November 07, 2020

03

12-Mile Creek 02 11/07/2020 — Union County, North Carolina
What's so bad about your life?
What don't you like about your life?
What is good about your life?
What do you like about your life?
What is it in your life that brings you alive?
How often do you go there, do that?
What is deadening about your life--
what drains the life out of you?
How often do you go there, do that?
How much of your heart is 
in the life you are living?
What has to change to get more heart 
in your life?
What control do you have over your life?
How much of that control do you exercise?
How might you better manage 
the control you have
over your perspective?
Over your reactivity?
Over your attitude?
Over your relationship with yourself?
If you were to improve
your relationship with yourself,
what would you do?
What is keeping you from doing it?

–0–

02

Camellia 04 11/06/2020 — Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
Our Community of Innocence 
is comprised of the people
around whom it is safe
to be who we are.

They are the people who receive us well,
who regard us kindly--
with compassion and without judgment.
Who listen to us to the point
of enabling us to hear
what we are saying.

They love us as we are
and as we are becoming--
and have nothing at stake,
nothing to gain 
and nothing to lose,
in our being who we are
beyond wanting us to be 
as aware of ourselves
and of our situation in life--
in our umwelt
("The world as we perceive it to be")--
as we can possibly be
at every point in our life.

They believe that seeing is being is doing,
and live to enable everyone to see
what they look at,
and see beyond what they look at
into what needs to be done
in response to it,
which is basically,
enabling the situation
to take itself into account
and adjust what needs to be adjusted
to be what it needs to be.

They are mirrors reflecting us to ourselves,
so that we might see ourselves
as though for the first time
and do what needs to be done about it
to better incarnate/exhibit/express 
who we are and who we need to become.

It is our place to seek out the people
who allow us to be who we are
and enable us to become
who we are capable of being.
Too many people want us to be
who they want us to be,
and will not permit us to be
different from their idea
of who we ought to be.

"That isn't YOU!"
"Get back in line!"
"Be who you are supposed to be!"

They want us to wear the costume
and play the role
assigned to us by our place in their life,
toeing the line
and exemplifying their ideal
of who we need to be.

"No variation allowed!
Recite the creed!
Embrace the dogma!
Project the image!
Be who we expect you to be!"

Communities of Innocence 
simply want us to be 
who we are capable of being
in each moment of our living,
moment-by-moment,
responding to what is called for
here and now
with what we have offer
from the gifts/daemon/virtues/
character/spirit/vitality/life
that comes with us from the womb
as our original nature--
sincerely and spontaneously,
without contriving
to arrange a particular outcome,
just doing what needs us to do it
as best we can
in the right way,
at the right time.
All our life long.

In this way,
Communities of Innocence
enable us to live in accord with the Tao
and exhibit the face that was ours
before we were born
out of the balance and harmony
that envelop those 
who are at one with the way
day-by-day.

–0–

01

Sourwood 03 11-04-2020 — 22-Acre Woods, Indian Land, South Carolina, an iPhone Photo
The people you run with
are your enablers
and your guards,
guaranteeing that you don't grow
beyond where you are.

They are the status quo keepers,
holding you in place,
ruling out any possibility
of your seeing things other than you do,
or being different than you are.

They limit your choices
and your chances,
and maintaining your present umwelt
exactly as it is forever.

If you want things to change about your life,
your "friends" are the first things
that have to go.

What we all need is a Community of Innocence
whose place in our life is that of a 
sounding board,
enabling us to say what needs to be said
and to hear what we are saying
to the point of understanding 
what the implications are
and what we need to do about it
in making the changes necessary
to grow into who we are.

A Community of Innocence is innocent
in the sense that it has no ulterior motives,
no hidden agendas,
nothing it wants from us,
or needs of us,
or each other,
beyond sincerity,
authenticity,
and non-contrivance,
so that everyone in the Community
is Thus Come,
is just who they are
and who they are becoming,
and all are supporting one another
in the quest to grow in all phases
of human development,
so that all are maximize 
their individual potential
on all levels of life--
becoming who they are
throughout the time left for living.

And they may do this unknowingly.
They may exist as a community
only in your recognition of their place
in your life.
They may never know one another,
but they are Your People in the best sense
of the term.

The process for helping us come forth
is that of simply reflecting us to us
so that we see/know who we are
and who we need to be,
and live to narrow the gap,
even as it expands in all directions
and calls us ever beyond where we are
to all that we are capable of being.

In that there is always 
"more to us than meets the eye,"
we are always at the point
of becoming who we are 
by being who we are.

In seeing/saying/incarnating/
expressing/exhibiting who we are,
we move beyond who we are
into who we are yet to be.

There is no static way of being.
There is no rigid, 
firm and final form of US.
Our identity is being shaped
by our potential all our life long.
We never stop growing,
and that means we never stop growing up.

That can only happen within a Community of Innocence
that has nothing at stake in who we are,
and is only interested in reflecting us to us,
and thereby helping us to become 
who we are becoming.

I don't know you,
but I know you do not have 3 to 5 people 
in your life who are assisting
you in the process of your own birthing
in this way.

It is up to you to find them
and let them be for you 
your Community of Innocence,
even though they may never meet one another,
or come together for group gatherings,
they are what you need to be who you are
becoming who you are,
and are your sources of life, 
and light,
and being.

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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