To Listen

My mother edits my blogs sometimes. She sent me this in an email: “Last line: The scene is worth mediating on! hee hee.”

As you might deduce, this isn’t the first time I’ve written “mediation” in a blog and forgotten that “t.”

And so, in all good humor, I declared, “More meditation! Less mediation!” And I mean it. We all have our areas that we need to grow. For me, I tend to try to help people solve their problems without praying first. Sometimes I try to teach without first studying too.  No.  This isn’t the way it needs to be.  I need to grow in prayer, reflection, learning, and studying.  And true wisdom will overflow from this. This sense of needing this change isn’t a “should”wrapping me in chains.  My heart longs for it.

When it comes to what we each need to focus on, people are not the same.  Some reflect and learn quite a bit and don’t serve much, and they can hear a call  to reach out to others.  I have had heard those who haven’t had enough healthy self-care say that we need to focus on ourselves, and heard those who tend to be selfish saying that we need to forget ourselves.  We don’t have to be perfectly balanced in learning vs. action or self-care vs. service. We can be who we are. Yet we heed the ways we are pulled to growth, and we do it in unique ways. Obviously, we can’t all follow the same path until we get to it.  We are all coming from different directions.

Yet there is one thing that I think is true for a great deal of people. So many of us need to tap into listening. We need to tap into listening to our thoughts, to our perceptions,  to others’ faces, to our Higher Power. We need to read and soak in the words. We need to look around us and see where God is in all this. We need to let in beauty and wisdom. Some are distracted by puzzles and some by parties … but distraction is distraction. So many of our hearts are longing to embrace, not the silence of being alone, but the silence of spending time with the Source of Love and Creator of All Things. We long for the Life we feel in the presence of nature and wonder — the accompanied silence, the beautiful solitude. We desire to break through what we see in front of us until we stand eyes wide open to what is greater and more true than this.

May we stop today. May we listen.

God bless your day.


The Name Game

Saturday Night I went to a  New Year’s Eve party that consisted of a few families and some singles. It was a nice small gathering, and there were people there that I’d been missing as well as some I’d wanted to get to know better.

In this party we played a guessing game in which each person writes down a name that is not their own, and others have to guess which name they have written.  The lead reads the list of names twice, and the game begins.  The first person guesses. “Ralph, are you Pharoah?” someone might say.  And Ralph might respond, “No.” or “Yes.” If Ralph is Pharoah, the person who asked gets Ralph on their team and gets to guess someone else. If Ralph isn’t Pharoah, Ralph has a turn to guess. A team can consult with members. It proceeds until every name has been assigned to it’s rightful owner.

In the room there was a child who must have been three. He was all smiles and bright eyes, eager and very capable of connection and fun, and he was very interested in the game.  “I want to play,” he kept saying, and so he got to “play,” so to speak.   He hadn’t written on a paper of his own, and he didn’t even remember the names that the leader had read from the papers,  but when there was an opening he would ask a question such as, “Maddie, are you Santa?”  or “Dad, are feet-619399_640you the window?” and he had an amazing time.  Sometimes someone would ask him, “Peter, are you Superman?” And he would smile big and respond.  He was charming.

The boy only played according to what he understood, and technically,  he didn’t play by the rules. He did a great job, but he didn’t play right.  Yet he didn’t worry about that. It didn’t even cross his mind. He just played.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of us could be like that, I remember thinking, if I could be more like that. We just jump in and play and enjoy the experience. We don’t worry so much about doing it right or perfectly. We participate. We LIVE.

I was speaking earlier with some people about the hindrance perfectionism can be. Yes, excellent quality is good. Artistry and Mastery are good (the little boy was attempting mastery too). But  we cannot be precisely right in every little thing we do. It is impossible to be impeccable with every little detail of our existence. And many times it hinders our creativity and our life to insist upon it; it paralyzes us into inaction. This is why I love November National Novel Writing Month. We are encouraged to just write, and to edit later. So many amazing gems come out that way that would have been stifled by perfectionism. But there are many other ways to get this balance.

And then  I saw this three year old simply dive in and live.  The scene is worth meditating on.  Sometimes, it really is best to become like little children.

May your day be blessed.