How to Know If My Conscience Is Really Clear

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Anyone who has struggled to sleep with a bad conscience knows there really is no softer pillow as that of a clear conscience, and that slipping into sleep with this caliber of peace is one of life’s greatest rewards.

Yet, still I have tried to justify and rationalize things I know are not right. And, at times have conveniently mistaken a clear conscience for…

  • denial and/or projection of guilt on someone else
  • ignorance of my responsibilities

A know a real clear conscience when it has cost me something.

Often, the cost is…

  • courage to seek the highest integrity against the pull of self-protection
  • a willingness to be quiet long enough to really hear
  • the disciplined work required to understand another’s point of view
  • owning my dark side
  • ego-obliterating apologies

Love People. Use Things.

It is easy to slip into loving things. And, then, using people (to get or protect things) follows naturally.

It is also easy to justify loving things, because things, power, fame and money promise to make life so much more enjoyable. And, even though we might not really want to use people to get those things, it happens.

What happens after that is not pretty.

Happiness eludes us.

Simple joys disappear.

Peaceful sleep is more difficult.

Breaking the chain reaction is complicated.


We go back to our original purpose:

“Let no one come to you without leaving better.” –Mother Teresa


Whatever I don’t receive or may lose in life, love is the one thing I will always have to give.

Which is why Valentine’s Day is happy.

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Worth the Courage It Takes

When I am frightened to do what I think I might need to do

I often pretend I never heard the idea at all

When my heart skips a beat thinking of a risky move

I often turn up my activities to ignore the nudge

When the call of the wild arrives on the wind and waves 

I drown it out: nose to the machinery of the day

Cheating myself of the exhilarating plunge

Into the cold stream of courage

The one with the postcard waterfall cascading

Into the meadow of the dreams I have almost forgotten

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Wee Wee Wee All the “Waze” Home?

After programming the app with my destination and checking the arrival time, it would be ridiculous to:

  • ignore the technology and micromanage my trip
  • know all the turns I would have to take before it was necessary to take them
  • worry about how long each step would take

Because the end result had already been programmed!

And so it is with a life.

I can…

  • trust the process
  • quit being a control freak
  • fully use my resources, and
  • enjoy the ride

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Bewilderment Is the Norm

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I love this quote because it describes the state of affairs of a radically finite (and often confusing) existence, and reminds me to take it all in stride.

For the ultimate peaceful journey through this planet, I must…

  1. Expect to be bewildered
  2. Refuse to get cocky about what I think I know
  3. Go with the unresolved, uncertain, and disruptive


  1. Ranting about how other people and events don’t comply with my preconceived ideas and ideals
  2. Guarding my intellectual turf
  3. Disagreeing with reality

Thanks Joseph Campbell for the delightful signpost along the path of discovery.

Need Something More?

Have you ever been amazed that a tiny puppy can hold so much energy and spirit in such a small body?

Or noticed the spark of life that unfolds a tiny flower?

Or the speed of a bug’s legs?

Or the life-force present in a single meal devoured in a couple of minutes?

Walking on a frigid morning, I noticed the sun radiating so strongly off an apartment window that it felt like fire on my face. Yet, I had not thought about the power of this same life-force within my own body and mind.

Today, I recognize that this life-force is at my service, is waiting for me to recognize it, has been summoned for my use, and can make a powerful difference in the world.


Original Post 2012

Given Up on Buried Treasure?

Got no treasure hunts


Given up on hope

Long ago?

Then why does your heart still ache

For something more? 

What is that

Tingle for?

Treasure Map Key:

T – Treat Every Moment as Friend Not Foe

R – Reject Resentment

E – Enjoy the Challenge of Change

A – Appreciate the Diverse and Unique

S – Surrender Judgment

U – Unlock your Heart (if it is frightened of pain)

E – Engage Others


Let-the-Treasure-Stay-Buried Key:

B – Bash yourself for believing there might be more

U – Underestimate your gifts and who you were born to be

R – Resist adventure and new ideas

I – Insist on perfection from yourself

E – Envy those who appear to have it better

D – Decide to do what you have always done


(Original Post 2013)

Protect a Life Worth Living


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I have lied when I feared getting caught or mocked.

I have begged for something when I didn’t think I was enough without it.

Lying and begging sometimes temporarily postponed undesired consequences, but doing so also postponed the life I really wanted to live.

That life is worth the pain of honesty.

That life is worth the discomfort of waiting.

That life is worth whatever integrity and courage it takes to get it.


It’s funny how we often try to protect a life that isn’t worth living.

If We Could Un-Edit Ourselves

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“If you want the best the world has to offer

Offer the world your best”

Simple enough

Except when we try and fail

Because we edited and censored ourselves down

To a diluted and compliant version

Of who we thought we should be

Disguising the spice of our mistakes

And hiding the leaven of our pain-kneaded soul


If we had only listened

For the sweet laughter of God

And accepted the soothing patience

Of an understanding Universe

While we were withering away

Worshiping at the alter 

Of our earth-laden opinions 


Anytime we are ready, the world awaits the exchange.

“Wildly and Messily Who We Were Born to Be”

Now and then I must get a healthy dose of Anne Lamott’s raw take on the truth. 

Similar to Anne Lamott, I spent too much time rejecting the wild and messy part of me. Once I gave that wild and messy part a great big hug, the marvelous part came out of hiding…and made it easier for me to love the wild and messy part of the people who were bothering me.

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We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. – Anne Lamott