Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Larry (part two)
I know not what perceived “Burden” you carry today, My Friend. I have no knowledge of the “Impediments,” to your freedom, that are yours to bear. I do not speak to specific or even suspected challenges or frustrations that keep you from following your heart’s dream. Nor can I conjure any imagery of the Shadow of “if onlies” that accompany your daily walk. Your personal set of “unfair” circumstances is known only to you. And you are, most likely, disinclined to speak of them to even your most intimate of Friends … for fear of being seen as self-absorbed, selfish, self-centered, or some other label of “inappropriate” person.
But I could readily see and know the limitations that kept Larry from being all that even his fellow competitors were capable of being. And I was caught up in my own individual frustrations and dissatisfactions with the “unfairness” of his competition. He was the only person in that race who had a physical element of handicap limiting his ability to compete. All of the others were able to summon up the use of their legs. He was not. His legs just hung there. Dead weight. Useless appendages that served only to create drag and burden to his swim. It was patently unfair! And though I knew (at the intellectual and academic level) that he might not have a cognitive awareness (subject to his particular level of mental impairment) of the scope of the unfairness foisted upon him in placing him in direct competition with the others … I was frustrated and angry with the Organizers of the event, for what I decided was their corporate insensitivity to his individual circumstance. In the abstract, metaphorical sense … my Spirit was angry with Life for visiting an “unfair” set of circumstances on this vulnerable and helpless Creature. Thus, my Soul was primed for the Lessons.
First of those lessons was simply this “Larry is complete.” That’s all! Just that. Larry, and You, Dear Reader … and I … we all are complete. We have all … we are all … we are living all that is appropriate to balancing each of our individual formulae of living. His Yen was in perfect balance with his Yang. Our Ugly is in perfect proportion to our Beauty. His dead and uncooperative legs were in direct proportion to the strength of his upper body. Our Character has strength, in its depth and breadth of scope, which is in perfect balance to all of our life-impediments. His life experience was perfectly portrayed in all of its handicaps in balance with all of its joys … in That Moment. Yes! In that Moment, Larry was (to my awareness and with the interpretive whisper of Life’s loving and caring “still, small Voice” speaking to my Soul) a picture of what acceptance and celebration are all about. Larry was not mindful of his limitations in that Moment. He did not struggle with those frustrations and irritations that vexed him in his daily walk … as he compared himself (for I know, through my many years of walking with my Matthew, the realities of all of those plaguing questions and anxieties that accompany daily living as a person with handicaps) to the world around him. But in that moment … the purity of Life’s equation in balance was evident. And, in that moment … Larry was content … happy … jubilant … unfettered … and quite complete. “Live in the moment, John-Michael” was Life’s first lesson to me. “You are in balance … your life reflects the natural consequences of your choices, combined with your circumstances … all resting in the cradle of Life’s beautiful provision of eternal balance in Nature. It is all OK!”
Now! I ask that you please pay heed here, Darling Reader. For, you see, the lesson is not a stagnant one of finality and/or conclusion. Oh, no! For life is a dynamic, and ever-changing thing. Being Complete and in balance in The Moment does not, in any way or form, equate with being Finished. Larry was not a finished product. His life is not defined by what was Complete in that brief moment. Nor is ours. For, Dear One, we continually alter the “equation” of life with each breath that we take. And the unequivocal balancing and equalizing nature of life itself is constantly changing both sides of our individual life formulae. All governed by, and directly responsive to, our free-will choices. So, you see, in any instant … we are a Complete Package … and reflect the sum-total of our individual sets of “Causes and Effects” as they are played out in out ever-dynamic circumstances and choice-consequences. And, just as was true of Larry’s life-less and supposedly useless legs … all that is part of who we are in any moment … is a precious and valuable part of the totality of our Self. And is worthy of respect, honor, and acceptance. For, whatever it may look like in the eyes of others … in an instant of critical appraisal (or to our own critical eyes … in moment of private and secret reflection) each element of who we are … right now … is a rich and sacred aspect of that totality that is who we are. In that moment … and as we continue to evolve. We are, therefore, not a “Finished Product” until someone closes the lid on that box of this-life finality. Until that day … we are a perfectly balanced “Work in Progress.”
That is the first part of the Lesson taught to me, by Larry, that day. The "Individual" part. I will share the "Community" part in my next submission.
I thank You, Dear Friend, for your patient forbearance in my slow presentation of this work.
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