“…only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake.” –Francis Bacon
Sometimes I am shocked into considering the ridiculous brevity of my life by…looking up at the vast universe or by looking back into the history of generations of people who have already lived and died. Sometimes it is a brutal confrontation with death in a dream or in an unexpected tragedy. But, when this happens, my life takes on the more noble qualities of:
- a sense of urgency to live fully today
- a sensitivity about what really matters
- a renewed commitment to live with courage, compassion, and surrender
I can make the sparkle and the melting count today. I can do what I was born to do with cheerful abandon.
Or, I can fret, fear, despair, complain, and squander what little I have left.
(encore post from July 2014)
The more one judges, the less one loves and the less one feels loved.
Whatever we give we will get back.
- Most who judge others harshly go into a tailspin when they make a mistake.
- Our judging is fueled by an illusion that we are somehow superior, and when that illusion topples, it messes up our elaborate construct of self-respect.
- It is easier to hate and judge others because doing so helps us avoid our own part of the problem.
- When we avoid our own conscience, we betray ourselves and that feels bad.
- Instead of feeling bad, we get temporary relief by blaming others for stuff instead.
When we do an inventory of our lives and we don’t have enough love, there is only one fix:
Judge less. Love more.
My work is mostly about unraveling misunderstandings between people.
So many accusations. So many disappointments. So many troubled relationships.
I’ve found that one of the most helpful ways to deal with how people disappoint us is to remember that we are a “people” too, disappointing others just as others have disappointed us. Kipling’s quote below is harsh but contains so much truth.
When I quit defending myself long enough to admit my own dishonesty, disguising parts of myself I think others won’t like, I can forgive others for the same.
Accepting the crazy part of being human sure makes it easier to believe that others are doing the best they can, as well.
Wholesale condemnation, even though it makes me feel temporarily better about myself, only makes it worse for everyone in the long run.
Jolted by a song?
Unexpected tears at a harmony?
Moved by Gregorian Chants?
Hearing a haunting melody in your mind?
Whether you believe this quote or not, music is mysteriously connected to our inner being and has the power to right our mind if we allow it.
Times when I need music most:
- Feeling lost and overwhelmed
- Surrounded by trouble and pain
- Out of energy and joy
The challenge is remembering to stop and make time for the healing.
When I do, the return on investment is astounding.
Today, I listened to colleagues tell tragic story after tragic story from their emergency room experiences. Most of the stories involved self-inflicted injuries. As I listened to the sheer insanity of it all, I thought of how powerful our mind is to confuse and mislead. I thought of the dark times that I had experienced and the thought patterns that took me there.
What a powerful reminder to choose with reverence the thoughts and words that will lodge into my subconscious, so to lead myself into harmony and not into confusion, boredom, despair, or discord.
When Einstein was trudging through his work on relativity, he said he would have to stop and play his violin until he could reconnect to what he called the “harmony of the spheres.”
There is nothing more important that we can do for ourselves.
I saw a lot of tributes to MLK Jr. yesterday. This one inspired me the most. The first element of his instruction for having a life “blueprint” was to have a “deep belief in your dignity, worth, and somebodiness.”
The word is odd but it hits the spot for me.
Especially when circumstances kick me around.
Especially when “everyone else” seems more successful and more…everything.
Especially when the world seems to be an unloving place for so many.
What is weighing me down and keeping me from sailing?
What do I owe others so I know for sure which direction to sail?
What good can I do as I sail along my way?
These questions and the actions I take to answer them determine how I live.