March 27, 2022


Union Pacific Line 08/13/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
What do you need in order to 
find your life and live it?

What do you need to find what you need
to find your life and live it?

We all have an original nature,
unique to us,
embedded in our DNA,
packed with all of the virtues
that are ours to serve and to share
in the work of finding our life
and living it.

We were born into circumstances
that were supposed to receive us well
and prepare us for the work
of finding and being who we are.

Something happened.
And we were born into an environment
ill-equipped to connect us
with ourselves 
and the work that is ours to do,
the life that is ours to live.

Not only that, but it also works
to separate us from ourselves,
telling us that we are evil, 
sinful and lost from the start.

We hear that we must not trust ourselves,
but be careful to walk the straight and narrow
and do what we are told,
or hell will punish us eternally for sure.

This is not at all what it is supposed to be!
And we have to find our way to ourselves
on our own all the way.

But. We are not entirely alone.
Our Psyche/Soul is loaded 
with our original nature
and all the virtues we need
to make our way to the Way,
if they will just get out of our way
and allow us to empty ourselves
of all the noise
and trust ourselves to the stillness
and the silence,
waiting for the mud to settle
and the water to clear
so that we might know what we know
but have forgotten.

We live to learn what we know is so
in seeking and finding the life that fits us
like our shoe size and our hat size
and what we enjoy for breakfast.

Our dreams and symptoms are guides
letting us know when we are on the beam
and when we are off of it--
and we get a sense of on-and-off in our body.
The uh-oh feeling,
the gut feeling,
the feeling in our bones
when something is wrong for us,
and the ahh feeling when something is right for us.

We have ways of knowing what is us
and what is not us.

Reducing the noise and complexity in our life,
and emptying ourselves of our fear and anxiety
so that we might listen in the stillness and silence
for what we know
and for what is calling us
back to the life that was to be ours
from before we were born--
and move toward what fits us
over what remains of the life to be lived.

It is never too late 
to be right about who we are
and what is ours yet to do.



The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Do not look for meaning, purpose, 
and the reason for it all
beyond the joy of doing it
and the satisfaction of having done it.

We make it all up.
Everything we see and do
came right out of someone's imagination.

Invention and technology
is all imagination at work.
It is all imagination at work.

Imagination at work.

We have produced and destroied
using nothing more
than our imagination.

We are the authors of our own
life experience.

There is no one here but us.

That being the case,
we might re-think war
and retribution,
and converting people
to our way of thinking
and see what cooperation
and compassion can produce
in the service of the best
we are capable of imagining.

Forget profit and gain!
Profit and gain do not produce
meaning and purpose--
they are just ways of diverting
our attention from the emptiness of our lives.

We cannot buy joy and satisfaction.
The more money we have,
the more insecure and defensive we become.
Look around.
See if this isn't so.

Putin could be the richest man alive
and he is threatened by the freedom
of the Ukrainians next door.
He cannot buy freedom from the fear
of losing everything.

And at the end of the line,
death is waiting.

If we are going to make something up--
and we have no choice in the matter--
why not make up something worthy of us?
Something good and glorious?
Something replete with joy and satisfaction?

Celebrating, serving and sharing our original nature
and the virtues that come with us from the womb
is my idea of the best idea in the world.

But, I will gladly stand aside,
sit down,
and listen to what everyone else has to say.



Beulah Land 28 Oil Paint Rendered
On one hand,
I hate it has taken being where I have been,
to be where I am.

On another hand,
having been where I have been
and having dealt with what I have dealt with,
I have no reason to think
that I cannot deal with whatever comes along.

I wish it were an easier, softer, trip
to confidence and self-assurance.

I know and like who I am,
and trust my foundational nature.
My past has been exactly what I needed
to be here, now.

So, let the future come!
I'll find a way of accommodating myself to it,
and being just fine--
anyway, nevertheless, even so!

May it be that way with you, as well!


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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