It is good if something gnaws at your innards until you come to real terms with your potential.
The Divine, like a flea, may bite you somewhere to get your focus to shift
The Holy, like a good poem, may enter you and coax your mind…to wade out to more enticing, deeper internal waters.
I’m not a strong swimmer, but today I’ll risk it. If you see me waving my hand in distress from these deeper waters…just leave me there. It’ll all be good. And all manner of things shall be well. (As that wise woman – Julian of Norwich told me they would!)
The choice is yours and yours alone. You can either put your skills towards internal work or lose yourself to externals, which is to say, be a person of wisdom or following the common ways of the mediocre.
The Stoic philosophers continue to shape my world. Wisdom is wisdom, no matter the religious, philosophical or scientific school it emerges from. Personally, people like Ryan Holiday and his Daily Stoic team, along with this cracking little book by Ms Lebell, are sprinkling practical, earthy wisdom wherever they stumble.
I don’t think we can do anything very well in this world unless we practice it. We should work on our practice. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn’t easily done, especially for the person who has always been very materialistic or ego centred. But I think faith can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. That was not easy for me, and I assume that it is difficult for everyone else…
Dr Bob and the Good Oldtimers.
Practice. Last year, when I fell off the wagon for several months, I stopped my daily practices. I grew complacent, and from there, anxiety and fear came creeping in and before I knew it, I had fallen.
It’s reassuring to know my struggles, my sometimes troubled mind, my occasional doubts with faith are nothing new. It means I and others are in good company and it’s nothing to be concerned about.
In that case, time to walk the dog, smell the flowers and enjoy this stunning weather.
Yep, in those woe is me moments, it’s always comforting to know that so many that others before me have trod the same path.
We are never alone, even when we think we are. If we can’t find people to empathise with us, there are always books. History is filled with woe…and delight.
May we stay with the pain and frustrations of life long enough for them to teach us their lessons. Once that lesson is received however, may we continue on and do the work we know needs to be done. The good work of making this little planet and it’s people a tad better, one day at a time.
So yesterday, I met with my old employees following my resignation a year ago. The meeting was positive and I sensed we both were as honest as we could be. Now we retreat, reflect and decide where to next.
If something comes of the meeting, grand. If not, grand. Either way, I’ll be clearer on my next move.
I feel both parties could have said more. Would that have been helpful? I don’t know. I hear a lot of people almost demanding to have the opportunity to speak their mind, to be honest and state their feelings. Sometimes I honestly think it’s better that we don’t. Certainly not all of them. I know my ideas, feelings, interpretations of life change daily, often multiple times a day. I don’t feel we have to share every thought and emotion coursing through our body. I think that could be a disaster for many relationships and from what I’ve seen and heard, it often is. For me, it’s about learning the art of discernment to choose and apply our language, in the service of the greater good. How to best serve ‘The Republic’ as the ancient Greeks would say. I think I’m getting better but I still screw up most days.
I don’t know to be honest. The older I get, the less certain I am about most things. The more I tend to hold things lightly these days – ideas, opinions, thoughts and people. Parenting and relationships are a marvellous environment to consistently learn (and fail) about life. Those settings allow me to stumble, reflect, forgive, seek forgiveness, create, play and ultimately learn. My God, I never seem to stop learning!
Oh, to be flawed and human. I’ll continue to choose my language carefully and take responsibility for the things I say and don’t say. Particularly, language that will likely cause hurt for others.
On Monday I have a meeting with my old employees. The same business that I resigned from a year ago in immense frustration.
However, a year ago, the world was a very different place. It feels like a lifetime ago. I have changed considerably. A pandemic, unemployment, anxiety and of course, plunging back into drinking. What a year. At midday, we will sit and yarn about the possibility of my returning in a limited capacity.
The possible conversations that may unfold have been playing on my mind. I’m working diligently on ‘letting it go’ and surrendering the outcome. I’m working on going into the meeting with few expectations. I will try to be present one sentence at a time. They work at a frenetic pace. I do not. We see the world very differently in some respects. In others, we share much common ground. Who knows what will happen?
I suspect ‘my aversion’ may rear its ugly head at some point during the meeting. My task will be to stay with it and not flee. Not to shut down or make light of it or leave the meeting in anger, but to stay with it all, regardless of the outcome. It’ll all be over within an hour and then I’ll be clearer on what’s happening next. Which is exactly what I want – for us all to be clear.
So, thanks Mr Hesse. I’ll meditate on this saying as I pull into the car park on Monday.