October 31, 2020

05

Hickory Tree 01 10/24/2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
We can expect/demand too much of our life.
Lowering our standards
can improve things immensely.
Giving life a break,
cutting life some slack,
giving life a fresh start,
with fewer shoulds-oughts-musts
to deal with
would be a good move.

Life has a hard job.
Seeing that a world full of people
are pleased with their context
and circumstances
would wear anyone down.

"It's not fair!"
How many times does life hear that 
in a day?
and "Why ME?"

Life could use a holiday.
A day with no moaning,
complaining,
whining,
remonstrating,
sighing,
pouting,
slamming doors
or throwing the car keys...

Maybe we could take life to lunch
and talk about all the things 
we like about the way things are.
A little compassion for life,
isn't asking too much,
given the amount of heat life takes
on an average day.

–0–

04

Trekker Loop 04 10/22/2020 –Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Our life is a compromise among competing,
contrary,
contradictory,
opposing,
forces/interests--
and we have to work things out
moment-by-moment.

It is our place in our life.
Our role to fill.
Our part to act.

We integrate the polarities
and maintain the tension
among those that cannot be integrated.

We make it work
as well as it can work,
within the givens
and the needs
converging and clashing
in each here and now,
choosing from among our choices
and determining 
where we go from here, now.

How well we do that
tells the tale.

It helps if we have no interests
of our own to serve,
but only the true good of the whole,
with all things taken into account
from all sides
on every dimension,
and everything riding on the outcome.

–0–

03

22-Acre Woods 07 10/15/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
Trust yourself to your life!
Do not strive to force it to be
what it has no business being!

All of our problems 
are brought on 
by willing what cannot be willed.
By trying to have what doesn't belong
in our life.
By trying to get rid of what does belong.
By having no idea
of the destiny that is ours to live,
and no interest in fulfilling a destiny
that isn't what we wish it were.

We cannot dial up "Happy."
We cannot arrange "Meaningful."
We cannot produce "Perfection."

The harder we work to arrange 
the life of our dreams,
the further we drift 
from the life 
that is our life to live.

We get back to the beam
by stopping, looking, listening,
seeing, hearing, knowing, understanding,
realizing, perceiving, awakening,
and changing our relationship
with our life.

We are not the director.
The choreographer.
The conductor.
The One In Charge.
We are a liege servant
pledging filial loyalty 
and allegiance 
to The One Who Knows within.

How do we know what The One Who Knows knows
is the question that defines,
forms
and shapes our life
from this time forth
and forevermore.

We start by trusting ourselves to our life,
and allowing instinct and intuition
to lead the way
moment-by-moment,
sensing what is called for
and doing what needs to be done
with sincerity
and spontaneity--
and without contrivance--
and seeing where it goes.

Like the wind that blows where it will,
we do not know what we will be doing next.
Ours is but to live with the wind in our hair,
enjoying the ride! 

–0–

02

Lake Crandall 10 10/22/2020 — Anne Springs Close Greenway, Adventure Road Access, Fort Mill South Carolina
Is this the best we can do?
If not, why not?
If so, who are we kidding?

What would it mean to do better?
Be better?
Get better?

What would constitute improvement?
What is keeping us from improving?

What is our idea of who we need to be?
What do we need?

I think we have no idea of who we need to be.
No idea of what we need.
And, we get in our way
of our getting better
by having ideas of what better would be.

If we only sit down and shut up,
our life will do the rest,
delivering us into the next thing we need
at exactly the right time,
shocking us with its precision
and its idea of what we need to do
to be who we need to be.

We are on a journey 
that can be completed
by realizing we don't know where we are going
and it is never going to end--
which relieves us of all responsibility
except that of looking and listening,
and and being right 
about what is being called for,
and doing it
in each situation as it arises,
without worrying about where it is going.

Show up moment-by-moment-by-moment.
Pay attention to what has heart and meaning.
Speak the truth with compassion,
and without judgment.
Do what needs to be done
with no attachment to the outcome,
and nothing at stake,
nothing to gain and nothing to lose.
And don't take anything
more seriously than it deserves.

These are things anybody can do
at any stage of life,
regardless of conditions,
context
or circumstances,
allowing their life 
to take it from there.

–0–

01

Goodale 18 11/04/2018 Panorama — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
My idea of the Anima
has nothing to do with sex
and everything to do with life.

I am to be the best woman
I am capable of being,
and must be in order to be fully alive.

I cannot be the best man
I am capable of being
until I can be the best woman
I am capable of being.

I bring the two together--
Animus and Anima--
merging,
blending,
uniting,
integrating
the two into one,
and giving birth
to the miracle of life,
"pouring over,
spilling out,"
in the process,
as a by-product,
a second-thought,
an accident of,
well,
birth.

The same goes for you,
and you,
and you...

I do not know a woman
who is being the best woman
she is capable of being--
much less a man.

I do not know a man 
who is being the best man
he is capable of being--
much less a woman.

And, consequently, I don't know
of a woman who is being the best man
she is capable of being,
or a man who is being the best woman
he is capable of being.

We all settling for being much less
than we are capable of being--
and that is the Original Sin.
Which is also the Unforgivable Sin,
the Unpardonable Sin,
and creates a little bit of hell
wherever we go.

The way out is clearly 
the way of becoming who we are,
androgynous human beings,
male and female,
united within,
as the best male and best female
we can be.

It will take some work, 
but I am confident that we can pull it off.

It will take shedding ourselves
of the "hard values,"
and bringing forth/immersing ourselves 
in the "soft values"
(With values becoming virtues/characteristics
in the process).

The things we shed are things like
domination,
power,
privilege,
profit/gain/advantage/contrivance
at any price...

The things we bring forth are things like
life,
instinct,
intuition,
integrity,
sincerity,
compassion,
good faith,
awareness,
kindness,
gentleness,
peace,
and the kind of presence
that makes all things good...

Get the idea?
Get to work!

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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