Friday, March 16, 2007

Thorns and Blossoms... In Balance

My thoughts today are the confluence of four separate streams of truth contributed by sources both of today and many yesterdays. I am grateful to Life for my conversation with SA wherein I offered something akin to “All you need do is BE available to the new and desired circumstances that Life will bring to your awareness.” Her response was “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.”

Then I was given the gift of a vehicle-to-vehicle visit (him, on his way to work… me, finishing my newspaper deliveries) with BLY and his offering of “It’s all good… all you have to do is find it.” He then smiled a knowing smile and added “There… that will give you something to ponder.” And I admitted, to him, that I would, indeed, ponder that thought (or, as he added further “That will be a new cud for you to chew.” as he smiled again and drove away toward his work place, and I continued on my newspaper delivery route.) Life was, once again, speaking through the insights and in the inspired voices of special lives in my world.

By the time that I had finished my delivery duties, I was certain of what I am obliged to offer to you, My Dear Reader, today. Four elements from four sources (two of whom I have already revealed.) The other two are the biblical psalmist, and Dr. Alfred Adler (both of whom I have quoted in previous messages to you.)

Beginning with SA’s “And I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.” I reflect on the imperatives that demand the attention of our minds and insist on the focus of our activities in our daily walk. These imperatives are (for the most part) forces that we are not even conscious of. They are instilled in and reinforced in us by the voices and pressures demanding our attention from our earliest moments of life. I liken them to life‘s “thorns.” These are the teachings and warnings of family, peers, significant others of all sorts and description (including the “voices“ blaring at us from all forms of the news and entertainment media)… all insisting that we conform, adhere, and mold ourselves to their perspectives on every element of our lives, if we want to stay safe from undesired consequences. These are the aspects that warn us of life’s threats and survival demands. But they have, as well, their own potential for inflicting emotional, physical, material, and even psychological harm if not balanced with an appreciation of, and an openness to life’s “blossoms”, or what BLY referred to as the “all good.”

But… and it is very big BUT, indeed… we need to pay heed to maintaining a healthy balance between our focus on life’s threats and requirements for defense, and an openness to all of life’s offered wonder, majesty, and beauty. For us to internalize the thorns to the exclusion of the blossoms… the “all good” of life… is to create an inner monster that will cripple and slowly devour us. I cannot count the number of individuals, who I have had opportunity to share life with, who have had themselves damaged, stunted, lamed, and/or (at the very least) hindered by the words and actions of significant others in their lives. Thus triggering the survival response of focusing solely on the threat of supposed thorns of self-worthlessness, inadequacy, incompetence or other limiting mind-traps that have made their lives a miserable succession of unhappy attempts to overcome imposed shackles. And they, in that state, are not “available” to the beauty and joy of the blossoms present in their lives. Those blossoms of talents, gifts, abilities, and personality traits that are right there all the while… but not in what Dr. Adler called “our realm of phenomenological awareness.”

What he refers to is… those phenomena that are the always-present “good” but do not even exist to our awareness when our focus is locked on the “thorn” which can become the entirety of our existence. Great is my joy when I can reveal a glimpse of the bloom to someone who has been languishing without a prior awareness of its presence. When I can awaken and expand the view of one who has been blinded by the thorn-meisters of their life.

So, I must slightly amend BLY’s thought to read, instead, “It’s all good… all you have to do is be available to it.” And… yes, the thorns… the details… the demands… the necessities of life are also good and proper in life’s balance. And therein lies the key… BALANCE. All that we know (and all that we have yet to discover) is created in a wonderful balance and with a glorious purpose. This I am absolutely certain of, Dear Friend. Thus, I can, once again, present the imperative of the Psalmist; “Be still… and know.”

Be still… and stop the repetition of behaviors that leave no opportunity for awareness of the new. Be still… and permit yourself the refreshment of discovery of the “all good” that has always been present… waiting for your acknowledgement and celebration. Still yourself… step off of the treadmill of habit, custom, and familiarity… and breathe in a fresh breath of the “all goodness” awaiting your appreciation and embracing. BLY is quite right… “It is all good.” SA is quite right… “I will not be available if I am busy with the old and undesirable.”

IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Jon Sullivan,


Denise said...

I so heartily agree....... before the beginning of this year i had spent almost three years rushing through life, filling it with things to do to prevent me from realising certain painful truths........ however this year i have made lots of space and acknowledged both the painful and the wonderful and dont feel stressed or hurt anymore because i have allowed myself to heal them and enjoy the simple pleasures that life affords us.... such as the sun shining, the love of family and great nights out with of course much more.....
may you have a happy and funfilled weekend
Dee xx

John-Michael said...

You delight and encourage me with your generous and candid response! I thank you, Denise, for your heart.

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