“If watching gave skill, every dog would be a butcher.” #polishProverb
My two dogs are wonderful pets but pains to prepare and eat a meal around…
The reason they are so annoying is they watch you take every bite of food, every sip of drink, until you’re finished. Then they watch you get up and put your plate on the counter. They are hoping, craving, for a morsel, a crumb, anything, so they never take their eyes off of you.
It can drive you crazy.
I also know people who do a lot of looking, longing, wishing, to taste life but alas go hungry.
Life is a series of small, seemingly unconnected, moments. Partake of each one, savor every experience. It’s right there in front of you don’t miss it looking at other things.
“Why is it so difficult to take that first, necessary, close-in, courageous step to reclaiming our happiness in life?
Perhaps, because taking that step leads to a kind of radical internal simplification, where, suddenly, large parts of us, parts of us we have kept gainfully employed for years, often rehearsing the old story, are suddenly out of a job.
There occurs in effect, a form of internal corporate downsizing, where the parts of us that do not wish to participate or have nothing now to offer are let go, with all of the accompanying death-like trauma, and where the last fight occurs, a rear guard disbelief that this new, less complicated self, is all that is needed for the new possibilities ahead.
It is always hard to believe that the courageous step is so close to us, that it is closer than we ever could imagine, that in fact, we already know what it is, and that the step is simpler, more radical than we had thought: which is why we so often prefer the story to be more complicated, our identities clouded by fear and the answer safely in the realm of impossibility.”
It’s a few moments before dawn as I sit here listening to the hum of a box fan in an otherwise quiet house.
I didn’t sleep well last night but the daylight doesn’t know, doesn’t care. It’s coming and so is everything else this day will bring.
I close my eyes, breathe, trying not to fall back to sleep and be centered, knowing the day will unfold without my help, without my permission.
The question becomes, will I try to make it something its not, let my weariness dampen its warmth, just muddle through?
Or will I let go of the tiredness, shake off the cobwebs and be content and grateful to see, experience a day which has never been and will never be again?
Yesterday I was blindsided by anger…
Like an assassin it waited for me and when I least expected, it ambushed me.
They say the further you get from hurt, loss, disappointment, the easier it becomes to think on those things and not experience the pain.
I’m not sure that’s true, maybe you think on those dark and difficult seasons less often but when the memories return, and they will return, they still bring with them hurt and discomfort.
It happened, of all places, on my way to McDonald’s to partake of a diet coke and wifi. I started thinking about someone who wounded me deeply through abusive words and actions. I’m not sure what triggered the memories but they came on like a flood.
For a while I became frustrated thinking of this individual, reliving the past, wishing it would’ve been different. The temptation to let it consume my thoughts beckoned me to a dark place.
Eventually, however, I breathed, centered myself, bought a cookie to go with my diet coke, and let it go.
Sometimes it’s better to eat a pastry than let the past devour the present.
“God gave us faculties for our use; each of them will receive its proper reward. Then do not let us try to charm them to sleep, but permit them to do their work until divinely called to something higher.” #TeresaOfAvila
Another great quote by Teresa of Avila and reminds me of the modern wisdom saying: “Bloom where you’re planted.”
Yesterday I shared an experience with some friends that was unique, frightening, exhausting and eye opening. During most of it I wasn’t sure I was doing anyone any good. There was a lot of sitting, some talking, and a good bit of praying. After it was over one of them said to me, “thanks, I know you might not feel like you did much but just being there was enough.”
Many times we long to be the balm that heals, give the words which brings peace, possess the ability to make things better. There are moments we can step up and be the hero but oftentimes all we’re able to do is sit beside a hurting soul, listen with ears of compassion, speak soft words of peace and comfort, just be there.
It may not seem to be a lot but when it’s done with grace and wisdom it is enough.
“The way to find the real ‘world’ is not merely to measure and observe what is outside us, but to discover our own inner ground. For that is where the world is, first of all: in my deepest self.
This ‘ground,’ this ‘world’ where I am mysteriously present at once to my own self and to the freedoms of all other men, is not a visible, objective and determined structure with fixed laws and demands. It is a living and self-creating mystery of which I am myself a part, to which I am myself my own unique door.”
Thomas Merton, Contemplation in a World of Action, pp.54-55