Friday, June 20, 2008

Morning Chats 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. We came to have a genuine and abiding love for 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 rooms and wards of the hospital. When I have them in my care, they are stripped of all of their Roles, Stations, Titles, and Offices of life. When they are hospitalized, they are confronted with just ‘BE’-ing Who they are ... without any of their life’s previous trappings, honors, considerations, or privileges. And this is thrust upon them suddenly, and for the first time in their lives. 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, in an entirely new and alien experience, 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 naked individual who is 'Them.' And rarely do they 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 (with very rare exception), 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. For, you see, I adopted that "stripped of all of [life's] Roles, Stations, Titles, and Offices" role, many years ago. I have, quite intentionally, opted to 'Be' for the rest of my days, years, or decades (if genetic background has anything to say about it.) Hence I have known the amazing joys (and occasional pains) of living ... I mean 'really living' ... my life as the Being that I am created to be. I know satisfactions and fulfillments that no other of my acquaintance know. And I know anyone else who has had their daughter look them in the eye and declare "Dad, you are an embarrassment and a humiliation to me." as her way of illustrating her displeasure in my election to work a menial job (forsaking the 'ivory tower' corporate world of stock brokerage and financial planning that I had previously achieved some substantial successes in) that made me available to spend all of my week-day hours teaching, coaching, training, and enabling her brother to know life as a happy and contented young man ... who just happens to know the inconveniences of having cerebral palsy. So, you see, My Dear Reader, I am well acquainted with both the well-known world of 'mainstream life' with all of its accouterments ... and this (far less known) world of having minimal 'stuff' of life whilst having all of life's potential awarenesses as my hourly companions.

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 have this freedom 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.) 'Tis my charge to ring my little bell of attention gathering … and encourage all who go about me, DO-ing their life-stuff ...to take an instant's pause ... 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 your own personal, 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 your Self 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 a recent newspaper account, as a central awareness, and valuable life-tool, for none other than Oprah Winfrey. That individual/personal design, found and used by Ms Winfrey, 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 to serve you in learning about your own core desires, sources of happiness and fulfillment, natural abilities, inclinations, predispositions, and preferences. They are the “Keirsey, Temperament Sorter II”, and “Personality Page” (also listed on the side-bar of this blog.) I encourage you to invest a moment in your Self, and allow your Self (as You are so wondrously created) 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 the ‘Email Me’ address, 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




12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear John-Michael how I envy you BEing able to BE just YOU. Eventhough I choose to live very simply, I have to admit I'm not BEing me. Like Jerry I've given to others forever it seems. Thats a tough habit to break. Finding my true core of BEing me is elusive to me. You'd think by my age ME would not BE so difficult to locate.

John-Michael said...

My Dear Anonymous Friend. Life's Gift of Matthew (my son) was my enabling force. For, you see, Matt will never have all of the "accomplishments," titles, roles, and expectations of this world's norm to measure up to or be distracted by. So, I (in accepting my charge to equip him for as satisfying a life as possible) was forced to learn all about (or as much as I could learn about) this business of BEing. For that is the resource that Matt has...his Self. Hence, my focus became (and remains) on that singular Gift that is each of ours to be responsible for implementing and investing...or (as the scriptures illustrate) burying under a rock [for 'safekeeping' and fear of loss.]

I thank you for your open and warmly candid thoughts shared. I lovingly offer whatever I am able to share ... as a resource for your life-quest.

Namaste

lime said...

forgive me because i know this was not intended as the main point of this post but i am stuck back on the illustration of hospital patients being stripped of all life's accoutrements and the attendant sadness.

my experience in watching other patients and in being a patient myself is that not only is a patient stripped of all those external trappings but the system seeks to strip us of the BEing too, does not want to recognize us as unique individuals. we are stripped even of that and reduced to nothing but soulless charts listing diagnoses and treatments. "please we have a job to do here and if you muddle it with your individuality it slows us down. we know all we need to know by looking at your chart. we don't need to look in your eyes and see YOU. and we certainly don't need to bother with those who may come to see you."

lime said...

btw, i have encountered the individual nurse, doctors, whatever who are willing to see the individual beyond the chart but they are the exception in a system that does not encourage this.

John-Michael said...

Which is why you would LOVE Jerry, Dear Lime. He is that exceptional exception to the ordinary 'rule' who makes hope for humanity possible. Thusly we had a natural and wonderful bond of kinship that facilitated our early-morning exchanges.

Makes his observations and insights even more distinctly meritorious, don't you think?

Lovingly ...

San said...

So challenging to get down to BEing when it's really the most natural thing, to BE. So many things on the to-do list, so many masks to wear, so many deadlines and appointments.

Thank you for the dip into BEing. A post I put up this morning is a bit resonant with this. Funny the way we bloggers can be on the same page at the same time. Beautiful really.

John-Michael said...

Far fewer Voices encouraging us to Be. Many demanding that we wear the "mask" that meets their set of expectations and requirements. All too many wanting to know when they can expect us to satisfy those "deadlines and appointments." So easy to allow ourselves to become snared in the trap of concern over what "to-do" ... as opposed to WHO to BE. Yet, You, My Darling San, always manage to BE exactly WHO ministers to the needs of my very Soul. How very nice for Me ... and for all of those who I see you BEing the very same for. Lovely ... the way that you are so Loving!

And so easy to Love You, in return.

Sandra Ree said...

You are just beautiful, John-Michael. Beautiful. And I thank you for this blog. :)

John-Michael said...

Sandra, my Dear Friend (And isn't it just so lovely that we can know one another and accept one another as Friends with so short an acquaintance! Truly a Heavenly Gift.), How grateful I am for your kind and caring Spirit ... sent in the envelopment of gentle words. Thank You.

Lovingly ...

Classic Charm said...

John-Michael,
Your mind is beautiful! How lucky I am to have found you - you are such a wise wise man. Always fills my heart and soul to read your view on things. It always makes me want to get "back on track" with ME. Thanks again my friend.
Hugs,

Rose

John-Michael said...

"You," my Darling Rose, are a "track" well worth Being in tune with. All that You have revealed, of the wonderful Person You are, is a Gift that I would hope that You have a reverential appreciation for. I certainly do.

Loving You ...

The Middle Child said...

I didn't have time to read this whole post because I have two nine year olds bouncing off the walls. I did want to stop and say THANK YOU so much for your support on the photo contest! Also.... banana pudding... ummmm, my mom does that also, chicken and dumplings and banana pudding with real bananas and nilla wafers. Are you sure we aren't siblings? Ha! You have a rockin' mom as I do!

Please feel welcome to stop by my blog anytime. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Bekah

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