Sunday, October 24, 2010

Growing Pains

We have decided to tear up our front yard and enlarge the pond which lies in front of us.

This has been a plan of mine for a couple of years now, and I have decided to proceed with this project. Despite some serious financial concerns, I believe it will be an improvement to our lives, providing us with space for reflection and appreciation of nature.

Also, much to Frank's chagrin, I can't sit still. I need change and growth.

The original pond suffered some difficulties and truly needed to adapt to its changing environment. So, we cut down a bunch of trees and tomorrow morning the big trucks arrive to make this little pond a different community.

This comes during some very frightening times. Finances are tight here at home, throughout the nation, and even more across the world.

We worry about our own future and we are torn apart when we look at the situation here in the U.S. as well as globally.

The greater picture is truly heartbreaking.

Where is Mother Theresa now that we need her most?

I imagine that she is asking a similar question;
"Where are you now that you need you most?"

Times are uncertain politically and there is even a presence of revolution, at whatever level, in our own nation.

It can be very challenging to maintain a positive attitude and a measure of faith when we are in the midst of difficult times.

This is partly because we believe that if God loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances.

However, we are children of God, our wise Mother, who knows what our souls need to thrive much more so than we do.

That is how God created Moms, in their beautiful and nurturing ways, and certainly in God's own image, so God is our Mother just as much, if not differently more, than our Father.

God is each of these, but God is also our Teacher.

Teachers are also gifts from God, as they are recreated in God's image as mentors. care-givers, and tender leaders.

Within the Holy Trinity exists another; Mother, Father, Teacher.

I'm willing to bet that many of of have witnessed that with one or more parents, or others in our lives.

I know that I have witnessed that with my mom, my partner, my family, and my friends.

However, just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything she or he wants, we also do benefit from times of constriction and difficulty to help us grow and learn.

If we keep this in mind, and continue to trust that we are loved, even when times are difficult and trying, it helps us to bear the difficult times with grace.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of human beings, and many of us may feel less alone knowing that we are not being singled out, but rather that we are victims of our own times.

There are extreme energy changes pulsing through the universe at every level and, of course, we are all part of the growing process and therefore the growing pains.

It helps when we remember that life is one phase after another and that this difficult times will inevitably give way to something new and different.

When we feel overwhelmed, we can comfort ourselves with the wise saying: This too shall pass.

Now, this writing will fall well into the category of "Wandering Thoughts" or perhaps "Ramblings Thoughts" (which was the first title I intended for this blog back in the day)

Anyway ... "This too shall pass".

The Celebration of Sukkot has just passed, and so I celebrate my good fortune daily, yet I worry about my own future and that of my household.

However, I seek the wisdom of Scripture and of own own human history.

One day King Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, “Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot, which gives you six months to find it.”

“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Benaiah, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?”

“It has magic powers,” answered the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”

Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.

Spring passed and then Summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring.

On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet.

“Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?” asked Benaiah.

He watched the old man take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it.

When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.

That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity.

“Well, my friend,” said Solomon, “have you found what I sent you after?”

All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.

To everyone’s surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”

As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face.

The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band:

Gam zeh ya'avor ...

This too shall pass.

At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he too would be nothing but dust.

Those who have wealth shall one day lose it all.

Those who have nothing, shall one day gain it all.

Equality in the unconditional love of God.

As for these things on earth?

These things shall pass, with the exceptiom of the Unconditional love of God.

That does not pass.

Our good times are fleeting, and our bad times will soon matter no more.

God's unconditional love is eternal.

If we truly feel that nothing is going right for us, it’s never a bad idea to examine our lives and see if there are some changes we can make to alleviate some of the difficulty, or to accept our realities and give thanks to God that we are able to do so.

It is when we gently and compassionately explore the areas which give us the most trouble that we may see the things we hold onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at ourselves or reality.

As we take responsibility for the things we can change, we can more easily surrender to the things we can’t, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another.

This too shall pass.

Now, once we realize that it’s time for big changes in our lives, it is wise to ease into them by starting small.

Small changes allow us to grow into a new habit and make it a permanent part of our lives, where sudden changes may cause a sense of failure that makes it difficult to go on.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I talk about a change for at least two years before taking those steps toward change.

Thus my new pond.

I prefer to move slowly and take time to appreciate change as much as I do what was.

I took time time afternoon to walk the pond with a glass of wine and give thanks fot its being, before anticipating the morning when the big trucks come in.

When we see that we might need to contemplate the choice to start over again, to change, to grow; we can decide to take it slowly, think things through, plan intelligently, budget, monitor, and move forward; sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are merely indicators of the need for change and are useful in getting us moving in the right direction.

It is possible that once we try out what seemed so ideal, we may find that it does not actually suit us, or make us feel the way we had hoped or could afford.

This is similar to the way I planned my pond to have a stream passing the Wine Patio. However, after two years, I understood that the pump from the crawlspace would only flood the stream and return the water to the crawlspace, whereby deteriorating the foundation to our home.

Do you see now?

By embarking on our paths slowly, we have the chance to look around and consider other options as we learn and grow.

We have time to examine the underlying values of the desire for change and find ways to manifest those feelings, whether it looks exactly like our initial goal or not.

Taking small. baby steps forward gives us time to adjust and find secure footing on our new path.

Okay, life does not always give us the opportunity to anticipate or prepare for a big change, and we may find ourselves overwhelmed by what is in front of us, but by choosing one thing to work on at a time, and focusing our attention on something manageable, eventually we will look up to see that we have accomplished quite a bit.

Forcing change, without serious thoughtful prayer, meditation, or consideration, is in essence, a sign that we do not trust in God's wisdom.

Instead, we can listen to our inner guidance and make changes at a pace that is right for us, right for our earthly domain, and right for the future of this existence, ensuring that we do so in alignment with the rhythm of the universe of God's Will.

Wow, that was quite a bit.

With prayer for balance and much love & light,


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