July 29, 2020


Barbed Wire 09/03/2010 — Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, September 3, 2010
How do we know what is important?
How do we decide what matters
and what doesn't?
How do we know we are right?
What makes us think we are?
How often do we evaluate our evaluations?
Against what do we check our plumb?
The accuracy of our circle?
The squareness of our square?
We declare we are right,
How do we know that we are right?
How often do we even ask the question?



Lake Andrew Jackson 07/26/2020 08 — Andrew Jackson State Park, Lancaster County, South Carolina, July 26, 2020
How do we know what to do when?
Fear could guide us.
Or desire.
Or loathing,

We could live at the whim 
of emotional reactivity.


What do our emotions know?

Reason and logic have their place.


What guides them through their
carefully plotted deliberations?
How do they know what is best for us
or our situation?
"Best" in terms of what?
In light of what?

How good is the good
reason and logic call good?

"Well," they would say,
"If you want this,
here is the best path to that end!"


What does wanting know?
How do we know what to want?
How we know what we should want?
How do we want what we ought to want?

How do we know what needs to be done
without contriving our way to a future
where we have no business being?

Where do we belong?
How do we know?

We have to go all the way back
to who we are
to find out.

Carl Jung said,
"We are who we always have been--
and who we will be."

Living in ways that incarnate,
reveal and make known
who we are
in each situation as it arises,
regardless of contexts,
and circumstances
is being true to ourselves
and to our place in our life
throughout our life.

It is to work out the conflicts
and contradictions
between who we are 
and where we are
through negotiation and compromise,
adjustment and accommodation.

What do we need to be who we are,
where we are, 
when we are,
here and now?

It takes sitting quietly,
in stillness and silence,
to find the way
to The Way of Being Who We Are
Here and Now.

Wait for the mud to settle
and the water to clear.

Listen to your heart
(What makes your little heart
sing and dance?).
Listen to your stomach
(Those gut feelings).
Listen to your "bones"
(What you "know in your bones").
Listen to your nighttime dreams.

Ask the questions that beg to be asked.
Say the things that cry out to be said.
Reflect on the things 
that have always been true about you
over the full course of your life--
they will always be true about you.
What does that tell you about where and how
you need to be?
About where you belong,
and belong not?

Watch what you find yourself doing
directing yourself to what needs to be done.

See how your sense of direction
forms itself around,
and flows from,
the stillness and silence
of mindful walk-a-bouts.

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 and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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