Order and purpose
Life has a certain order to it. In the morning I see a sunrise. In the evening I see a sunset. Sometimes the clouds get in the way of my view, and their rain brings water to the earth.
For this order to exist, each interconnected aspect serves some purpose. Sunlight brings energy. Nature provides sustenance. Etc. Etc.
As a human, I can find, make, and describe meaning, order, and purpose in myriad ways. The confusion of so many descriptions and stories has long clouded my awareness from seeing this simple 2 part truth:
- My life exists within some form of order, and I have the ability to create meaning;
therefore purpose is available to me if I choose it.
- My role in this life is never fully under my control nor fully comprehensible by my human mind, thus I will never fully understand my purpose.
Once you accept that you have an purpose beyond your understanding, would you be willing to spend a lifetime embodying and seeking that which you were made to be?
I'm down. Care to join me?
Fear and adversity
Without fear, I can not overcome fear.
Without sadness, I can not grieve loss.
Without shame, I can not set my own boundaries with full awareness.
Without guilt, I can not learn from my mistakes.
Without anger, I can not tell when I am at risk and when I am at peace.
The key is to fully feel and move into and through the feelings. Not to get stuck in them, but to invite and honor them so that they might transform from enemy to teacher.
Where in your life can you learn and grow through your feelings?
Austrian novelist, playwright, and poet Thomas Bernhard (February 9, 1931–February 12, 1989) once wrote,
“If we observe very carefully someone who is walking, we also know how he thinks. If we observe very carefully someone who is thinking, we know how he walks. If we observe most minutely someone walking over a fairly long period of time, we gradually come to know his way of thinking, the structure of his thought, just as we, if we observe someone over a fairly long period of time as to the way he thinks, we will gradually come to know how he walks… There is nothing more revealing than to see a thinking person walking, just as there is nothing more revealing than to see a walking person thinking… Walking and thinking are in a perpetual relationship that is based on trust.”
How do you walk? How do you think? Any opportunities for growth in either?
Meditate on work terms
I have a complex job, so I choose to set terms by which I operate. They are as follows:
- Show up as myself at work, present and authentic.
- Balance my roles as Father and provider.
- Consummate professional.
What terms might you work by in your life?
Fear, learning, truth, and illusion
What are you most afraid of?
When I'm afraid I tend to avoid my fear, so that I don't get too much of it at once. I'll carry my fear with me, but keep it away from my awareness because it scares me.
My toddler child taught me a profound lesson yesterday. When she is afraid she screams and cries. She fully feels her fear. I went to the bathroom and she was afraid I was gone forever. Her screams of “Daddy!” were heartbreaking, but they subsided once I came back out. By feeling her fear, she learned that the fear was attached to an illusion. She knows it was temporary, and is learning more and more that even though she can't see me I will be right back.
What if you felt your fear fully? What might you learn to be illusion and what might turn out to be true?
Growing up I heard many love stories, and most of them were about romance. Two people find one another somehow, perhaps encounter some difficulty, and eventually end up finding fulfillment in their emotional relationship with one another.
In becoming a father to a little human, I've realized that the love she and I share is more powerful than any romantic relationship I've ever had. Moreover, the commitment for a lifetime of love and dedication is effortless and infallible. I will always be her father, and she will always be my child.
This context of love has reminded and invited me to appreciate my own parents in ways I never have before. Their love has sometimes been shared in ways I would not have chosen, but nonetheless they have been, and always will be, my parents.
Feeling deeper into this unconditional love, I realize that I have a relationship with myself that I can choose to live out of love. I am me. I always have been and always will be. Talk about commitment!
What non-romantic love (familial, paternal, maternal, or otherwise) in your life might be worthy of a story book?
Smiling at strangers
Today on my morning drive to the office, a 30-something year old woman crossed the street in front of me. She wasn't crying, but even from a car length away and from the side; her face looked sad.
I immediately felt the inclination to smile at her and place my hand on my heart. I did so, knowing it might make me look crazy to the drive in the car next to me. The woman didn't turn or see my action.
A few seconds later, as this stranger walked past my car, I saw her lips turn slightly upward into a slight grin. Not a smile, and not even a full grin, but a slight grin. Coincidence? Interconnected emotional landscape? Medium-distance telepathic hug? I have no idea, but it sure did feel wonderful to see what woman's frown turn into a slight grin on my way to work.
Have you ever received joy from watching a stranger smile?
Energy of the Sun
I love sunlight. The warm touch of it on my skin, especially my face, makes me feel alive.
What a wonder that a ball of fire in space provides our planet with abundant energy to support myriad forms of life.
Whatever your faith practice may be, can awareness of the sun be an invitation to connect with source?
This morning I was out on my balcony, looking down at the busy streets below. I felt a sense of vibrant urgency, energy, and movement. I looked up at the expansive blue sky. I felt a sense of peace, abundance, and stillness.
Later in the day at work I found myself looking up at colleagues, white boards, and screens. I felt busy, productive, purposeful. When I was outside I looked down at the earth. I felt supported, grounded, and rooted.
When might you choose to look up?
When might you choose to look down?
“Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith could be revealed.”
We all have programming, rules, habits, and protocols by which we tend to live. I learned them from my parents, siblings, friends, classmates, ancestors, culture, economy, and society.
I realize how often I bury faith with my default settings. How often I live in my passive state of what I learned instead of claiming my freedom to have faith.
Where can you choose faith instead of momentum?