So, I was feeling hopeless the other night, wallowing in self-pity (which seems to be part of a reoccurring cycle) until I fell asleep and had a dream about real disaster and very serious tragedy that slapped me right out of the PLOM (poor-little-ole-me) Club.
This Dorothy Day quote was so appropriate for my situation, although it seemed heartless until I…
- saw the context she was in: feeding long lines of hungry people during the depression without any assets
- remembered what is really important: doing the best I can with what I have where I am
- seriously appreciated what I have in this moment
Even when we think we don’t have a creative bone in our body, our minds and bodies are urging us to build, uncover new paths, journal, write, paint, draw, cook, garden, make someone smile or laugh, take pictures, or simply make something clean and shiny. We are created in the image of a creator.
I thought my life was mostly over before I gave myself permission to create and enjoy my creations.
I hope you will create today. Create joy for someone. Create joy for yourself.
Create joy in the limited time we have in this fertile place.
On this day, many are excited about their new lives and prospects, while others are disappointed that their lives have not yet become what they envisioned.
Sometimes, the disappointment is only about timing. Wait for it.
At other times, it is about nourishing our own growth.
Nothing flowers without nourishment, yet we often prevent our own flowering by…
- refusing to sit in the light (to feed our spirit)
- moving so fast through the motions of living (that our roots can’t go deep into the rich soil of our gifts and calling)
- running from, and complaining about, the rain (refusing, instead of seeking, discipline, insight, and instruction)
- blaming others for our bad luck (instead of owning the roots of our problems)
Today, I will patiently tend my own mysterious growth.
All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope. – Alexandre Dumas
Wait and hope versus give up and despair. Always.
When I think of the times…
- I didn’t wait when I should have, my insanity is all too clear.
- I despaired when I should have hoped, it is crystal clear that the decision cost me dearly.
What can despair ever do for me but steal my desire to do my best?
When facing difficulties, I now…
- ask instead of indict; “What does the Universe need from me?” vs. “This is unfair!”
- summon instead of rage; “Bring me one new idea.” vs. “This is too much to ask from anyone!”
When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
If you haven’t read it or seen the movie…
Whether my tasks today is cleaning toilets or working my dream job, being the boss or looking for a job, changing diapers or signing autographs, going to the hospital or going on vacation, trying to get well or trying to excel, my obligation is still the same; do it with love. Do it all with love.
The highest task will be lowered without it.
The lowest task will be elevated with it.
There is nothing more important than being here, completely here, right now, with the passion and joy that is only born of love.
Let go of anxiety and live.
(original post 2015)
A few nights ago I had all of the out-of-control dreams: cars and people that wouldn’t cooperate, etc.
I woke up tired; but, alas, aware that all of it was about my buried fears.
The next night I read Neil Gaiman before bed and dreamed of doing daring things for the right reason.
I woke up buoyant; ready for whatever life had in store.
Words in books have saved my sanity more times than I can count.
Words in the unlikely books that I have read accidentally or reluctantly have done the most good.
When I talk to someone who is disillusioned and depressed, I pray they will read or listen to books that will fly into their dreams to fuel their hopes, change their mind, and expand their world.
Often, the ultimate battle.
The “every moment” part is the big challenge.
Yet, at least, I am more aware when my ego runs to my rescue, trying to prop me up by:
- Seeking attention
- Obsessing upon what someone thinks of me
- Being ashamed of, or apologetic about, who I am
- Gathering status symbols
- Becoming offended by someone’s words or opinion
- Posturing for approval
I’ve found the power to be genuine resides in the liberating thought: no one needs to approve of who I am because I am what I am for a genuine reason.
No shame in trying.
Yet, why have I shamed myself for trying and failing?
Why does the self-hatred linger and linger and linger?
Why have the failures cut deep shame and rejection-scarred paths in my 3 AM mind?
Possibly because I forgot to change the sound track laid down on the memory.
The new one sounds like this:
You are so human.
You are brave to try.
You are failing better as a result.
You are doing the best you can with what you have where you are.
Your motives are right.
Keep gathering mentors.
While there is breath there is hope.
Read a book I thought was boring
But loved it.
Forced to be with people with whom I thought I had nothing in common
Found cool and interesting friends.
Lost a job that I really needed
But found one I needed more.
Sustained a heartbreak I thought would kill me
Now happier than before.
Learned impossible new skills
It was possible.
Depression said gloom and doom was unavoidable
Service and love overcame the darkness.
Tragedy said the world was irredeemable
There was redemption.
I cease to be surprised.
“I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person,
but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”
– Byron Katie
I don’t know if you have ever tottered upon the edge of insanity after someone or something completely smashed your life into a thoroughly unrecognizable, splintered mass, but just in case you are ever there, here is the only path to heroic coolness:
Believe that what is IS. (Reality isn’t up for negotiation.)
Decide the Universe will provide the needed resources to master what is. (You are more powerful than you have ever dreamed.)
Embrace what is. (Refuse yourself access to the if-only or it’s-not-fair or why-me regions of unproductive and self-defeating thinking.)