Friday, September 11, 2009

The Book That Never Ends

Have you ever read a book that you just did not want to end? This would be the book that was so compelling, so surprising, interesting and beautifully written, you simply wanted to continue to turn it's pages. Well, that's what we get to do with life.

As the chapters of life build on one another and the circumstances, the plot, and the characters that interact with us may change, the book never ends. For some reading this, they may think sheeesh, how long must I go on. How many heart wrenching or harrowing experiences must I endure? For others, you may be joining me in the adventure of the story, no matter what content is filling the pages of the book, or in this case, your life.

The truth is it is not over until it's over and all that happens, whether it may be what we want or not, is all important in our development and our connection to ourselves. Some of us learn how to be with what is happening throughout our chapters with peaceful acceptance. Others may struggle and resist and sometimes even appear to be suffering.

The perspective I like to hold is no matter what the storyline may be, it is all for good. If we struggle and survive, then that is something great to celebrate. If we find ourselves in a peaceful flow of life, that too is worth celebration. One is not ultimately better than another since both extremes are teaching us something. All of our life chapters are expressions of what we are learning and point us in a new direction.

What is the new direction? I don't know, turn the page and experience yours.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tolerance is NOT Enough

Whenever I hear someone claiming to be "tolerant", I notice I shudder. I cringe. I bite my lip...and sometimes even bite my tongue. I believe there is a general belief that tolerance is a good thing, yet to me, tolerance has never measured up to be enough. I believe we need to exhibit more than tolerance to one another.

The definition of tolerance that I think many believe can often mean that even though one disapproves, they will allow another's point of view, or way of life. When I think of tolerance, I picture someone with a pinched face and tight body language stating they don't approve, but they will tolerate. That, my friends, is not enough for me.

I want more than tolerance. I want openness to truly hear a point of view that differs from them. I want someone to be with me with compassion and understanding. It doesn't mean they must agree with my point of view, but I do want them to see me beyond what I say and do. I want unconditional love. There....I said it. Yep, that is what I am asking for. I don't want to have to please you or match you. I want to be who I am in any given moment and be seen, heard and most of all, loved.

I have a magnet on my fridge that says "I can't stand intolerance". I suppose I am being called to love the intolerant.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Path to No Where

Earlier today my husband, Thor (our dog) and I, took off to hike the mountain that borders the edge of town and looms upward from our backyard. We accessed a path not far from our house and began the climb. At first it was a straight up, long climb and then eventually leveled off when we hit some woods. From there we had a variety of paths to choose. Some led upwards to an even higher level, some were challenging to navigate and some took us on downhill treks that gave us a breather. Knowing they all just meandered along the mountainside not going anywhere in particular, I named our hike The Path to No Where.

As we hiked along, I noticed it was necessary to stay present with where we were at the given moment. The terrain was rough in places and it would have been easy to trip over the exposed roots of a tree, or a rut in the ground.

There were places that there was a lot of overgrowth that stimulated our creativity in getting through the mazes of limbs and branches and picker bushes.

At times, I needed a hand since it was challenging to climb using my own strength.....especially in the places where there was mud and the ground seemed to slide under my feet.

On the path to nowhere it was sometimes confusing where we were in the moment and how much farther we had to go. In fact, although we were never really very far from home, sometimes it felt like we were on another planet. Our surroundings were unfamiliar and it was easy to lose a sense of direction.

Eventually, we ended up on the same path that delivered us back to our street. In the short walk home on a paved road, I compared the experience of our hike to the path to nowhere that we walk in life.

Every step of the way mirrors the hike through life. We don't know what is coming next and it is important to be present with where we are in this moment; Sometimes it is challenging, sometimes easier; Sometimes we need to be creative to get through challenging situations; Sometimes we need a hand, other times we lend a hand.

Lastly, even when we stray off in some direction that may not be the best for us, or that may be confusing or even frightening, we can always find our path home. All we have to do is remember where we started.