Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Conversations with Jerry

I met Jerry as he walked his early-morning exercise route, which intersected with my early-morning newspaper delivery route. All of our conversations, over the years that we became good friends, were framed by the window of my vehicle as he walked (or paused for our more-involved discussions.) But within that frame and the confines of that time, we learned much about each other.

I learned that he was a Registered Nurse in a large regional hospital that provides care for military veterans. And with that experience as his point of reference, he commented one day “You know, when we talk about the difference between the ‘DO-ing’ stuff of life and the ‘BE-ing’ participation in life, I think about all of the many patients that I have in the wards of the hospital. They are stripped of all of their roles, stations, titles, and offices of life when they are hospitalized. And virtually all of them are confronted with just ‘BE’-ing who they are, without any of their life’s previous trappings, honors, considerations, or privileges, for the first time in their lives, when I have them in my care. They are all dressed the same, fed the same, housed the same, and treated the same as everyone else there.

And, in thinking about them in that light for the first time, I am aware of the common look of overwhelming un-readiness that they all have when, for the first time, they are either reduced to or elevated to (depending on your point of view) just being the person that they are. They have nothing to hide behind. They are simply that person who is Them. And rarely do any of them have any knowledge of or experience in how to BE who they are. Life is too far gone for them to have an opportunity to discover who they are as an individual soul… much less experience being that soul. And they are all sad. And it makes me sad for them.”

Now, My Dear Reader, I readily acknowledge the necessity of getting done all of the stuff that needs to be done in our world and in all of our lives. I am the first to confess that if the world adopted the mode of living that I chosen as my own, the results would be catastrophic. And, I am grateful for and appreciative of all of the different personalities and temperament types that, in fulfilling their individual gifts, make possible a world in which I am free to be Me. Which brings me to the responsibility that is mine (in fulfilling my role as the person that I am created to be) to ring the little bell of attention gathering… and encourage all who go about me, DO-ing their life-stuff, to honor that wondrous Being who is the core soul and identity of Themselves. I beg my world to allow an awareness of their individual uniqueness and particular qualities. I entreat all who will permit my voice an audience, to embrace and nurture their personhood and respectfully incorporate that Being into the doing of their daily activities. I encourage everyone to see who they eternally are, and celebrate the wonder of those traits that are theirs alone, in the enrichening of their personal world with… Them. Yes, Dear Friend… as I refer to ‘Them’… I am, specifically addressing ’You.’

For it is You, that you will give an accounting of your life to, when you are in that quiet moment of aloneness. It is your Self that is (even in this moment of your reading) aware of a stirring, at your core, to discover, identify, embrace, elevate, honor, and exercise all of the talents, desires, and abilities that are yours and yours alone. For we all know that there has never before been nor ever after will there be another… You. So, Dear One, I encourage you to discover… introduce yourself to… introduce your loved ones to… give to your world… You.

My own experience, with finding my Self, began with my discovery of that inner design that was recognized by the attentive awareness of figures such as Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle… and currently was written about in this past weekend’s newspapers, as a central awareness, and valuable life-tool, for none other than Oprah Winfrey. That design is easily defined and understood by using what is commonly known as the ‘Myers-Briggs Personality/Temperament Style.’ Though many of us have been exposed to this device at some past time or in some other setting, I encourage a fresh look… right now. I provide two resources (just to the right of where you are reading right now [on the blog]) to serve you in learning about your own core desires, sources of happiness and fulfillment, abilities, inclinations, predispositions, and preferences. They are links labeled “Keirsey, Temperament Sorter II”, and “Personality Page”. I encourage you to invest a moment in your Self, and allow your Self to be discovered. If you find that this first step in your adventure of Self discovery generates some vexation or question for you… I invite you to Email me (using one of the ‘Email Me’ links, also provided just to the right of this article [on the blog]), and I will, enthusiastically, give you any assistance or clarity that I can.

With my gratitude to Jerry for his stimulating conversations, wonderfully caring friendship, and delightful laughter… as well as my appreciation of you, My Dear Reader, I remain, as always...

Your faithful Friend and willing Servant, John-Michael

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