Friday, September 22, 2017

Both and Things

The Mystery within...
My posting to this blog has been inconsistent of late because I am finding it very difficult to write another book and also post regularly.  So some weeks I will slip in a draft reflection from my proposed new book titled, "Both and Things."  My August 27, 2017 post, "Diversity's Many Gifts," is a draft reflection from my new book.  Today I share my proposed draft Introduction. I welcome your comments and suggestions.  
  
"I remember like it was yesterday, the morning I heard the sentence that changed my life forever, but it was well over ten years ago.  I was walking from my bathroom into the kitchen where my radio was tuned to my favorite public station.  I don’t remember the program’s host, didn’t know who the guest was, or the subject being discussed. The host remarked, “Then it is a both and thing.”  To which a soothing, happy male voice responded, “Everything is a both and thing.”  His words ended the program and freed me almost beyond telling. 

I was in the middle of writing my first memoir, “God Never Hurries,” when I got stuck.  I knew the reason for that block.  It happened after I was returning from an errand to Home Depot and got behind a car with a bumper sticker that read, “Silence feeds abuse.”  Up until then I was non-specific about the abuse in my writing.  But that bumper sticker, and soothing male voice, led me to write the shortest, most specific, only three paragraphs long reflection that began, “Silence is a both/and thing.”  Those words freed me to question everything I had been taught and moved me forward from victim/survivor to working on thriving, which I now understand is a life-long endeavor.          

The silly notion of infallibility became even sillier.  Reflecting became a sacred act where I search for the Great Mystery, who is unbounded love, mercy and forgiveness; present in everything and everybody; and who invites me to also love without boundaries.  Being present to everyday life, and the natural world, became and remains school for my learning and growth.  Understanding I needed to love myself first was my biggest step forward and came from sitting with my pain and letting it teach me.  Freedom’s gift to choose liberated and led me to love, serve and forgive myself so I can then do likewise to all others. 

The evolutionary thoughts of the silenced priest and paleontologist, Teilhard de Chardin, saw us creatively thinking and acting together to become more human by moving toward unconditional love for one another.  Meaning systems that advance us toward this love begin with finding common ground and then learning to become comfortable with our differences. There is synergy and reciprocity in diversity.  Learning opportunities abound from a spacious open mind willing to integrate and learn from one another whether male or female, different ethnicities, or personality types.  Learning of the strengths and weaknesses of the nine enneagram personality types that highlight diverse spiritual strengths and weakness of individuals, of which I claim to be a One, was an important discovery for me.  Learning what I need to let go of and what I need to move toward to become more balanced and loving, gives my ego pause and helps me pull back and respect where another is coming from.

Everything is a both/and thing, including the heart.  Broken into shards of bitterness and hatred or broken open into compassion and forgiveness. This memoire shares some of my attempts to be open to the grace from it all to better understand how to love, serve and forgive others and myself.  

The poet Rumi understood the paradox of unconditional love.  Rumi’s “Guest House” challenges us to be the Great Mystery to one another." 

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Rumi

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