Thursday, June 30, 2011

THE GIFT


I don't know how this transformation stuff happens....other than moments of revelation/epiphany/awakening. I don't know how much of what we read or hear others say plays into that. I know in my own life the most transforming moment came during a phone conversation with a friend. He didn't even say anything all that profound or deep. It was just a moment when the curtain was pulled back and a gift arrived that enabled me to see more clearly my own personal falsity and it set in motion the changing of everything.

But I certainly do appreciate good writing that can describe these moments in ways that confirm what has happened. And I appreciate good conversation with people who are present and care. If we find ourselves stuck in dead barren places, can reading such things and having such conversations help move us along towards the day when the blockage is released that releases us? I don't know? Today looking back over my life there are things that have just in the past few years become reality that I now remember being shared with me over 20 years ago. Things that back then made sense in my head at the time but the reality of their tangible presence in my life would wait years before becoming real to me. Did the hearing of it way back then play a part? Again I don't know. I've come to believe the not knowing is just an important part of it all. Mystery is good. Moments of revelation/epiphany/awakening are gift, and those moments rarely ever happen in the kind of places we have been led to believe they happen, and they have a way of just leaving you grateful for their arrival and very aware of the reality that it all had nothing to do with your doing.

"The beauty of the gift is the secret way it awakens us to growth. Without alerting our anxiety or forcing confrontation, the gift has placed us on the path of change almost before we realize it. And much of the change in our lives happen through struggle and pain. We are confronted with an unattractive direction that we have to take. For weeks or months we have to travel through limbo; the comfort and security of our familiar belonging lies far behind us. Where we will belong next has not yet become clear. The days become a struggle of endurance. Yet when the light and the ease return, we recognize the change that has been achieved. The gift bequeaths change in a completely different way. Quickly it undoes the knots of false netting that had us entangled and before we have time to realize what has happened, we find ourselves released into a new fluency. Like a parent to the soul, the gift carries us carefully over torn ground until our feet stand free in a serene place where we can recognize that we have been blessed." ~~~ John O'Donohue

Sunday, June 26, 2011

WALKING WITH OUR KIDS AND OTHERS

Helping others along the way while at the same time not intruding on their freedom is a challenging activity for us humans. But it can be done. And it takes a lot of patience and mindful presence from the one who is walking alongside another with the hope of them finding the freedom that resides inside them and longs to be awakened to and lived from. It's the thing all humans really long for. We just spend a lot of days confused about what it is and where it is found. This observation from Jacques Ellul has become one of those guides to help me in this task of engaging with others: "In order to live, we need truth to be expressed by the most fragile agent, so that the listener remains free."

There is not anyone I engage with that freedom is not what I am thinking about. My freedom and theirs. And there is no engagement in my life with others at this time that is more important to me then my relationships with these three beautiful young ladies I have the privilege of calling daughters. But they are my daughters, not my property to own and control. I must always remember to respect and honor them and the freedom their creator gives to them, as he does me also, every moment of everyday. Which brings me to another observation from Mr. Ellul that has traveled with me everyday now since I first read it: "The biblical God lets us make our own history, and goes with us on the more or less unheard-of adventures we concoct."

Aren't we all to some degree caught up in concocting more or less unheard-of adventures? Aren't we all in need of a most fragile (yet wise and free and alive) traveling companion? And we don't need any more functionaries of the law.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

TOO SMALL FOR YOUR IMMENSITY


With all due respect, humans weren't created for tight enclosed spaces and the kind of work and activities that cages the mind and numbs the natural primal senses. They weren't created for conflict and one upmanship and a self absorbed existence all brought about by grabbing for things they never were in need of which led to a way of being that is too small for the immensity they were sent here with. And one thing remains the way it's always been....it's up to each human being to choose how they are going to live out their time in a garden where all they are in need of is freely offered. The kind of things of which there is no shortage.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I DON'T WANT TO LEAVE THIS SPACE






It's the kind of day that pulls me in and makes me want to abide in silence in the midst of it all. Rolling gentle thunder, a passing rain showers, or any of the other things of nature and the larger cosmos, if you can enter into it, have a way of making you feel small, and puts things into perspective, and at the same time leaves you feeling so alive. And grateful to be alive.

But I still live in the realm of necessity and necessity calls. And that's more than okay also. There is a way of being, of learning to abide that makes the realm of necessity feel much more like gift also, something to also give thanks for. It's an indication that you are still alive and if you have the health to do it...you are so blessed.

So, I will be leaving this space behind shortly but will return later on today. This place has a way of recharging me and washing off the residue of the world of necessity, that for the most part, is so out of sync with the natural rhythm we were meant for. A natural rhythm we can once again be set free to live within. A rhythm that will travel with us as we enter into the space where most of life happens...the out of sync flowing tide that will press in on us and knock us out of stride if we allow it to by allowing it to seduce us with what it is offering.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

PERCEPTION, PERSPECTIVE AND GUT CHECKS


It's got to be one of the most difficult tasks, or at least it feels that way to me at this stage as I try to walk alongside my three daughters as they grow into being adults....to help them or anyone for that matter to understand that the way they perceive things determines what they see which in turn determines how they will be. Life is a path fraught with much danger and we add more to it than is necessary as we hold onto the kind of desires birthed out of false emotions that are birthed out of false perception and always leads us into false belonging.

I guess it's natural to want to save others from painful mistakes and the difficulties they produce. And it's easy to stand over here looking in on someone else's life and think we see it clearer which must mean we know what's going down. But I've learned enough by this point in my life to know my sight isn't always as clear from moment to moment as I want to think it is and that the disturbance created by the difficulties we create for ourselves often create the moments of greatest change and liberation/awakening in our lives. And even with that said, the desire to "save" and "protect" looms large at times.

One of the most important things we all need to see become a part of our lives is the ability to slow down enough so we can step back from our life so as to get a truer perspective of what's actually going on. And at this time in the journey with my daughters my gut tells me that that practice being a reality in my life is probably the best way I have of helping them along the path of their life...their unique path of life...and one that is still shrouded by the confusion that is so much a part of the segment of the journey they are presently in. And to remember that it is their journey and it's not for me to define it for them. I'm just along for the ride and can only offer to them the things that have become real to me...the things that are helping me see more clearly...the things that are readjusting my perceptions.

Monday, June 06, 2011

BECAUSE I ENJOY IT AND IT'S NECESSARY


I love being around people. I really do. But I also like slipping away, I need to. Mostly to the outdoors whether it be my garden or some other natural place where the rhythm is slow and in no hurry and no demands are being made of me and where the weight of the pressure and frustration that too often is created by human interaction can fall away. Learning to share this planet with other humans along with the unavoidable challenges that travel along with that activity does seem to be where most of our hurts and frustrations come from. Being alone in more quite wild places isn't about trying to escape, at least not for me...it's about trying to slip into and remain in a healthy natural fluent rhythm, a clearer perspective/mindset, a different current, one that can heal and might just create more harmonious relationships instead of adding to this world more of the kind defined by competiveness, divisiveness, strife and brokenness

Saturday, June 04, 2011