Friday, September 17, 2010

Seeing the Blossoms Amongst the Thorns

My thoughts, in March of 07 (when I first posted this bit) were on the confluence of four separate streams of truth, contributed by sources, both of today and many yesterdays. Here is what I said then (illustrated with images of a terribly inhospitable-looking plant which offers (if One notices) heavenly blossoms in the midst of its life-protecting 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,

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