January 15, 2022


Mears Creek Bottom 02/19/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Guilford County, North Carolina
What we can hear
at any point in our life
is not commensurate 
with what we need to hear.

We always need to hear
more than we are able to hear
because of our wants, dreams,
ambitions, desires, interests, 
expectations, agendas, opinions, 
plans, hopes, fears, assumptions, 
inferences, etc.

We get in--and stay in--our own way.
"We are our own worst enemy"
(Common folk-observation).

We have no right to expect things
to be different than they are.
Yet many forms of depression
are grounded on the ever-present reality
of unfounded expectations.

Growing up is the solution
to all of our troubles today.

Growing up is coming to terms with,
"This is the way things are,
and this is what I can do about it,
and that's that."

We want more than we can have,
and therein lies the problem.

Adjusting ourselves to the reality
of how things are
and what can be done about it,
is the sine qua non of maturity.
And maturation is the name of the path
tread by those on The Hero's Journey.

Growing up is all there is to it.
Is what it is all about.
Is the ultimate goal of being alive.

When we can't think of anything else to do,
there is always growing up some more again.

When we have nowhere to turn,
we can always turn to the tasks of development,
and grow up some more again.

The tasks of development
get practically no press whatsoever.

It's all about having/getting what we want.
What we want is always coming to grief
on the rocky shoals of what we can have.

We can always want more than we can have.
We always need to hear 
more than we are able to hear.

What we are able to hear
is always restricted by
what we want to hear.

Knowing what we want to hear,
and being aware of the discrepancy,
discordance, disparity
between what we want to hear
and what we need to hear--
what the situation demands/requires
us to hear--
is the sit-me-down-shut-me-up-and-
for hearing what we need to hear,
and, yes, growing up some more again.

The primary tool/weapon/grace 
of The Hero's Journey
is knowing what we want to hear
and how that is preventing us 
from hearing what we need so hear--
and using the Holy Trinity
For The Return To (and Maintenance of)
Balance And Harmony:
Emptiness, Stillness and Silence,
in order to hear what we are hearing
and what we need to hear instead.

Those who can hear this,
can hear what else, what all,
they need to hear
in each situation as it arises.

Those who cannot, cannot.

And that makes this the fulcrum
separating those who can hear
from those who cannot hear,
and setting the tone 
for the rest of our lives,
for better and for worse.

For worst, actually.


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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