It’s all in the way you choose to see it!
Whenever I hear the word goodness I can’t help but think of Nana Rife. After braising or roasting she would say, “what’s left behind in the pan is all the goodness, and that’s what you use to make good gravy.”
It’s such a great reminder that even goodness can be found in the messy things of our life. As we scrap, pick, and stir all the good parts together we too are able to create a life full of rich goodness. It’s a matter of choice, I can see the mucky mess of the pan and dread the idea of cleaning it or I can choose to make something good out it. The funny thing is when we choose to see goodness instead of muck the difficult things break apart easier becoming softer until all the muck is smoothed out in our life. The proof is in the gravy for in using the goodness…the pan in turn becomes easier to clean.
“I am not young enough to know everything.”
We only know and understand to the extent of what we’ve learned in our lifetime. So, to look at another and expect them to understand something from our perspective is an unfair approach to take. Each and everyone one of us is doing the best we can with what we know and believe. Maybe a better approach to take then our expectations of others is simple to live our truth in the hope of being the best example we can be.
”Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
Today I want to say thank you to all the people in my life who have helped me to become the person I am today; for you have tended my garden well and helped to prune and weed out the things that no longer serve my better good. Where would we be without the people in our lives who help us grow and become the beautiful blossom we are called to be?
No matter what I’m going through in life there’s one simple prayer I know I can turn to that gives me a sense of guidance, clarity, and strength to follow through with.
It’s the Serenity prayer:
”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
What a beautiful day. I sat on the deck this morning. As I quiet myself for my devotional time, I hear the various birds chirping from every direction. I realize how much I take them for granted. I hear them everyday, but not really hearing them at all most of the time. Today though, it sounded like music, setting the tone of my daily ritual.
Taking in more of natures gifts, I smell the lavender in my garden, adding to my relaxing peaceful moment. Than I take notice of my curly willow tree and how fast it’s grown in just a few years. It looks like messy head of hair all knotted and tangled. The real beauty of this tree lies beneath its leaves. I don’t care that it’s not the greatest looking tree. It provides the privacy we want, and I know the beauty that lies beneath the leaves. A work of art to look forward to in the dead of winter. I’m reminded of how nature always has a way of teaching us the lessons of life.
I did my daily reading, prayer and meditation. However, nothing spoke as profoundly to me as being in the moment among Gods creations giving all I heard, saw and smelled the recognition each deserves. And I am left with a sense grace and gratitude.
I was walking along my path of life on this cold autumn morning. The sun shinning brightly down on me warmed my cold bones. Deep in thought I looked up and stopped in my tracts to marvel at the intricate woven lace of a spider web sparkling in the sunlight. Each thread interwoven just as we weave our own life. It reminds me of something I once read about the golden thread of Divinity that runs through each of us connecting one to the other. Like the spider who creates a beautiful lacy web, we can spin and weave a beautiful tapestry of our own life with the golden thread that exist within each of us. Like the spider who doesn’t have to think about how to do it, neither do we, it will simple become what we put into it.
”And the day came when risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
We are like a rose bush full of many buds each one having a new lesson to teach us. Sometimes the lesson within one bud is more comfortable to open up to than the bigger harder lessons that come along. Letting go requires the trust for something better. Resisting only causes pain, suffering and discontent. Sometimes that pain becomes so overwhelming that the only thing left to do is let go and use it to grow into something better. It’s all about choice. Do I want to be a bud that never grows or a Rose in full bloom?
“Divine Guidance is yours for the asking. It is not enough merely to know that Divine Guidance exists – you must use it.” – Ernest Holmes
“This Thing Called You” pg 63.
Sometimes using Divine Guidance means we have to get out of our own way long enough to ask for it. We find ourselves in situations we have no control over or have a sense that everything we’re doing is going against the grain of who we really are. While we’re busy trying to do what we think is best we can lose sight of the actual direction we should go. The beauty of God and his Divine Guidence is that it’s always there waiting for us to turn to it and…simple ask.
It’s amazing how clarity comes once we do and nothing seems as bad as we thought it was. It’s that Divine Guidance that brings me into the now and reminds me that all that matter is where I find myself in each moment and it’s a funny thing…because those moments feel like a lifetime when I’m in them.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” -Pema Chodron
I love painting pictures with my words. It starts when I’m trying to figure something out. I visualize what I’m thinking in an animated or metaphoric way that helps me make sense of it. So, what is my carpet bag of baggage?
It’s a rug big enough to fit all the stuff I’ve collect along the various journeys of my-life. It’s an ugly carpet, full of untruths, most of them having to do with my self-esteem. It’s all tied together with the black rope of fear. I’m so used to carrying it around that I don’t even feel how much it’s weighing me down most of the time. It’s in those moments when I’m paying attention to life that it falls off my shoulder. It’s a wonderful feeling as if I’ve sucked in some helium and I’m floating right above the ground. And I wonder why it can’t be like this all the time.
When the black rope of fear sees me happy it starts to untie itself around the carpet. Moving like a snake. Fear knows I’m afraid of snakes. It’s the way it gets my attention. As the carpet bag begins to slowly open all the dreadful demeaning voices jump around shouting me, me, me pick me. All it takes is for me to believe one demeaning thought of worthiness, and I’ll find myself standing upon the rug that fear uses, to pull the joy right out from under me.
But I’m seeing a little clearer now. They say, you have to see what needs changed, before you can change it. As the quote says about, “nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” I’m learning one thing for sure, that as big as fear looks, what lies on the other side of it is majestic.
Today I went back to place I lived in Philadelphia. I haven’t seen since the day I ran away in 1968. That’s 50 years ago. It was an institution in Philadelphia called Stenton Child Center. My younger sister and I were supposed to feel fortunate that we were in such a nice place. Most of the places the state provided for abandon children were pretty run down. There is no place on earth that could be better than being with your own family no matter how difficult things are at home.
I didn’t know how I would react when I actually saw it. As we began to approach I felt only a moment panic, that quickly turned to curiosity. I couldn’t believe how much it looked the same after all these years. The memories so fresh in my mind and stories yet to tell. I couldn’t go inside because it’s now a shelter for homeless families, but I was okay with that because I felt like the monster it represented in my mind for so many years no longer had a hold on me.
On my way home I wondered about how this applies to what I wrote about yesterday in relation to place of shifting I find myself. Of all the different places I’ve been, this was by far the worst ground I’d ever worked in my life. But it’s also yielded the most growth in my life. It was a time of planting, growing, and nurturing. It was full of many cultivating opportunities that could have yielded many weeds, but instead continues to teach and bear much fruit.
I am not only in the winter of the season, but nature teaches another lesson in my life, that I am in the winter of my shifting cultivation. A time to rest, re-evaluate, contemplate, let go and chill out on a icebergs going with the rivers flow.