This new month of the new year, our threads are full of sayings about growth. Some say that to grow it will be hard. Others say that to grow just think good thoughts.
Both are true.
I love the broad reach of a sacred created universe that allows for multiple realities, and simultaneous truths.
So, lets go with our own today.
Your growth will be as you will.
If you need it to be hard, you can will that. If you need it to be sweet and easy, you can will that. You get to decide.
How Amy? How????
For the answer, let us now turn to nature. She is magnificent in her teachings. And her teachings most often point to dichotomies and multiplicities and overlapping truths that seem discordant.
So, it takes pressure and friction from water to create the fissures in the earth that become canyons and ditches. It takes an enormous push for an egg to come from the hen (I won’t post that picture, but you can see the video here. Amazing. Truly not for the feint of heart in this close up view). It takes forest fires to create the extreme heat needed for some dormant seeds to come to life.
And it takes the warm, passive reach of the sun to grow the grass, to deliver vitamin D, to change a mood.
Look back over your most personal periods of growth. Take into consideration all of the players: family members, lovers, self, teachers, children. Take into consideration the circumstances. Now, take into consideration the narratives, the stories, the presumptions that you enacted in the midst of the circumstance. What drama did you create out of choice?
That is a tough one. First appearances seem like we are finding blame. Our culture always wants someone to blame. Unless it is me. You. Ourselves. Then we want exceptions because we know the goodness inside of us, and the REASONS we did something. And surely we did not bring this calamity upon us. Surely not.
Surely we did. As you will.
We make choices everyday
- to stay in relationships that are over
- to remain in jobs that are dead end and drain us
- to participate in old behavior patterns between people
- to remain blind to truths
- to look the other way
- to not leave
- to not tell
- to blame another
- to point the viewpoint in the other direction with our little fingers
But, we are the creators of our lives. Sure, for those of us who believe in Sacred Source/God we trust that there is a bigger force impacting our day to day over our lifetimes. To those who believe in the potential of humanity without the need for an external godhead, there is a thought that life is what we make it.
But both parties would really like it to be someone elses fault when it comes to trouble in our lives.
But it is not. As you will.
Our life is for owning and releasing. Each tense drama is often made up from collections of small choices that we make knowingly or unknowingly. We determine the stories we will tell in the midst:
- I was abandoned as a child
- my sister hated me
- the kids picked on me
- she is prettier than me
- my spouse will leave me for a younger/prettier/stronger/richer/smarter person
- my boss will fire me if I stand up for myself
- I can’t afford to leave this soul sucking job because I have a house, car, clothes, lifestyle to pay for
- I have to control every aspect that is in front of me or someone might make a bad choice that I’ll have to live with
- I get sad at Christmas
- If I tell them how I truly feel, I’ll get hurt
- God will punish me if I ………
As you will.
Your life is your life. Not to control, but to live. Your life is your life that intersects with a thousand people and things you’ve drawn to you over time. So, it stands to reason that your growth will go exactly as you believe it must. Troublesome or graceful. Or a million other options.
What do you believe?
Here is a new year possibility.
Each day, make a conscious choice to choose differently. A different way to work, a different morning attitude, a different presumption about what some other person is going to do, a different and detached viewpoint on something that has been meaningful to you.
Let go of presumption, scripts, narratives…and see what happens.
Each day. Let something go that you believe can only be this one way. I think that what we’ll find is that nothing is as it seems. We’ll find that we are making things happen…even the very things we don’t want to happen.
Don’t believe you can leave that abusive spouse? Women do it every day and live.
Don’t believe you can move on to another church? People do it all the time for many reasons.
Don’t believe you can wake up/get up ready for the day? You have to pee, so you’ll get up…stay up.
Don’t believe you can approach your boss with requests for more respectful interactions and keep your job? The high road of maturity is sweetly filled with rarefied air.
Don’t believe if you lose your job because you stood up for your dignity that you’ll be able to make it? It will in fact likely be hard. But so was that conversation.
What is it that you are married to, wedded to a belief that life must roll out this way or that way? Make one change to your belief systems/myth making about your living, and see what happens.
Let’s get back to the initial question about growth coming via hard work or passive joy. What do you believe?
I know that in my own life, it took the extreme push of my kid’s health to create the space of ultimate questioning for me. I have also grown in such warmed up spaces that I didn’t even see it happening. So, in my own life, they both are true. I also know that it is true when I am passively living, a bit on the sleepy side, my life doesn’t do much. But opening my eyes can do it all. I also know that a whole lot of cosmic stuff is happening behind the portals of my eyes in the deep recesses of my being without my front-of-me self even knowing (and I love it when that stuff is ripe and falls into my cupped and waiting hands).
As you will.
In order to know what you will, you must be aware that you, we are sleepwalking to a certain degree. And we need to wake up.
But you don’t have to wake up. You can continue sleepily through your life, assuming culturally appointed norms as real, and silver plated narratives handed to you as your life’s meal for the day.
As you will.
As I will? I will continue in a mixture of growth that comes from clear moments of personal choice that slaps that gilded tray away and rewrites the menu, or I can say “oh, this is comfortable for now, I’ll take what you give me for now.” Maybe I’ll come back to it later, or maybe that thing is doing no harm as a norm in my life and I’ll tackle the bigger things.
I have currently been without a spiritual director for several months. I am relying on my own wits for reflection, and the help of friends. One choice I’ve made is the careful selection of those I entrust my reflections to. I don’t want just anyone giving me advise or suggestions or listening to me. No way. But I am missing that every 3 weeks connection to reflect out loud, hear what is within, and have a skilled and thoughtful unbiased listener hearing what I cannot yet hear and helping me clean out my ears.
As I will, I guess. I am picky, and I had a tremendously good spiritual director. I’m convinced that there isn’t someone out there that meet my standard. Guess what? I’m not finding anyone out there that meets my standard. So, I’m changing the paradigm. I want to find someone who will open the drawers of my soul that I haven’t even discovered that I have. Now, that is something to will. What will be pulled out? Oh the glorious mystery and discovery to come!
As I will. As you will.