One of the things I kept from my religious upbringing was a teaching that said “I give unto men correct principles that they may govern themselves.” Everything can work beautifully when we do not have to rely on others, the government, or laws to make us do the right thing. If each man was guided by a personal integrity that considered not only themselves but the whole of mankind, we would eliminate almost every problem we currently face.
But we don’t, and expecting every person to be evolved to that level is not practical and it has never happened, despite the awesome stories your grandparents tell about how much better everything was when they were a kid.
Throughout history, there has always been pretty much everything we see today. At times it was better hidden than today, but it was there. But our grandparents and to some extent my own generation did have something. We had the general consensus of “the village.” Continue reading
“I ache for shared silence, not the awkward lulls in conversation where we reach for something- anything- to cover the tension of trying to be with too much of the other and too little of ourselves, but the moments of fullness that let each of us unfold and know who we really are. I long for silences with another where there is nothing to forgive or explain or justify, where we agree to abandon quickly spoken words for a time so we do not abandon ourselves or each other, the silences where no one asks me to choose between belonging to myself and being with the world.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer
“In a healthy response to pain and fear, we establish awareness before it becomes anger. We can train ourselves to notice the gap between the moments of sense experience and the subsequent response. Because of the particle-like nature of consciousness, we can enter the space between instinct and action, between impulse and reaction. To do so we must learn to tolerate our pain and fear. This is not easy. As James Baldwin put it, “Most people discover that when hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with their own pain.” That’s why we start by paying attention to the small things, small pains and disappointments. When I start to get into an argument with my wife, if I pay attention I notice that I usually feel hurt or afraid. If I speak to her angrily, she will become defensive and the argument will grow. But if I’m mindful, I can talk about the hurt or fears instead of being lost in anger and blame. Then my wife becomes interested and concerned. Out of this a different and more honest conversation occurs.” Jack Kornfield
How I wish that I could explain to those I love, how wrong the world is. I wish I could go back and erase all the messages that I passed on, some intentional, but so many more that I just inadvertently taught out of my own weaknesses and fears. I wish I could redo it, putting more emphasis on embracing it all and releasing them from any sense of shame for simply being a human being.
The world tries to write our stories with its labels and limiting beliefs. We are too weak, we are not enough, we failed, we can’t, we shouldn’t. There is nothing that happens to us that we need to fear. We can face it. We can overcome it. We can heal. Continue reading
“Honesty is the secret of survival, and it minimizes nearly all the problems of life. The individual who is emotionally and mentally honest has a great deal more chance of being physically healthy. Because the disturbances of the emotions are what cause a great deal of sickness, almost all of the troubles that we have arise from the interference that we create between the levels of our own constitution. The mind betrays the heart, the heart betrays the health, and all these things fall into a common ruin.” Manly P. Hall
“Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…” Timothy Leary