I generally haven’t done discipline very well when it comes to me. I certainly believe in it for others – it is the defining difference in many lives, and the breakpoint for others. If one cannot discipline oneself to do the necessary things in life (balance one’s checkbook or bank account, exercise regularly, sleep for enough hours each night, choose real food often, get one’s studies done on time, go to work, etc., etc.) then one must suffer the consequences.
Here I’m euphemistically using the pronoun “one” instead of “me”. A few of these things I’ve done well on, and a few others, I’ve fallen far short. As I continue on this 40 day quest to write of my spiritual center, I find the discipline necessary somewhat challenging to me. I don’t like to do anything every day – so this involves disciplining myself to do this daily writing.
With this idea of writing about spiritual peace inside of me, because I do think that is what the subject as thus far evolved to, I have felt tested each day. Tested in rather formidable ways.
Yesterday it was an email between my minister and my middle son (the one most like me sometimes), which created an instant fear in my gut. It jumped on me so hard that I literally broke into tears and fury. I need to add that my son does not attend the same fellowship as I so this was not a case of sharing with a like-minded person. He did identify himself as my son and he was responding to an article which was written publicly by my minister.
So what did this mean on my 4 and 1/2 days of peaceful spiritual thought? First, I was able to choose not to respond to either. I recognized on the part of my son that he was attempting to pull me into the debate, but it was not a debate I would choose.
However, with my minister’s response, I was taught a tremendously valuable lesson. With love and patience in his heart, he responded in a compassionate and caring way to allow my son to know that he was listening. He was really listening. But there indeed was no actual room for debate, because there was no common ground on which to stand at any point. In other words, for an argument to have some satisfaction, there must be some central point on which arguers agree so that from there, they can present their differences. Make sense? Sort of? It did to me.
I also found that bag of crap that I was still carrying around which was left from my relationship with my mother. That bag was filled with the information that if I treat someone in an allegedly poor way – someone who is somehow connected to her – and that person in turn dumps on her, then it is my fault. This happened to me over and over – I was blamed for the response (or lack of) from people who ignored/argued with/or treated my mother poorly. People with whom I may have had no contact. It had to be someone else’s fault when she was treated without respect. This was not an exact example of what was going on with my son and minister, but it felt very similar. Scared the petooty out of me.
I am trying to make sense of this myself – how this connects to my ongoing peace and spiritual center. I think that it had to do with feeling that I was being pushed out of that center by the threat of my son and a very good friend entering into an “argument” that I could see coming but couldn’t stop, and that somehow I would be the one to lose out.
And what I found out is this: that people I love can disagree and it doesn’t have to change my stance. I can stay firmly where I am and love them both without having the need to choose sides. Choosing sides really sucks, and prevents me from feeling free to love those whom I do love, but carry very different ideologies about life. I don’t have to agree with the ideologies of those I love. I don’t even have to argue if I don’t choose to.
Wow. Peace takes a lot of work some days.