Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Solutions

When people feel a suffering, discomfort, unease, negative sort of feeling, they come up with a solution.  Loneliness is a common enough discomfort.  Some people stumble upon a solution and others make a conscious effort to figure out what to do, in this case, relieve loneliness.  Most of these solutions have a shelf life.  One reason for the shelf life, or end point, is that we change, grow, evolve as years and circumstances pass.  If you married someone as the solution to loneliness, at some point it won't work anymore.  People change.  Loneliness does not change.  It got eclipsed by relationship, but eclipses end.  Now, someone who stumbles upon a solution, such as drinking or drugs, finds that loneliness goes away.  This solution has a downside, "more."  These people will need more of the solution as time goes on, and then there lives fall apart.  So now they have loneliness along with other miseries due to their addiction to their solution.  When the solutions fail to solve the "problem" I have found it best to seek advice from people who have been on the same non-working solution road but found a way to get off.  Such people have learned how to feel less lonely and less isolated, and have found what to do what such feelings or situations arise.  None of us are such geniuses that we have found a singular solution to the human condition.  Dead end solution roads have been well traveled.  I have found it best to not judge the solution advice of winners until I have first tried it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Stopping

Things I don't like seem to keep happening.  I try to think of something joyful that happened each day before I go to bed, so that I am not overwhelmed by things I don't like.  So if the world is not going to change much in my outside surroundings, then maybe I can change to be able to have more joy.  What would such change look like?  I think it would look like acceptance.  Why fight something that I cannot change?  Work on myself.  This is a spiritual path or practice.  With acceptance I might be able to pour some forgiveness and love into the empty vessels of hate, judgment, selfishness and mega-control.  This will take some sacrifice on my part.  A lot of misery comes from trying to get "more" or more than is necessary while giving up little or nothing.  Happiness is in the stopping.  Spiritual growth is to know what to stop and when.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Talking To Yourself

If you go to places where there are sermons, have you ever noticed how the preacher is not even remotely talking to where the people are at in their spiritual needs?  Why would this happen so often?  Well, the preacher may have a preconceived idea about the audience, that they are just like him in their interest.  Or the preacher may have an agenda, a message, that they want to get out, that they judge the people should hear.  The preacher may have made a judgment about the state of the listener, and confuses this judgment with a sense of knowledge about the listener.  In a nutshell, the preacher may be in a whole different place than the listener, but the preacher is clueless.  There is no effort to find out, from the people, what is their need.  The preacher decides what they need, such as a good kick in their deficient moral character.   I have seen preachers wax on and on to a group of way retired people, about abortion and birth control.  I get the idea that the only reading the preacher does is in something that supports their already formed idea of how things should be.  I get trashed for preaching stories, even fairy tales to children, to make my point, when another preacher thinks the same children should get a good dose of catechism.  So be it.  My criterion is to ask myself what will help the children to become more of who God made them to be?  God is in story.  Read the Bible.  Maybe I should just retire.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Immaculate Conception

Yesterday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  What is that?  Well, think of it this way.  If all the animals that eat, sting or poison one another, were to be gathered together in Mary's presence, they would all sit quietly together and not bother one another.  Why?  Before Adam and Eve, a Creation Story, had messed up by eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were in charge of the world and every living thing was at peace with one another.  There were no hassles, no pollution, no one animal attacking another out of hunger or turf wars.  Forests were not destroyed and so on.  Adam and Eve had not gone on any ego-power trips, or fallen into the temptation for "more."  Once they messed up, or "fell" the world got very messy and violent.  Animals began to eat one another into extinction and snakes bit to kill.  The way to survive was to destroy something.  Then along came Mary.  She was the first one, so the story goes, to exist just like Adam and Eve started out.  No sin.  She did not go on any ego trip for more of anything.  She actually gave things up, like her reputation, and almost her marriage.  She sacrificed so that the world might be a better place, even if she was not sure how this might happen.  She gave up of her normal, comfortable life, and took a chance on God.  Not so much Adam and Eve.  This is why the animals gathered around Mary are all at peace.  I wonder if they were in the stable when her baby was born?  The lion lies down with the lamb?  Read that somewhere.  I wonder if it works for nations, to all be gathered and at peace?  She is called The Queen of Peace for a reason.  I think I will just work on letting go, a little sacrifice of self, and see what happens around me.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Obsession

When I was growing up, and that took a long time, I grew physically and emotionally, but processed emotions as an infant, an emotional infant.  When I would say, "I instantly fell in love," what really was going on was "instant obsession."  I mixed up love with obsession.  I met people who acted the same toward me.  I guess like attracts like?  A sane person would know the difference between love and obsession.  I was not a sane person for quite a few years.  As someone said, I was an emotional infant walking around in an adult body.  As I began to gain some sanity, I realized how lonely I had been.  Loneliness, undiagnosed, can bring on obsessions with people and other stuff.  So the next time you fall instantly in love, check to see if this might be an obsession.  Don't trust your own answers.  You could be insane! Check with someone who you think is sane, maybe at peace and serene.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Idea Not The Belief

Someone said, and it is written in a book, "The idea of God works."  What?  So many of us reject any God help because we do not believe in God, or at least do not believe in a God who can help us.  But maybe the faith road is not so necessary.  Just the idea of God, even one who you don't believe in, might be able to help you to act better, less insane, less bad behavior.  The idea that there might be some sort of power can get us to ask, "If you are anywhere, I could use some help.  I am at the end of my rope."  You don't have to believe.  Simply act on the idea.  Faith is not necessary.  People have told me that it works for them.  People with addiction issues have used the "idea" and have had good results.  Miracles apparently don't need faith.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Know The Past

When we make a change in our lives, be it a move, job, marriage, living arrangements, we can only know the past, not the future.  For something to be future, it has to be the unknown, or else it is the same old, same old.  When you enter into marriage after being single, you know single.  You don’t know marriage.  It is On The Job Training.  When I moved to Chicago and away from my home in New York, I knew NY.  I did not know Chicago.  It was the same with the priesthood.  All my time in the seminary did not teach me all about the priesthood.  I had to say yes to it, and then learn.  The ego and the heart helps us make the leap.  The ego thinks it knows more than it does and the heart desires the change.  This would be in most marriages in the Western culture.  You desire the other person and think you know what it will be like.  Living together fools a lot of people.  Look at the statistics at who stays and who leaves after marriage.  I think it is a good idea to admit that I know little when I am making a change.  Isn’t it humbling to admit to yourself that you know nothing after you have made a decision to change something in your life? Humility might be the beginning of making something positive out of what feels a bit negative.  I have found this to be so in my vocation.