Monday, June 27, 2016

Checkbook Ledger

The Mystery within...
I know some people who never balance their checkbook.  They just adjust and enter the banks ending balance each month.  I’m not in that camp.  Working to balance my checkbook every month is a spiritual exercise for I get to see how many different ways I can be wrong. It is humbling.

This past week I made a mistake with a friend and then compounded it in trying to “fix it.” I have a big soft eraser to correct my penciled entries in my checkbook ledger.  I wish I also had one to correct the mistakes I make in living.  But I may now be closer to understanding the spirituality of imperfection—how we learn to love one another and ourselves through mistakes made in living. 

What if it is the spirituality of imperfection that makes us more balanced?   

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thinking for Ourselves

The Mystery within...
Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meillor show, “Dealing with Conflicts Between Your Kids,” featured Myrna Shure, author of “Raising a Thinking Child,” and Sue Allen who organizes parenting classes to facilitate getting children involved with their own problem solving.  Although the discussion centered on younger children, the comment was made whether you are two or ninety-two we like to be able to think for ourselves in solving problems that affect us.  Both Shure’s and Allen’s writing and work left me hopeful for humanity since it teaches the very young to reflect on what they bump into in life and think about how they might react.

Most poignant for me was a mother who called in during the show with a tip for making summer vacation happier and more peaceful by giving her young children summer journals to record their feelings each day, both the good and not so good feelings, and found it helped them solve some of their own problems.  I thought it was such an outstanding suggestion I went out and bought six journals.  One for my daughter, son and his family all ranging in age from 9 to 51 years old and gave them as party favors at my oldest granddaughter’s 17th birthday dinner.  I put a note in each journal, which told a little bit about the radio program, and how I hoped they would give this a try and wrote the following suggestions for their 2016 summer journal:

--What feelings felt good in your day;

--What feelings didn’t feel good in your day and what you might do about it.

I also wrote it would highlight the good times, and help them figure out for themselves how they might react to the not so good times that are all part of life and learning.  I mentioned that I wrote for three years each day when a lot of stuff didn’t make me feel good and my writing helped me figure out what I could do about it.

“God Never Hurries” came out of those three years of writing along with making me a more empathetic woman who learned how to make life-giving decisions for myself.

Teilhard de Chardin was right about our humanity evolving from our ability to reflect back on ourselves.


“What if we all learned from reflecting and writing about the good and difficult in our days?”          

Monday, June 13, 2016

Let There Be Light

The Mystery within...

Moments of hope and beauty shone through the darkness of Orlando’s mass murders through the voices and words of New York City’s Gay Men’s Chorus performance on “Good Morning America.”  These words were particularly poignant for me:   



“We need some light….

Give me pain if that’s what’s real.
It’s the price we pay to feel.
The price of love is loss, but still we pay, we love anyway…

…There will be light.”

Also, poignant for me was the fact that the station had to cut off the ending of their tribute to get in the last commercial messages before the program signed off the air.  I am old enough to remember TV before deregulation.  TV was much better when regulated.  Government regulation has its place in America where it affects the quality of life for all Americans and especially where it affects the life of all Americans.

What if we asked ourselves if it is now time for a better way to live in America?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hopeful

The Mystery within...

I have been feeling hopeful this past week and it feels good.  These lines from Teilhard de Chardin’s prayer, “Above All Trust in the Slow Work of God,” have revisited me:

We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown,
something new.
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
by passing through some stages of instability
and that may take a very long time.

I was reminded of the Priest/Paleontologist’s prayer as I listen to Krista Tippitt’s On Being guests John Haidt, a Social Psychologist, and Melvin Konner, a Biological Anthropologist, as they discussed “Capitalism and Moral Evolution.”  Both are accustomed to taking the long view when it comes to human progress.  It was hopeful to hear the ironic truth that capitalism actually generates liberal values.  Also hopeful was hearing today’s exploitive nature of capitalism is generating a strong push to care for the other, our environment, and is helping us understand how deeply connected we are to everyone and everything.

My November 4, 2013 blog, “Life in a Pinball Machine,” featured the Evolutionary Biologist, David Sloan Wilson, who compared us to pinballs.  It fit with his definition that evolution is about randomness, differences and change.  It all has to do with how we react to what we bump into in life.  Exploitive capitalism could remain alive and well.  It all depends on how we react to it.  Instead of being fearful of the divisiveness that exists today it helps to look at it as an escalating struggle toward the betterment of all.  And that may take a very long time.

Hope is about struggle.  Even disasters were said to have the ability to bring out the best in us and create positive evolutionary change.  My memoire, “God Never Hurries,” tells of my personal struggle and evolution through caring for my mother with Alzheimer’s disease.  It led me to reflect on the challenges in each day, find my voice, and learn good self-care.


What if we all reflected on the challenges in each day, find our voice, and learn how to care for others as well as ourselves?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Offer It Up?

The Mystery within...
From God Never Hurries:  ‘Offer it up’ was a phrase I was taught early and reverted to throughout my life.  Now I wonder how many times I avoided addressing serious problems with those words?

* * *

Offering it up can be an evasive strategy to not address real problems.  But this weekend, as I walked the narrow winding path in the woods that gives me solace, I was reminded all truth is paradoxical, both/and, and so I did offer up a hurt and disappointment I was having a hard time shaking and it brought me real relief.

And that led me to the question of powerlessness and power, which is being addressed this week in Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation’s daily online meditations exploring the spirituality of Bill Wilson’s twelve-step program for alcoholics.  The deep paradoxical truth offered so far is the need to admit our powerlessness before we can realize our own individual power—the spirituality of imperfection—how we learn to love one another and ourselves.     

What if we all pondered the paradoxical nature of offering it up?