Belonging to Ourselves

No hustling for worthiness.

No valuing myself by someone else’s measurement.

No comparisons.

Shouldering responsibility for my own happiness.

Allowing others to belong to themselves.

Drawing nourishment from the one and only, unique relationship with my Creator, from which all sustaining relationships are born.

Honoring the fleeting, fertile moments in this body, here and now.

Loving the Attention Too Much?

In a recent, vivid dream, I was being treated with great care and attention in opulent surroundings. I loved the special feeling this gave me, yet, in the dream, I also knew the lavish treatment was frighteningly subject to change; based completely upon my money and allegiance.

On the other hand, in real life, I can be okay with “third-class treatment” if I am detached from others’ opinions of me. Not in-your-face, making-a-statement detached: instead, a healthy independence where I care about people simply to care about people (not to influence what I might get in return).

This is the purest state of peace I have ever known.

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The Nature Doc

It’s nothing new that nature soothes, heals, and puts our senses in order. The problem is often our inability to access nature.

  • If I am caught up in self-pity or the pain of disappointment, sucked into my couch’s black hole…
    • Someone asks me to go outside, I say no
    • And, if I don’t go, it will be more difficult to go later
  • If I am stuck inside working (or sick in bed) all day, I can’t visit the “Nature Doctor”…
    • That’s when I must go to my stored-up memories of mountains and waterfalls
    • Or use my Google machine to call up images
    • Or “switch apps” or “change the channel” in my brain to refresh
  • If I see nature everyday, but it has lost the power to impress me…
    • My callousness to miracles is the most difficult problem to fix
    • I have to imagine being confined underground, in prison, or in a hospital
    • And see the sun and sky for the first time
    • Taste the water, smell the grass, feel the wind, touch a leaf

Shantaram, Shaken, and Surprised

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This is one of the major themes of Gregory David Robert’s experience as portrayed in the book (soon to be movie), Shantaram. Also in Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken. Although, one book deals with the dark realities of life and the other, mostly with those of a fallen football player, the lesson is the same; losing is often the win we need for the long-haul. Accept the pain of losing as it comes, and our character development and re-direction will have countless beneficiaries.

I was pleasantly surprised with that reality recently when my challenged nephew was invited to an event sponsored by Tim Tebow’s ministries; ministries that would not exist if Tim Tebow had not been kicked off of three NFL teams.

When I am Totally Present for You

When I am totally present for you

You feel it

I change your energy

And lend you my strength

 

When I am totally present for you

I step out of my mediocrity

And access my super power

For killing fear and boredom

 

When I am totally present for you

I become concentrated refreshment

By admiring your beauty

In a world of splintered focus

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Falling Upward

This Richard Rohr quote pretty much sums up the tragic plots of countless movies, TV shows, books, and plays (see Shakespeare, Kite Runner, Game of Thrones, This is Us, etc.), but also sadly, wars and worse.

You might recognize this illustration from Madmen. Same song, second verse.

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We’ve heard it since we were children

We must forgive

Starting with ourselves

Yet, we try to beat the odds

And hold on to vapor

Groping like madmen

For the protection of liars

Who will go down with us

Unless we collapse into truth

And choose to fall upward

It Is Never Enough

Even if I am acknowledged

Accomplished

Or have crossed the goal line while the crowd roars

It will not be enough to sustain this hungry spirit of mine

It will only crave more on another day

No, that deep cavern of need

Must be spring-fed

From a deep reservoir within

No accolade

No award

Can ever be worth as much

As this

My own affirming voice

“I am enough.”

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When Days Feel Like Ghosts

This insightful Emerson quote feels especially true when there is nothing on the agenda, when the phone is not ringing (and the mail is not dinging), when we are ill, not sure of our next step, or broke.

How do we use the “gift” of the day when the days feel like empty ghosts passing by? The key seems to be asking versus saying, “My life sucks” or “I’m completely useless.”

Is there anything I can do today to make a difference for someone?” prompts ideas, seemingly from out of nowhere, like sending kind texts or emails to those with whom I haven’t spoken in a while.

Then, there will be more energy to catch the ghosts and unwrap the gifts.

If You Were to Take Your Life

If you were to take your life today

You would miss the books you hadn’t read

Holding entire worlds to see;

Transcendental jolts of recognition

From sources yet unknown to thee

 

If you were to take your life today

You would miss the transformation

Of your raw, and often cruel, pain

As it passed through the broken shards

Of fantastic light into the purest Novocain

 

If you were to take your life today

You would be so surprised to find

That you had missed blankets of cool relief

That, although delayed, were closer to you

Than ever your disbelief

How to Avoid Victimization by Pathological Liars

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To condemn a liar is easy.

To admit our own lies is hard.

It always stumps me that social media is so full of indictments against liars. I hate lies too, yet, I know that not lying is something most of us have not mastered. I often wonder how so many people have conveniently forgotten their own lapses and gotten on their high horses about a habit that is so universal.

Humans (that includes me) have lied to avoid pain (prompted by some derivative of fear), unable to come up with a way around the pain without lying. Humans usually don’t set out to lie until the adrenaline starts pumping out a desperate plan of escape. Then, unfortunately, some will continue down the “socio-path,” addicted to the lie, unable to distinguish truth from lie, or to remember life without the lie.

Ironically, in order to spot, and avoid being victimized by, these pathological liars, we must simply recognize the “why” and humbly own this ugly side of our shared humanity.