Today has been trying. I had to be at the eye center early for surgery to remove some cloudiness behind the lens. I used to be a morning person and I still get up early but I can’t get going easily. I just need some alone time in the morning to get my mind going. When I have to get going early I don’t sleep well the night before. So I didn’t sleep well. The bad part is that we have to drive to the Mayo Clinic for a check up tomorrow. Three hours there and three hours back. I’m not looking forward to that. Once we get going I will be fine. At least the drive is time to think.
This waiting to move is so hard. I feel as if I am living in a time warp. I know it will be past soon and I am looking forward to that. And “all will be well.”
Today I have decided that I am a grey person living in a black and white world. I don’t mean grey as a color but the middle ground between black and white. People are either on one side or the other. With race you are black or white…forget Native Americans (First nations), people whose skin is tan, brown, yellowish, reddish, half of one thing and half another. You are either one or the other.
I really wish we could all have our DNA tested to discover what different colors show up in our genes. Having been raised in the south I would be willing to be that I am a certain percentage black?/brown?. Who knows what else might show up. Could certainly be First Nations.
In politics there is also no grey. We are all being bombarded with negative information. I have only seen one positive commercial during this whole campaign. I was awed to see it.
I grew up in a grey world. People could talk without rancor. There could be actual discussions. Real debate. I didn’t watch the debate because I suspected how it would go. It wasn’t a debate but a diatribe by both men. We are being overcome by the negativity of things. Positive no longer applies. This is worrisome for me and my descendants. We have to revive the positive. There is a middle and we have to find it. It is imperative!
I have written and talked a lot about silence. In the book I’m reading I ran across this quote and agree so much with it.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
The only thing I would add to that is “in silence.” That might not have been necessary in Pascal’s time but today it would be.
It is critically important for us to take “down time.” Not just time to sit but time to sit with nothing else going on. It is easy to notice how difficult this is for people when in church you ask people to sit for a moment in silence. It doesn’t take long for the twitching to begin.
Our culture gives so little time for this kind of restfulness. There is almost always something to watch, listen to, or be distracted by. I have noticed that some school systems in the world are beginning to teach children how to sit quietly in a meditative way. What a wonderful thing. The current generations have great trouble with it.
I was an only child and had much time by myself to just be quiet and think. It has helped me to be able to do this. Everyone needs to learn!
Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling what it’s like to live inside somebody else’s skin. Frederick Buechner in “Wishful Thinking.”
Compassion is a wonderful thing. It helps us to be kind to others. It is a gift. To be able to understand what someone else is going through on a deep level can be enlightening.
There is also another side to compassion. One can feel the pain so deeply that they are too involved. We have to have the ability to know that although we understand we are not that person. Sometimes people who feel other’s pain very deeply are called “empaths.” Empaths often have trouble removing themselves from the situation. They become so involved that it may not help the other person and can be harmful to them. That is why Buechner calls it a “sometimes fatal capacity.”
This is one of those things for which we have to find balance. Compassion is needed for us to be loving people. But we do have to be able to discriminate between what is enough and what is too much? It can be a tricky thing to do.
I need to put up with two or three caterpillars if I want to get to know the butterflies.
The Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I love butterflies. They are so beautiful. But caterpillars….they are not ugly but they do love my parsley. They can strip all the plants in nothing flat. So because I love butterflies I let them knowing what good is to come.
This is true of so many things in life. We do have to work our way through the hard places to get to the good ones. Right now it is hard to see the end of this particular journey…both mine and the world’s. I do know that there is an end and there will be butterflies to come. I am just anxious to get there as everyone is. Hopefully it won’t be too long now before we can be with others and hug. We will be able to go to church and eat inside at a restaurant. The day is coming. Hold on to that.