursing, lifting and crushing.
Our spirits inhale and exhale each moment, touching and being touched by others. Life is simply and profoundly a series of brief encounters that imprint upon us the meaning of existence.
Yesterday morning I spotted this leaf seemingly suspended in mid air. It didn’t move, no breeze to sway it, just caught by a spider’s web between the limb and the ground.
As I looked at the leaf I thought about how life can make us feel this way; caught between one reality, stage, season and another. The winds of change blow into our lives and we find ourselves falling to an unknown place. The fall sometimes seem to take forever. We keep waiting, hoping for things to settle, stop but the gap between what was and what will be persists.
When we find ourselves unable to get anywhere it is easy to let confusion, anticipation wrap our minds, emotions and spirit in a web of anxiety. Wisdom, however, reminds us that being stuck doesn’t mean we can’t also be still.