Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Included

It seems that most of us feel that being included is important.  So when we "don't get the memo" we can experience the feeling of being on the outside and looking in.  I have found that when people don't include me it is most often because my having the information does not add to their happiness.  Say what?  First, they are not being malicious.  They are simply self-focused.  The same people that ignore me, will suddenly inform and include me when they need me to know something to make their lives go better.  You can test this out for yourself.  If it is so, then my getting angry at them or trying to get them to change, will make no difference in their actions, but will just frustrate me.  People don't change unless they have to for their own happiness.  But you say, "Oh no.  So and so changed to make me happy."  I suggest that they changed not so much because it would make you happy, but because your happiness made them happy.  Not all people are like this of course, but the ones that sometimes exclude and sometimes include you, are.  It is basic self-centeredness, and that is only cured by a spiritual solution.

Monday, May 22, 2017

St. Anthony

OK. You skeptics make fun of me and my belief that St. Anthony will help me find something.  Recently, I went out for a jog, for 50:00.  I started out with my key fob, costing three figures $$$, in my hand.  When I finished, no key fob.  Disaster.  Life in ruins.  Car parked miles from home.  Cell phone in car. Water in car.  I had to go back out onto the trail to painstakingly look for the key.  That day was the feast of the death of St. Anthony.  I asked him to find my key.  I asked God, to grant this in honor of St. Anthony.  I believed  I would find my key.  I thought maybe it might be on a cow gate I closed and chained out on the trail.  Eventually I got to the gate.  The key fob was sitting on top of a post of the gate.  A good and wise person, a graced person, did this for me.  I like being Catholic.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

God Belief

God is not an "object" of faith.  God is not a thing, and does not sit in a God house somewhere looking at all creation.  When Atheists say that they deny the existence of God, they generally mean that kind of God as a separate entity somewhere.  I don't negotiate with such a God, to come to me from wherever, heaven, and fix my life.  I have some sense of differentiation.  I am not God the same way that God is God, but I am not separate from God, ever.  God is not a thing.  God is more a verb.  God is energy, power, action, or as one writer said, God is Love.  God Is and is everywhere.  I am always plugged into this energy, but the switch is not always on.  Prayer and action such as love, compassion, and kindness, turn on the switch.  I am always in "bluetooth" connection with God.  Oh, did I just endorse Apple products?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Smoke Self

There is a path that will reveal to me and empower me to become all that I am meant to be, all that I am created to be.  But there is something that gets in the way and I call it the "smoke-self."  Smoke is what clouds or distorts our vision.  A fireplace that sends smoke into the room will blind us.  It would kill us unless we escape it.  The smoke-self is all our bad behaviors, habits that contribute to our shortchanging ourselves, blinding ourselves to our true path.  It can include jealousy, fear, false pride, gluttony, possessiveness, selfishness and such stuff that is hurtful to us and others.  These all energize us, but not in a good way. We all have some of this smoke-self, but we can keep it under control.  The spiritual life of prayer, meditation, is like the chimney.  It controls our smoke-self and directs it away from doing us damage.  Of course, smoke through the chimney will still pollute the air.  Bad habits, our dark side, even controlled, can still be damaging to the world around us.  So we seek to become smoke-free selves.  We never reach perfection, but we keep trying.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Compartments

Do we not tend to live our lives in compartments?  I have the professional compartment of my priesthood.  I reveal myself in a certain manner.  I show something of myself, but certainly not all of what is going on in my head or how I see myself.  Then there is the compartment of friends/personal relationships.  I will show a further or different part of myself in these circumstances.  Then there is the compartment of me the traveller, with a certain comportment or manner.  Then there is me the runner.  Finally, there is me in the privacy of my own life, where I bare my secrets to myself.  This is a way to live, but I think it has a certain loneliness or alienation to it.  I like places and people where I can be myself in all these compartments, at once.  I am often relieved when I can talk to some people about what my life used to be like, what happened in the change area of my life, and how it is now.  It is a simple format that allows me to just be me.  When I find that I am still accepted and loved, then there is no need of compartments.  The truth really does set us free.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Unique

I like to think of us as unique in our vocation, how we live out our lives creatively.  Uniqueness is for the big things.  Unfortunately, many of us think of ourselves as unique in the small things.  How so?  As in, "I am too unique and different to be equal to others in cleaning up after myself, helping out with chores, doing the daily mundane tasks that make life functional.  "I don't do housework, dishes, taking ou the trash, and so on."  I find that in the small but important everyday things, I am just one of many.  Sometimes I may even be unique in this area, if I am the only one who will clean up among a group who are obtuse, or "important, special, busy," to due these tasks.  Try living with priests who act like their mother is still taking care of the house.  Oops!  I spilled the beans.  You have us all on pedestals.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Not Included Stuff

Picking up on the blog of two days ago, why am I hurt when I feel "Not Included."  One of the reasons is that I assume that I am part of something and have been ignored by someone on the "team."  The reality is that I am often delusionally hopeful that I am part of something, when in fact I am not.  I have found that when I simply accept that I am not a part of something then I don't get so bent out of shape.  Now this "acceptance" stuff is a daily check in for me.  It is not a one time thing and then move on.  In sum, expectations always seem to come back to bite me.  It comes when my ego is too big, and my self-esteem is too little.  Wow, no wonder I get so weary.  I have so much to work on each day!