Monday, June 28, 2010

THE PHOTO GALLERY



















I've begun the process of creating a photo gallery for some of the photos I have taken over the past few years and for new ones that will come in the future. I need to find the best place now to purchase frames.

SOME COMMENTS...A CONVERSATION...AND A PRIVATE MESSAGE CONVERGE

Some people who know me have expressed to me that the way I think about things would wear them out if their minds worked that way. A friend awhile back told me that my grey matter was someday going to explode :-) This morning, like many mornings, certainly has been normal in that regard.

I've loved the exchange this morning with other people also. Some of that came in the form of comments on Facebook, and then a face to face conversation with someone I have shared all my life with, and upon my return back home, a private message from a friend was waiting for me. It all has converged into one.


While in the face to face conversation, the observation in regards to my way of thinking came up along with something else that at first created a moment of disbelief for me. I was taken a back a bit. Along with them saying my way of thinking would leave them worn out if they thought that way, they also said that I didn't seem as happy to them as I used to be and that a couple other people had conveyed similar observations to them as well. Guess what the effect on me has been? More thinking :-)

One of the things I said to them was that in most cases, the response I get from others, has been the exact opposite. I also said that I understand though that the space I am occupying today in many ways make no sense to others who can't wrap their heads around that space that is wholly different than the space I used to live in. What I have observed though is that it has left many intrigued, others confused, others indifferent, and even some pissed off.

In the time that followed that conversation, what seems to be a better way of describing it all came to mind. Peace and joy and contentment is not the same as happy. One of the things I mentioned to the friend was that I do not have the wild swings anymore from the highs of happy to the lows of unhappy. Peace and joy and contentment have a way of carving out a more stable experience. But what has become more clear as I have thought some more about these things is, the illusions that are at the center of the happiness/unhappy paradigm that most live in, create many more illusions for those looking in on another's life. I might have seemed more happy before simply because I have always been the kind of person that can put a more positive spin on things...but I wasn't really ever full of joy and peace. And more than likely, the happiness was just a mask.

Juxtapose that with this. When reality begins to come into better view as one is in the process of being set free from the illusions, it changes everything. It has opened up for me something I had never before experienced. And I certainly appreciate and understand how that can leave others with a false perception. This life really makes no sense to the natural mind and eyes.

How would I describe it all? I have never felt more content and stable. I have never been more at peace. I have never been more full of indescribable joy, and the mess of the reality that I see more clearly and honestly than ever before, the reality that we find ourselves in, has never before created as much pain as it does for me today. Maybe some see that as less happy? To me, I've come to know it as compassion. It is just the Jesus I have come to know and am learning to walk along side as he walks with me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

SACRED ARE THEY....
















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I so appreciate the ability to connect with others from all parts of the globe as we travel along on this journey towards healing and freedom...together.

I just wanted to add this that my friend John Lynch just posted that speaks to it all.

"As this well-dressed, poisoned ball rolls towards end-like strong current, we'll be pulled to hate more-fashioning ever tighter political and theological criterion-to make somebody pay for our loss. Radio-talk-show puppets teach us where to spew venom. Sacred are they who choose love; hating evil and working against it, but not swallowed by it. They're the healers. They shine light...and pull others from the current."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TO LEARN TO REST AND JUST BE


If we can stay in the moment and accept it for what it is...we come to realize there is more than enough grace there. Unfortunately it just seems that many despise the moment because it's not what they had in mind for themselves...and in that space, miss what has been given...the very thing they need and have been longing for deep down inside.

We make life harder and more painful for ourselves and others when we live a life defined by future tripping and grabbing for things that have not been given.

And a life defined by expectations is a life defined by future tripping.

Monday, June 21, 2010

TO FOLLOW UP ON THE LAST ONE

Ain’t it crazy
What’s revealed when you’re not looking all that close
Ain’t it crazy
How we put to death the ones we need the most


When we are caught up in the human activity of blaming everybody else for our life sucking, we more than likely will also be caught up in running off...rejecting...the people we need most. Being stuck in this desolate space even keeps us from seeing that the ones that we are bugged by the most are actually the ones showing us love in ways we can't even understand. The road running through history is strewn with lovers and grace givers whose lives have been cut short or who have been cast to the side as if they are the problem and stand in the way. Love often does lie dying in the street. And people who are caught up in scapegoating die alone and lonely.

SCAPEGOATING

"And no matter just how bad it gets
It does no good to blame somebody else"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ONLY LOVE AND GRACE HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE IT

"Without radical and rule-breaking forgiveness-----received and given----there will be no reconstruction of anything. It alone breaks down our damnable world of trying to buy and sell grace. Grace is certainly the one gift that must always be free, perfectly free----to work. Without forgiveness there will be no future. We have hurt one another in too many historically documented and remembered ways. The only way out of the present justified hatreds of the world is grace."

I thought of this comment by Richard Rohr this morning while I was thinking upon the painful dysfunctional interaction going on between my 3 daughters. They just seem to be at this time stuck in the hurts created by the wrongs done to one another...many of them actual wrongs mostly due to the all too common view that everyone should cater to their individual expectations. Regardless of whether it is my daughters or anyone else...or even nations for that matter...the attempts to get others to serve our expectations so that it all is revolving around us the way we desire it to, will only produce conflicts on top of conflicts that will go on and on unless someone steps out of the game and forgives and offers grace instead. And yes...there is no way around the reality that grace often gets trampled under foot by those hell bent on having it their way and have no qualms about using power over others to make it happen. That makes it a hard sell to a teenager. It's actually a hard sell to anyone. Dare I say, an impossible one? All of this is difficult enough within the context of personal relationships, but it all seems all that more impossible in the realm of business and nation states. But regardless of the realm, the outcome is always the same...people get hurt. We all get hurt and damaged.

