Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blossoms within Thorns

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. Right?” And she was, of course, quite right.

Then I was given the gift (recently) 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 those 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 voices (often well-intentioned and genuinely caring) demanding our attention. From our earliest moments of life we have concerned individuals warning us against (what could be) threats to our 'success' in life. Voices of family, peers, significant others of all sorts and description. All insisting that we conform, adhere, and mold ourselves to their perspectives on every element of our lives. For they have the "experience" and know what is "Best" for us. I liken them to the thorns of life. Those aspects, of our daily existence, that warn us of life’s threats and survival demands … but have, as well, their own potential for inflicting emotional, physical, material (and even psychological) harm if not balanced with what BLY referred to as the “all good.” Those traits, idiosyncratic gifts and unique talents that are Life's Gift to our individuality. (And, please note, I do not discount the element of necessity to hearing and respecting these voices … to ignore the “thorns” of life [those potential 'pit-falls' of bad habits and practices] and would be nothing short of foolhardy. Thorns are, by their very nature and design, early warning systems and defense mechanisms necessary to survival. But they are NOT the Mission of the Plant.)

For, My Darling Reader, to internalize the thorns to the exclusion of 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's walk 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 their survival responses of focusing solely on the threat of supposed thorns of inadequacy, self-worthlessness, incompetence or other limiting mind-traps. This produces a constant fear of, and attention to avoidance of, these sets of perceived flaws. Thus making their lives a miserable succession of unhappy attempts to overcome self-imposed shackles of Self denial and devaluation. And they, in that state, are not “available” to the beauty and joy of the other presence in their lives. The Presence that has shared their living moments ... unseen and even unsuspected. The Blossoms that are their unrealized Glory. And The Blossom is the purpose of that 'Plant' in Life's 'garden,' that is ... us!

Those blossoms of talents, gifts, abilities, and personality traits that are right there all the while … but have not entered into what Dr. Adler called “our realm of phenomenological awareness.” That is to say … those phenomena that are the always-present “good” do not even exist to our awareness when our focus is locked on the “thorn” which becomes the entirety of our existence. Great is my joy when I can reveal a glimpse of their Bloom to someone who has been languishing without a prior awareness of its presence. When I can awaken and expand the view of One whose vision has been blinded by the thorn-meisters in 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.” Please stop the repetition of behaviors that leave no opportunity for awareness of the new. Please permit yourself the refreshment of discovery of the “all good” that has always been present … waiting for your acknowledgment and celebration. Those undiscovered or unrealized talents ... your own abilities to 'see' life differently ... and communicate that fresh perspective to your personal world ... those who are hungry for what you ... and only you have to offer. 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. Give your Self the gift of the complete You. 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.” May YOU be available to that better Self ... just waiting within your Person ... for recognition.


IMAGES through the gracious courtesy of Jon Sullivan,


Suldog said...

"Be still... and know"

Always a lovely thing to do!

Thanks for your loving reminders to pay attention to what truly matters, John-Michael.

aims said...

Dearest Friend - Your words of wisdom always touch me deeply and I thank you for that.

Thank you so much for your love and caring. You are a treasure!

John-Michael said...

That tiny biblical reference allowed me to stop years of frantic searching for answers ... and allow my Muse to make sense of all that I had already accumulated to my awareness, my Dear and loved Friend, Jim 'SulDog' Sullivan. And that You, Dear Sir, appreciate the simple, untarnished wisdom in it as well, does not surprise me at all.

I am so grateful for the gift of our shared kinship in respect and spirit, Jim. I do love You!

John-Michael said...

Aims, my Dearest of Sweet Hearts, from You, these words are a blessing that my spirit is humbled by and grateful for. You have revealed a depth of character and breadth of caring generosity that is You. And am honored to be known to you as "Dearest Friend."

I love You!

Vi said...

I'm trying my best my love!

John-Michael said...

My Darling Vi, because I have been listening to and watching with loving admiration your courageous and determined struggles to BE all that you sense that you are capable of BEing. I want to offer these 2 quotes that have served me in my personal struggles. They are solid truth, You can count on their foundation in fact. (both by Leo F. Buscaglia)

“The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position.”

But because "other people" WILL want you to be what THEY want ... he says ...

“The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.”

He's RIGHT! Fight the fight my Precious Friend. YOU are SO worth it!

I love YOU ... YOU ...just the YOU who is YOU! (and I admire and respect the hell out of YOU as well!)

Jules~ said...

