Can you live in mystery?

Can you live in mystery? For me, advent is a season of mystery. It is about waiting…something that most of us don’t do well. It is also about not knowing. When we wait for a baby we have no idea what the outcome will be. The baby may be healthy or not…fussy or not….cute or not. We just don’t know.

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We also won’t know for years what that child will be like when an adult. We may do everything we can to raise him/her and it still may not work out. We live daily in mystery but we think we are in charge. We think we are in control.

im not in chargeI learned pretty early on that I am not in charge. Anyone who has suffered with illness or mental health issues has that hit home. We have learned that life is about living each day as it comes.

If we have learned how to cope with unknowing then we make adjustments and move on to the next day. Strangely enough this is not a bad thing. Those who have not learned about life’s mystery have difficulty when something goes out of their control.

So, don’t bemoan the trials you have had. Take the things you have learned and use them to your benefit. You will be able to tackle challenges better and recover faster than those who have never faced the unknown that shatters their belief.

stronger

Know this—your experiences have made you stronger. You can live in mystery.

3.2.1. Quote Me Challenge

I want to thank Damon Brewster  at https://my-journey-online.com for choosing me to participate in the 3.2.1. Quote Me Challenge. Check out his blog it is wonderful to read! His challenge word for me is: Peace

The Rules Of This Challenge Are As Follows:

Thank the Selector

Post 2 quotes for the dedicated topic of the day

Select 3 bloggers to take part in ‘3.2.1 Quote Me!’

And give them a topic/word

Note: Although this is the topic for today there is no specific deadline to it, meaning you can answer when you choose.

The topic I choose is

faith

This was not the first quote that came to mind but the one that has pulled me today.

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Gandhi and Martin Luther King really understood what peace means

 

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My three nominees are:

Eric, who writes so movingly about life in a different place at https://theuntamedplaces.com

Rachel, whose insights I look forward to seeing at https://rachelmankowitz.com

Lilly, whose kindness is so apparent,  at https://whitelillyweb.wordpress.com

Be sure to look at these blogs!

Be the “one”

elton johnWhen we look around us we see so many people suffering. I recently saw a map marked with all the mass shootings in the US in 2018 (so far). There were red dots showing up everywhere. The disturbing part for me is that we don’t hear about this sort of violence elsewhere. It may be there but I don’t remember hearing about it.

The violence we see every day leaves behind it a path of suffering. The people who died no longer suffer but those left behind do. Life changed for them in a second and will never be the same.

As I think about all of this I grieve for those remaining. Most of the time they have no real answers. The person they loved went to school or a party or a concert and suddenly they were in the midst of terror.

Thankfully I have not experienced losing someone I love to violence but in this climate we never know. The country seems to be falling apart from the inside. Abraham Lincoln said that as a country we would survive unless we self-destructed. It seems to be coming true.

exampleI am only one person but I am one. I can only do so much but I can do something. If each “one” would chose to live a life of love and compassion we could change things one person at a time.

We must each be the “one.”

So many questions..so few answers

quote-if-we-know-how-much-passive-violence-we-perpetrate-against-one-another-we-will-understand-mahatma-gandhi-86-66-56Once again the things that happen here in the US fascinate and appall me. Years ago when teaching about suicide one fact that usually made people think was that the suicide rate among survivors is higher than others. It seems that the message of suicide is that if you can’t cope this is a way out.

I am wondering if the same mindset is encouraging all these random shootings. Have they seen others do this and see it as a solution? Are these people really our to kill strangers to appease some mental aberration, or is it a wish for suicide by cop to end their pain? Quite a few have been soldiers with possible PTSD but why did their anguish lead to random shooting? Were they suffering a flash back and saw those people as the enemy? The sad part it that we will never know

so many questionsThere are so many question and so few answers. Since so many of the killers end up dead there is no one to ask. Some want to blame weapons and there may be a link but if you really want a gun you can get one. I don’t think there is any way to remove all the weapons entirely.

I wish that we knew what to do to end this violence with pain for the families killed and the shooters family. No one wins.

So many questions…so few answers.

Homeless home

Ozzys-Tent_MHOn my route to town I pass a colony of homeless people who have set up a camp underneath an overpass. There are tents there and open areas to congregate. There are trees and a forest-like setting. Basically they have formed a community. They have been there for a good while and are law abiding. The police don’t bother them and have actually helped at times. A porta-potty company has put and potty there which they empty at their own expense. An Episcopal priest has formed a church for them and most attend.

This is a thriving community. Most of them don’t work except for odd jobs. They don’t pander on the streets or beg.  Some of the churches in the area offer meals. On the whole they do ok.

Sticking together
community

Often I have heard people ask why these homeless don’t seek more that the community has to offer? Why they want to stay where they are? For the first time today I had an aha moment. They have found a place where they are understood and feel welcome. They are a bonded community. They help each other and form friendship. They are accepted.

I finally got it. I understand. They have found their safe place. It may seem a poor choice to us but to them it is a home. No wonder they don’t want to leave.

Ordinary?

powerOrdinary has gotten a bad rap. There is nothing wrong in being ordinary. It’s just that the word sounds so bland. If we consider ourselves ordinary we think we  fade into the background. No one notices us. We can feel that we don’t count.

Am I ordinary? In many ways I am. I lead what can be considered an ordinary life. I am middle class, bright enough, average looks…nothing unusual. At least that is one way to look at it.

For some of us ordinary could be a goal. If we struggle with being different, or at least see ourselves that way, ordinary could sound really good. Ordinary would look like everyone else…. the ability to fit in. And we struggle with not being able to. But we do fit in…just into our own place.

ordinary mysteryThe truth is we are all ordinary in the good sense. Each of us has a place in the world. Each of us has something to give to the world. Each of us is important. Each life doesn’t have to shout “see me! see me!” to have meaning. Just being who we are is extra-ordinary enough.

The person each of us is has a role. Each of us is a part of life. Each of us is really extra-ordinary. There will never be another you or another me. That is enough.

 

Do we really want to see?

We so often talk about knowing ourselves. We want to see ourselves and know our innermost thoughts and feelings. Most of the time I don’t think that we are ready to see ourselves fully. The truth would be too painful.

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I often think about this as standing in a bright light looking in a mirror. In the mirror we see our face unadorned. All the blemishes and flaws are totally revealed. If we see this most women are quick to add make up to cover what we see and make it acceptable to us. We hope that others will not see what we saw. The face we present to the world is different than the one in the mirror.

The same thing is true of us. We don’t really want to see all the flaws that would be revealed if we could really see what is inside. Our minds have doors that we don’t open. We say we want to see but we look without opening those doors.

contemplation

I wonder if this is part of the reason that contemplation/meditation is so difficult. Not only is it not part of our culture but it can be revealing. Sitting in silence and letting the unconscious be in charge can be scary. We may learn things we didn’t really want to know.

worth of love

The other side of the coin is that opening those doors and cleaning out those closets can bring us a peace that we can only imagine. We just have to be strong enough to accept what we find and let the ugliness drift away and hold on to the beauty. We will find beauty there as well and it can bring peace and help us to love ourselves.