What makes all of this even more frustrating is that much of what drives these kind of things is the dysfunction created out of false perceptions and than the false emotional responses that follow along with the attempts to control one another through all kinds of manipulations that only serve in keeping the cycle going, further deepening the pain.

I'm just rather sensitive to this crap right now and sick of the pain that travels with it. But grace and love still compel to stay in it...available and engaged, and to refuse to pick the weapons back up that I had grown all too accustomed too during the time I myself was caught up in the lie that made it all seem like the best way to go.

Monday, June 14, 2010

THE LIGHT AND DARK


This evening I took a walk out behind the house, into the common ground area of our neighborhood. Parents and children, especially teenagers and young adults, and the treacherous season that can be, was on my mind. Many of you know of the scary moment that happened in our family a few years ago, and of the change it set in motion for ...myself and my wife, and how we would from that moment on, live with our daughters. It actually changed how I live with everyone.

One of the things that changed for me was that I was freed from the life defined by my family needing to be braggable, based upon behavior. My perspective changed drastically during that time and I began to see that my family was braggable, not because we were perfect/ly masked but because we began to learn to be real and honest. Life is messy. Every one's life is messy. What began to happen, and much of it began to play out in the salon with my clients, and here online, was other parents began to open up and share with me their stories of struggle with their teenagers and how their attempts to gain control over their kids just seemed to be driving them farther away. I've been so blessed by being invited into these lives and hopefully they have been also by allowing someone else in.

I came home tonight from the walk under the beautiful sky, as the day gave way to night, and waiting for me was an email from a scared parent of a teenager. They had seen the video I had posted of the young lady sending a message to her dad who had been for her what she needed most during those confusing turbulent years. They had been encouraged by it and it had given them some hope for their situation. Hopefully my words to them were also a source of comfort.

If I could only say one thing to parents of teenagers, it would be this...don't ever underestimate the power of grace. And don't ever underestimate the power of opening up and sharing your story. It might just be the thing that opens the door for someone else caught up in their own scary situation to tell theirs. And through it all...mess and all...you might just begin to see something beyond what is presently visible and realize how beautiful it still is...and braggable when it comes to the things that really matter...A beautiful life perfectly in process.

The Spirit helped me begin to see how much my years of teenage struggle were a big part of making me who I am today. And the same will be true for our children.See More

Monday, June 07, 2010

AGITATED




















Sometimes immense beauty, and a peaceful setting, juxtaposed to the challenges we face everyday in regards to relating to others and the demands of efficiency and productivity in the realm of necessity, can produce some agitation. It just leaves you more aware of what is possible and what yet remains unrealized.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

ROLLING WITH THE CHANGES

Life...in all it's twists and turns is a mystery for sure. Turns out the way we respond to it makes all the difference. Last night while celebrating the closing of one chapter and the turning of the page to another adventure, I randomly stumbled upon something that brought this song from the past to mind. The bar we were in happened to have some old album covers on the wall. REO Speedwagon's You Can Tune A Piano But You Can't Tuna Fish was one of them. It has to be going on 25 years since I've heard these guys. The song Roll With The Changes came to mind. Music is such a powerful thing. Even though it's been many years, I saw that cover last night and there was this feeling that rose up inside me that felt so familiar. This morning I went to youtube and pulled up the song. The feeling that came over me was very familiar...past and present.

The changes this song spoke of to me back all those years ago, just happened most of the time to do with disappointment. When I was young, my life was full of expectations...mostly frustrated expectations. Often they had to do with relational struggles with girls. In other reoccurring moments they had to do with fear, guilt and shame caused by internal struggles brought on by religion. Some other times it was looking forward to the passing of a particular season, maybe school, maybe farming season, maybe a confrontational relationship with my dad or siblings or friends. I grew to want change on one hand and hate change on the other. I was fighting so hard to make things work out the way I wanted them to be. It took 42 years to learn that was a terrible way to attempt to walk through this world. There was no rolling with the changes. I had turned into someone who had become caught up in trying to force change (mostly on others) and often in myself. Turns out I was a horrible change maker and all the while the changes that were happening were rolling over me. Actually stomping on me. I've come to believe that most of the pain we experience ourselves and cause to others, when we are younger (well, sadly, most carry it all their lives) really has to do with a need for certainty and predictability, all attached to us getting our way, when life is rather made up of uncertainty and unpredictability.

At 42 I turned a page. I'm a little thick and slow :-) Some older folks have pointed out to me that 42 is pretty young for such a thing to happen. Maybe so, but in my heart I hope my daughters get there before I did.

This morning when I heard this song it brought a smile to my face and tears also. Tears of joy and amazement. These words are profound and full of the simple reality that helps us turn the page and it also speaks to the pain of the process and the hope that remains for those who press through until the page is turned.

To make the break that we are on the brink of
My cup is on the table, my love is spilling
Waiting here for you to take and drink of

So if you're tired of the same old story
Oh, turn some pages
I will be here when you are ready
To roll with the changes, yeah, yeah

I knew it had to happen, felt the tables turnin'
Got me through my darkest hour
I heard the thunder clappin', felt the desert burnin'
Until you poured on me like a sweet sunshower

I'm no longer caught up in certainty, nor do I long for predictability. Now it's possible to roll with that wind amidst all the changes.