I sat down to visit with you this afternoon and I so enjoyed our talk. As you began pointing out the validity in both the flower and the thorn, it brought to my mind a thought that entered my head last night. I had been thinking about the external things in life, taking care of others...missions work, feeding the homeless, loving the world's unlovable, taking care of people in general...and I thought how easy it would be to submerge completely into that mode and never stop.
The opposite voice in my head said, oh you do plenty. You should consentrate on your walks. Take in the beauty around you and fill yourself up. You must take care of yourself you know.
Gosh that could be easy to do as well.
Hmmm, this visual flower...which is the blossom and which is the thorn?
You were right in saying it does take balance. Each can be the blossom and each can be the thorn if left to their own ways.

Thank you for once again putting emotion and thought into word.

John-Michael said...

My Darling Jules~, there are times (with some frequency) when I have failed to replenish "the well" and have gone, yet again, to it to draw something for the succor of another ... only to find the uncared for well dry. A period of 'forced' restoration of emotional, mental, spiritual, and yes ... even physical resources is then demanded.

So, you see, My precious One, a balanced and properly managed oversight of our complete lives is our very best asset in enjoying a pleasurable and beneficial life.

And I am so glad that you have welcomed my thoughts into your recipe for your preparation of Life's menu for your sustenance. This is an honor and I thank you for your trust. I will do my best to keep all of my offerings fresh and of my best fruits.

Loving You ...

jillie said...

L O V E another four letter word! What a beautiful always!

Isn't it amazing that something so beautiful can be so piercing. The irony in those pictures is almost like life itself.


aims said...

Thank you. The generosity of your heart and spirit is the kindest gift you give to us all.

Classic Charm said...

I've come to see you but really haven't had time to comment as I've checked in on you from my office, or on the run as I tend to my busy life. But today my dear friend I dropped my off at dialysis this morning, and so I didn't go back to sleep, instead I updated my blog, and visited a few friends.

BUT, you spoke to me this morning with this entry....oh how I needed to read this, that I didn't know existed, until you pointed it out. You see, I have a lot of envy in my life, that's what mom tells me it is because I don't understand it. Some of my family makes hurtful comments about my home, even knowing that I love decorating and changing, and that brings happiness to my being. Yet I have some family members that come into my home and feel the need to criticize what I do. I dwell on it, and it's hurtful, and I sometimes can't get passed it. They make me doubt my choices, and it's very hard. Hard to ignore those THORNS. At least this is how I interpret this entry, hope I'm on the right page with you.
As always....this entry has brought much needed peace.

John-Michael said...

My Darling Rose,, if you and I were having a cup of (obscenely rich and decadent) coffee this morning, I would offer this bit of advice (with a smile of playful 'this will be fun' on my face):

"Humor!" That's what will make the 'envious whoever' problem 'cope-able.' If you can simply look at those self-indulgent (for that is what they are doing ... indulging themselves in childish and unloving behavior) relatives, and say (with a genuinely playful and silly (for 'silly' is what they are really being) smile on your face "Well bless your silly little heart ... I do respect and endorse your divine right to be TOTALLY wrong. And I hope that you will return the courtesy." (another smile)

Don't take these foolish and frivolous people seriously. They REALLY do not deserve that much consideration.

I admire and love YOU so!

John-Michael said...

Jillie ... You are such a complete delight to my Soul! "L O V E" is a "four letter word" that applies each time that my mind enjoys a thought of You. The 'YOU' that is revealed in your articles ... and comments shared, is ... simply delectable! And I am pleased with and grateful for our growing knowledge of each other.


John-Michael said...

I offer "NAMASTE" when you visit, Sweet Aims, for my Spirit does, indeed "bow in honor of, and respect for, the Spirit that dwells, so beautifully, in YOU"

tati said...

"Thus triggering their survival responses of focusing solely on the threat of supposed thorns of inadequacy, self-worthlessness, incompetence or other limiting mind-traps"

Well-put. how much time and energy - and ME - I waste focusing on the thorns. Thinking that the thorns overpower the bloom.

John-Michael said...

What started me thinking on this, Tati, My Friend, was a number of Friends who were expending all manner of energies in their efforts to 'prove' (to some 'ghost voice' from their past) that they are not as they have been told they are. (Hence their 'thorns.')

And all of that wasted time and effort could be invested in harvesting their obvious (to a caring observer) 'Blossoms' in 'bouquets' that would satisfy and bring joyful fulfillment.

My labours in this quest are ongoing on many fronts. I do hope that this piece makes some headway in achieving an awareness for those who have the desire for such an awakening.

You sharing in this moment with me makes it far more satisfactory. For, your spiritual company is a valued gift. I love You.

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