July 12, 2020

01

Skeleton Trees of Hunting Island 11/13/2017 36 — Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort County, South Carolina, November 13, 2017
We pay a price to be who we are.

Negotiation.
Compromise.
Adjustment.
Readjustment.
Steady companions along the way.

If we aren't going to be who we are,
who are we going to be?

We pay a price to not be who we are.

"All we ever wanted was smooth and easy!"
(An AA slogan)

Smooth and easy aren't so smooth and easy.

We bear the pain of being alive
one way or another--
consciously,
mindfully,
deliberately,
intentionally,
courageously,
or
unconsciously,
mindlessly,
accidentally,
unintentionally,
symptomatically.

It begins with taking the time 
to know who we are.
Everything else falls into place around that.

The Native American Vision Quest
was not about envisioning a future,
conjuring up a life-goal,
imagining a destination
(Understand this:
There is no destination!).

It was about seeing who we are.

The most important relationship
is our relationship with ourselves--
with our Self.
With our Original Self.
With The Face That Was Ours Before We Were Born.
With The Self Who Is The Source And Guardian
Of The Virtues,
Values,
Character
that define us,
guide us,
illumine us,
direct us
and accompany us
along The Way.

We are never alone,
but we live as though we are,
because we do not take the time
to know who we are.

Marianne Moore said,
"The cure for loneliness is solitude."

In solitude we meet who we are,
who we also are.

Carl Jung said,
"There is, in each of us,
another, whom we do not know."

The heart of every vision quest is the silence
that transports us 
from aloneness to solitude.

The silence is alive with moods and memories,
feelings and thoughts,
reflection,
recognition,
realization.

How long has it been
since you sat, 
still and quiet,
watching and waiting
for something to stir to life in the silence,
something that has been waiting all this time
for an audience with you?

This is the vision the quest seeks.

It is the vision of our own depth and potential--
the gifts, genius, daemon, qualities, virtues
that comprise our identity
and yearn to be incarnated, exhibited, expressed, made actual
and brought to life in the life we are living.

We carry within us the treasure of the gods
as a blessing to humankind
(That would be to one another,
and all others)
and is waiting to be born
in the way we live our life.

Even yet.
Even still.
Even now.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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