When I was a young mother at home with my two small children, my world was made of small things. We lived the joy of small joys and the pain of small hurts together. It helped me to remember my smallness as a child.
As my children grew older we spent less time togher. Their needs for me became fewer, but larger. It helped me remember my growing years. The experiences of youth are so easy physically and so difficult emotionally. So much pain. So much elation!
I am growing old now. My emotional world is more even. I have learned the pain and the pleasure both have a place within me. I have faced down my share of paper tigers and learned not to worry until I feel the tigers teeth on my skin. My physical world is now more challenging. Pain slowly finds places to settle in to keep me company. My spirit world is bigger than ever and I find myself occasionally amazed by the things I see.
I am grateful to be alive and I will be grateful to die.
Just this week I have become aware of the "rushing river" washing around me. Voices of strife and worry, anger and ego, fear and aggression were pointed out to me yesterday. They are far greater than I had been aware of.
I realize I am in the "boat". I must hold out my hand to all who are in the water. Some choose to stay in the water rather than join me. Some join together and release their ego.
My job is to hold out my hand to everyone regardless of who they are or what they have (or have not) said and done. This is where I must release my own ego. I will try to do my best.
I work a the space center in Florida. Our entire program is pretty much being ended this year and we are all saying goodby to each other and to the space program as we have known it.
I am also in the process of saying goodby to my mother, who is in the last days of her life.
I find myself feeling more loving and forgiving to everyone I must leave behind. There is no room in my heart for grudges or even irritations with others. I am discovering a lightness I haven't felt for many years.
I cannot regret these feelings, even if they are mingled with sadness. . . .
Thank you for this posting. Forgivness is so difficult and so hard to understand for many of us.
I have found that one thing which can open the door to understanding the true nature and profound importance of forgiving is the acceptance of how limiting my own point of view can be. I know MY reality and MY experience and MY motivations, but I can never really KNOW those of another person. Not truely and completely. Each life is completely unique. I cannot ascribe my thoughts to another person.
When I accept the fact that I really don't know what was going on with another person, I can begin to forgive them. When I accept the fact that I don't really remember everything that was going on with me in the past (no, your memory isn't that good, either), I can begin to accept and forgive myself.
I would like to speak to what Godi said. "Happiness" is dependant upon circumstance. "Joy" is a state that can exist independant of circumstance. "Inner peace" falls into the same category.
Living out a physical existance must always involve some amount of suffering - just ask the mother of an infant with colic. We must all experience pain of our own and on behalf of those we care for. Therefore, there must be good (growth, learning, gain) that can be had from suffering.
This reading is completely relevant to this day in this month. So many are struggling to come to terms with reduced incomes during a season traditionally celebrated with excess.
Our money, our possessions, can be either a burden or a blessing. This is decided by whether we, ourselves, choose to be a burden or a blessing. This decision has nothing to do with wealth, health, intelligence, education, looks, ability, or any other thing we use to define worthiness in ourselves and others. It has only to do with recognizing our unique place in this world at this time. It has only to do with embracing our ability to transform our world - for good or bad - and deciding how we will use this power.
This is wonderfully put. While there is certainly nothing wrong with planning and thinking of the future, the knowlege that there may not be one after today can be beneficial. The acceptance of the impermanance of our life removes fear; it removes the need to control; it can even lift depression.
You just don't know what will happen until it does. Really! Every day, every moment anything can happen. This should be a cause for openminded anticipation, not fear. When death is not feared, what is left to be afraid of? How freeing this is! How easy now to put every aggravation or disappointment into perspective, also each joy and success. Ah, yes, fear not!
Dale is not correct. You are your mind. You are your body. You are your emotions. You are here in this physical plane for a reason. Don't imagine that you can or should negate this precious opportunity of experience. It will be over soon enough.
The Christ said that if you think it you have done it. What you do to one you do to all. You are one. The cultivation of positive thoughts is a constant and difficult (for me) process. Thank you for saying the positive overcomes the negative. This gives me strength.
I had just walked in from meditating on this very thing when I read this. How wonderful!
We can chain ourselves to the past that was or never was. We can chain ourselves to our ideas about the future that will be or never will be. But, we cannot chain ourselves to the very moment as each happens. This is why I work on meditation: to release expectations, desires, obsessions, repetitive thoughts - ugh!
I work to accept this very instant as it really is. I work to release the world I've constructed in my mind with my emotions and to see this world. As Jesus said, to use these eyes to see and use these ears to hear. How difficult to quiet that chattering mind! But, it becomes easier with practice, just like anything.
So, every day I must remind myself what it is I want to practice, what I want to be good at, and what I want to let go of with my monkey fist. I guess I just want to be good at letting go.
GREAT reading! This really got through to me today. Thank you very much.
I'm sure the concept of detaching yourself from your mind would strike most people here in the US as illogical - we are what we think -no? Well, no. We are what we are. Our concious thoughts are a part of us, also our physical sensations, our emotional uprisings and then that separate something that gets carried from one life to the next.
After reading this I immediately flashed on the whole driving home and not remembering the trip thing. My mind is obviously still controlling my body to drive where I want to go, but I have detached. In my dreams I am sometimes living the story as myself, sometimes living the story as someone else, and sometimes watching the story from a detached place. All this helps to bring this home for me.
The next time I find myself walking along, playing out a conversation or interaction in my head as a way of controlling my world, I will try to remember to just detach. Just let it go. My only obligation is to breath, yes?
SK's post brings up a good point about the difficulty of achieving this kind of unabashed love. I mean, how can you possibly believe in the goodness of humans when you have seen so much fear, selfishness, anger, and cruelty?
Overcoming selfishness and letting your guard down is the only path to unabashed love-giving. Freely baring you heart and mind, opening the door to your conciousness, is the only way for the love to flow forth from your beautiful soul to the world.
So how? What can give me the courage to take that chance?
The only way I can look forth to each future moment with absolutely no plans to protect myself from the possiblility of harm from others and to love completely is to see each future moment with God in it. I must trust with full surety that the Great Creator Spirit has formed this physical and spiritual existance in such a way that my complete surrender will bring about my best possible outcome. I must trust that no matter how much I give away, Great Spirit will fill me with ever more to give. I must trust that even when my openess is met with cruelty, great good has still been achieved, both through me and for me.
I must see that the only way to fly is to jump out of the nest and risk falling; then believe, trust, jump, maybe fall for a space, and then soar.
As a society, we get off-track when we lose sight of REALITY. For example, over the last couple of decades, a large percentage of those who achieved the best scores in college took jobs in money management. Arguably, a money manager doesn't DO anything real. They do not invent, produce, or distribute goods. They don't provide a service other than to manipulate money. Since money is an artificial construct (albeit a necessary one) this allowed a disproportionate concentration of talent to be used in a non-real endeveaor. The results of this are now quite plain.
When it becomes more "economical" to waste than to conserve, when it makes "sense" to sacrifice the future for expediency in the present, when we accept damaging and illogical ideas as a result of an emphasis on non-reality based constructs, we doom ourselves to failure as a society and as a species.