January 18-B, 2023

Ramsey Creek 11/08/2011 Oil Paint Rendered — Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Greenbriar District, Cosby, Tennessee
Anybody who is having a time of it
is failing to manage their conflicts/contradictions,
and it has gotten the best of them.

Happens all of the time.

Everywhere.

You'd think we would do a better job
of instructing people
in the way of conflict/contradiction management.
We send them to jail or therapy,
and go right on with our lives,
strung out as we are
between mutually exclusive options,
and equally unacceptable choices,
with nowhere to turn 
except drugs/sex/alcohol/therapy/jail/suicide.

All because we won't grow up,
look our life in the eye,
say, "This isn't getting it done!"
and do what needs to be done about it.

We think we are "just fine"
because we are no worse 
than anyone else we know,
and aren't much further into
drugs/sex/alcohol/etc.
than they are.

Jesus and the Buddha knew
what I'm talking about,
and made no headway in resolving
the situation.

Jesus left saying,
"The harvest is plentiful,
and the laborers are few."

It remains so today, 
even more-so.
Without a fix in sight.
The drugs have gotten better,
and the sex and alcohol
are more plentiful,
with therapy/jail/suicide
being up, up, up all the time.

Therapy is my biggest disappointment.
Therapists can't handle their own
conflicts/contradictions,
or the disparity between how things are
and how things need to be,
and are as much into drugs/sex/alcohol
as any other segment of any other population.

Jesus and the Buddha got out just in time.

Leaving us to wonder what to do,
with little in the way of options
beyond managing our own conflicts/contradictions
as best we can,
and bemoaning our ineptitude
in helping others with theirs.

It comes down to growing up
and doing things we don't want to do
in the service of what needs to be done,
when/where/how they need to be done,
and putting incessant, unrelenting,
constant and eternal wanting in its place,
which is out the door
and into the far reaches of the wasteland--
and then take up the daily discipline
of reducing/avoiding
noise/complexity/drama
and embracing/practicing
emptiness/stillness/silence,
and doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
throughout the time left for living.

–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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