August 24, 2021

01

Canadian Light 09/24/2009 Oil Paint Rendered, Moriane Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta
Leverage in any situation
is used to lever the good of the situation
into place.

Every situation needs something.
To step into each situation
endeavoring to serve our advantage,
our good,
our gain,
our benefit,
our desire
is to do grave harm
not only to that situation
but also to all situations 
which flow from that one.

We live with our ends in mind,
and here we are.
This world we live in 
is the result of that orientation.
This is the best that can do.

We change the world
by changing the way 
we approach our life
and the situations
that open before us.

Step innocently into 
the next situation 
that arises before you,
with nothing to lose
and nothing to gain,
just looking,
just listening,
seeing what's what
and what needs to be done,
what is being called for,
what the situation is crying out for,
and move to meet that need
with the gifts/daemon/specialties/shtick/etc.
that are yours to offer.

What do you have that the situation needs?
Make that available 
when the time is right,
and see where it goes.

You might ask aloud,
"What are we doing here?
What are we hoping to accomplish?
What needs to be done?"
Focusing on what we are doing
and what we need to be doing,
can be all some situations need
to move toward closure.

In other situations,
it is obvious what needs to happen.
Articulate that and see what happens.
Or, simply act to serve the need--
be what is called for--
and let that move the situation as it will,
without forcing the action
or directing the outcome.

A engaged presence
with nothing at stake in what happens,
keeps things moving toward their natural conclusion.
And a result that is far more satisfactory
than forced choices and artificial agreement.

–0–

02

Cypress Swamp Panorama 03/18/2015 Oil Paint Rendered, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
We live looking for the action,
any action.

We live for distraction,
diversion,
deflection.
denial.

We live to be entertained.
To have our mind taken off
of what we are left with
without any escapes
at hand.
With the prayer of the weary fleers
as the mantra of the day,
every day:
"O God, save us from having 
to live our life again today!"

What would we do
without something to do?

It is no wonder 
that Jesus said,
"Tell you what.
I'll see you later."

First, we have to be here now.
Not us!
Maybe later!
Maybe tomorrow!
Maybe one day!
Maybe sometime!
Not now!
Not here!
Anywhere but here!
Especially now!

Our plan is to not be where we are
ever.

I'm sure you see the problem.

I have no idea what we are 
going to do about it.

We have to get to the 
end of our rope
before we can change our mind
about what is important.

And we have a lot of rope.

Let the good times roll!

–0–

03

Goodale Panorama 11/11/2015 B&W Oil Paint Rendered — Goodale State Park, Camden, South Carolina
It comes down to us and our life.
Here we are, now what?
It's up to us, what.
We have our choices and decisions
to work with.
Where we go from here is up to us.

So, sit down.
Tell me what you don't like
about your life.

And what you are willing to do
to transform your relationship with it--
and with yourself--
and with the people you spend time with.

The first thing to change
is the way you think about your life,
yourself
and the people you spend time with.

Start thinking about your thinking.
The way you think has you where you are.
If you thought differently,
you wouldn't be here, now.
You would be somewhere else.
Maybe better, maybe worse.

Nothing happens without a shift
in the way you think.

You begin to make the shift
by thinking about your thinking.

The way you feel flows from
the way you think.
Change the way you think
and you change the way you feel.
You begin to change the way you think
by thinking about your thinking.

Thinking about your thinking
means challenging the way you think.
Calling yourself out.
Demanding accountability.

It means thinking about 
the different ways you could be thinking
but aren't.

Dig around in there.
Why not?
When did you settle on this way to think
and not that way,
or that way over there?
What made it easy for you
to start thinking the way you think?
How do the people you spend time with
support you in the way you think?
Who among them challenges the way you think?
Have you withdrawn from people
who challenge the way you think?
What's up with that?

The way you think got you here, now.
You aren't going to be somewhere else
without changing the way you think.
You are going to have to think your way
to somewhere else.
That means changing the way you think.
That means challenging the way you think.

Consider that all your dichotomies
(Your either/or's)
are false dichotomies,
and that all of your conclusions
are foregone conclusions,
and give yourself a break from you.

Have it out with yourself.
You got yourself here, now.
You aren't leaving here, now
with the same self that got you here, now.

You are going to leave with a New You.

And it starts with thinking about your thinking.

Start thinking.

–0–

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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