Day 5 and Discipline

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.

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Here’s the thing

I have a friend who uses this phrase when she wants to make a particular point.  I think its supposed to make you stop and pay attention.  I just enjoy making fun of her for saying “here’s the thing”.

But, really, here’s the thing.  Since I have been writing about spirituality through inner peace, I have been feeling it.  My internal organs have relaxed, I have calmed down quite a bit, I have been able to feel that “thread” (as one reader called it) of peace that runs through my being which connects me with a spiritual spot inside that gives me great peace.  Nothing on the outside has changed.  The economical and family issues that were there before are still there.  But I am changing inside.  Not quickly, probably not permanently, but there is a gradual something going on.

Since I wrote of the definition (as I defined it and as Merriam-Webster did so), I have felt it in a way that has not previously been possible for me.

I think that because I have made my mind aware, and have planted the seed, and have sprouted the seed through writing (works for me, may not for you), I have begun to feel it.  I have internalized a feeling of comfort that has made my physical body feel better.  Much better in fact.  I feel so much better.

So, on day 4 of writing, what do I think about this feeling of peaceful existence that has sprouted so tenderly inside of me?  I think, first, that I must treat it like a new growth of soft grass.  I must care for it, think about when other things try to invade my thoughts, “water” it with love and be very very gentle.  I think in caring for it, I need to share it and myself.  I feel a safety in being me that I cannot recall since I was a very young girl.  Perhaps not even then.

This is confusing to me.  It may be as well to you.  But it is wonderfully confusing, and simply delightful.  I am very pleased to be here, and I plan on staying for as long as possible.  When I find my path has wandered away from this spot, I will seek the thread of peace inside of me, and I will find my way again.

I like this 40 days of spirituality.

Day 3 (fudged a little)

On day three, as I allowed my thoughts to meander on occasion about Peace and Spirituality, I was able to internalize more and more the understanding that it begins inside of me.  There is must resonate from – deepest most sacred spot in which I find I harbor elements of my guardian angel and feelings of compassion.

I was briefly tested yesterday twice in interactions with my son and a friend.  Was I going to allow others to dilute the peace inside of me, or could I maintain it and still forgive myself for doing so?  Because I had written of my new understanding of peace, I allowed myself to stay in that realm of comfort, and reminded myself that I am most happy when focused on my life.

I also accomplished quite a bit of my own goals.  I will keep considering Peace as it lives inside of me.

Peace to you.

40 Days of Spirituality

In response to a challenge from our minister, I am committed to writing of spirituality for 40 days.  In particular, focusing on peace.  Yesterday’s was hand-written.  I will try to keep the next 39 on the blog so I can be accountable.

Day 2.

On occasion, I see that people have ended emails or letters with the word “Peace”, then their name.  When I think about how that has made me feel in the pastl, I realize that I have never liked that ending.  For some reason, it has felt artificial or even faddish. After writing that,  I have to step back and wonder why I feel that way.  Why would “peace” feel bogus to me from a writer?  This has nothing to do with the person writing – it is a general feeling that comes from me.  What is it about that word which feels unacceptable or unbelievable?

How very odd.  Does this stem from my youth and my life at the edge of the hippie movement?  When people said or signaled “peace” and very few meant it?  When, more often than not, it was simply fad?  What does “Peace” truly mean to me and why my emotional response?

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary states the following definition of peace:

1 : a state of tranquillity or quiet: as a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom <a breach of the peace>
2 : freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3 : harmony in personal relations
4 a : a state or period of mutual concord between governments b : a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5 —used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell

— at peace : in a state of concord or tranquillity

Wow.  Numbers 1, 2, 3, and 5 are about individuals and relationships.  With the exception of 1:b, Peace doesn’t have to do with governments and countries.  It has to do with me.  And you.  And us as spiritual beings.  What is internal and felt.

Perhaps now I have a little better understanding of why I didn’t get it when the ending was “peace.”  I didn’t understand that peace is about the inside of a person.  It must begin within each of us.  We must find the harmony within to be steady without.  I always thought it had to do with lack of war.  But that is a lack mentality.  Peace mostly has to do with balance within.  I too often – I regularly –  allow the imbalance of others to affect my internal unity.  In my world, peace has usually had to begin with others for me to feel it, for it to be passed on to my being.  Thats backwards.  I get it now.

Peace.  The peace that passes all understanding.  I am definitely beginning to get it now.  The peace of the inside.  Balance, unity, coherence from your deepest internal spots, that most sacred inner being that some people call a soul.

Now I can say it, and even write it, and understand that the concept is so much larger than I imagined.  Peace – inside of me, inside of you, within us. That is where it must start to grow to become a larger phenomenon.  To become a household, community, state, country, government, and a world concept.  We have to have that for ourselves to spread it on to the globe at large.

Is peace possible in our world?  First, is it possible inside of me?  I will be thinking about it.  I will attempt to internalize it.

Peace to you.

Life mucks on with moldy lemons

Today I was reminded of the now.  The ever present now.  I read a blog entry that rocked me because it was so needed (www.zeninheels.wordpress.com).  How do I stay in the now?  How do I keep my focus about my life and what I need to do to accomplish those things that are important to me?  Must I tattoo the word “now” on my wrist so that I can see it every time I look at my watch?  Perhaps that is the answer – a new line of wristwatches that say “be in your now” on the face instead of giving time.

My child continues to struggle with addiction and depression.  Our business limps on and we will get another salary cut next week.  I battle the writing monster for my thesis daily, knowing that I must get this done in the next couple of months.  Two to be exact.  Those are the negatives.

Can I make lemonade here?  The business does continue.  I know that if I plan better (will I?) I can get the thesis done.  I am healthy and so is the vast majority of my family.  Cutting back is not the worst thing that could happen, and will teach me frugality and that I really have so much more than I need.  I want to learn that.  My son’s life truly is his, and the decisions he makes are his to do so.  I can say no to the overload and focus on my world by writing a daily list of things to accomplish or finish or choose not to do.  The choice is the importance.  If I decide – make a conscious decision to do or not – that is the difference.

Life is about now.  Not tomorrow, or next year, or last month, or yesterday.  I have to keep my eyes on the horizon, working toward and not away from.  Working consciously and not in reaction.  Considering and making decisions which will move me forward.

I think that sometimes it is just so hard.