Her fire was transplanted into my flickering flame of a heart and has been fueling it since.
Mary Oliver died at 83 after infecting many people with her poetry. So glad I met her heart and invited it in.
When telling a story…
When I was a kid…
When I was hurting…
Finally learning to accept myself with all my flaws, brought…
It is also the rule of…
Whatever happens, take responsibility…instead of blaming, shaming or making excuses for ourselves and others.
Even if wronged, ask…
I made a promise to myself years ago to reflect, pray, and meditate daily before I started my task list. Sometimes I cheat. Like today. I decided to get started on my list and paint my toenails before I sat down on the floor to center myself. Oops. There is now a permanent royal blue stain on the carpet to remind me to keep my commitments and do things in order.
So often, I think I am too busy to put first things first until I waste my time doing it my own way. This mistake was minor. Some mistakes permanently damage others and take a whole lot longer to repair.
The following Bruce Lee quote reinforces that nothing is as important as the time we use for personal growth.
Searching for a heart of gold is a worthy quest, and not just for Neil Young. Neil Young might have been singing about a romantic connection, but we are all searching for hearts of gold in people we meet. It is like a quest for home.
A heart of gold is about honesty and authenticity. It is about loyalty and honor and about refusing to become small or vindictive in our words or actions.
And people with hearts of gold are not doormats, they are strong people who refuse to stoop to hatred.
To show respect to all people, even those who have disrespected us or treated others disrespectfully, is sometimes torture and often counter-intuitive. Yet, the reward of having that caliber of character is worth the exertion.
We constantly explain others’ behavior by making up stories about who they are and why they do what they do. Its much easier to think people are just plain idiots or jerks rather than people with scars, such as ourselves, who make mistakes or who are just trying to get by with limited courage, insight, or character-development.
I am not advocating naivete or letting others take advantage of us, but. since we are all making up stories anyway, why shouldn’t we try out the good ones before the bad ones?
I certainly appreciate that kind of mercy when I am a character in the story.
I challenge you to try. Let’s see how much less angst, anger, and frustration we can have just by starting with mercy in 2019.
(Modified original post from 2013)
On the days when I am broke or sick
When people are not responding
Or technology is trouble
When I misplace or forget my phone
Or say the wrong thing and mess up an opportunity
Or when my body (or my car) refuses to be reliable
When I can’t find my keys or traffic is brutal
Or the weather (or a relative) won’t cooperate
It is on those days I am forced to let go
Of the illusion of my control
And give honor to the Angel standing in my way
Slowing me down for my own good.
If guilt creeps stealthily in
Or breaks violently into your home
It will not help to hide behind a door
Or appear dreadfully busy on your phone
Guilt cannot stand to be ignored! (Trust me, history is my witness)
Dare to play dumb or talk smart
He (and you) will stab your dear one (oh yes!)
Straight through their unsuspecting heart
Or, he’ll double you over with a kick to the gut
Then condemn you to endless nights in a restless bed
After pouring poisons into your body and
Terrifying fears into your head
Your only chance is to look fiercely into his heartless eyes
Let him say what he has to say
Then, you, you fix what can be fixed, and
Then, bravely banish his pathetic impotence away
Don’t wait ’til someone dies
To say of them something nice
To give them appreciation
Versus the ubiquitous smirk or shrug
(All could use a little love)
Don’t wait ’til people die
To appreciate their unique lives
And what they have done best
Instead of judging all the many things
They were not…as very human beings
I wasn’t a big George H. W. Bush fan while he was president. I probably should have appreciated his character more and criticized a bit (or a lot) less.
Resist the urge.
Resist the urge to spout blame, shame, accusations, and comparisons.
To do so is as common as oxygen but as toxic as cyanide.
Trying to balance the scale by bringing others down is often driven by guilt and always steals your gravitas.
Noble people know their own value and do not have to defend it.