while not religious, i still celebrate the holidays. and some feel very profound to me.
good friday is one of those days. there is so much in this day.
each spring, i put on the rock opera, ‘jesus christ superstar.’ and each year, i get different things out of it.
this year did not disappoint. my gosh.
and while each year whispers new things to me, every year my favorite song stays the same.
it’s the song of jesus in the garden. when he knows they’re gonna come get him, and he’s feelin’ unsure and thinking maybe he wants out!
i guess i love that so much because it walks thru his doubts. it walks him thru doubt, right back to knowing. and somehow knowing and acceptance mingle, and yet the sadness and sorrow are still there. that is so darn powerful.
i am always so moved by that walk thru all that. and it reminds me that walking thru our doubts matter. that’s how we get to the other side of stuff. and that sorrow can still be a part of acceptance.
that’s just big stuff to me. and that’s never changed.
it’s a beautiful spring day here. i look out my window here at my desk and just feel the fullness of life. and yes, i want to learn how to make space for it all. good friday brings that all home to me.
ahhhh i gotta tell ya, after a few stressful days, i am ready for a rule!
so, let me hop back into the rules i had been sharing here from jordan peterson’s ’12 rules for life.’
i’m just gonna do one here today as i have a buncha stuff i want to share from it. it’s rule number seven –
pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
i’ll just grab some of the things i loved and type them out here – ‘Aim up. Pay attention. Fix what you can fix. Don’t be arrogant in your knowledge. Strive for humility, because totalitarian pride manifests itself in intolerance, oppression, torture and death. Become aware of your own insufficiency – your cowardice, malevolence, resentment and hatred. ‘
‘Consider that the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering is good. Make that an axiom: to the best of my ability I will act in a manner that leads to the alleviation of unnecessary pain and suffering.’
‘If you act properly, your actions allow you to be psychologically integrated now, and tomorrow, and into the future, while you benefit yourself, your family, and the broader world around you. Everything will stack up and align along a single axis. Everything will come together. This produces maximal meaning. This stacking up is a place in space and time whose existence we can detect with our ability to experience more than is simply reveled here and now by our senses, which are obviously limited to their information-gathering and representational capacity. Meaning trumps expedience. Meaning gratifies all impulses, now and forever. That’s why we can detect it. ‘
‘You may come to ask yourself, “What should i do today?” in a manner that means “How could I use my time to make things better instead of worse?” Such tasks may announce themselves as the pile of undone paperwork that you could attend to, the room that you could make a bit more welcoming, or the meal that could be a bit more delicious and gratefully delivered to your family.’
‘Meaning is when everything there is comes together in an ecstatic dance of single purpose – the glorification of a reality so that no matter how good it has suddenly become, it can get better and better and better more and more deeply forever into the future. Meaning happens when that dance has become so intense that all the horrors of the past. all the terrible struggle engaged in by all of life and all of humanity to that moment becomes a necessary and worthwhile part of the increasingly successful attempt to build something truly Mighty and Good.’
well, i figure, that should do it for today. 🙂 my gosh, i love typing these out. i reread them and start thinking all over again. i just decided i’m gonna start reading this book right from the beginning again. and yeah! i just finished it a couple weeks ago! he is just talking to me so big time right now.
yep, if you’ve been following, you know yesterday was my husband’s operation.
wow. what a day. up at 4:30 after a weird nite’s sleep, arriving for an early surgery. everything on covid strategy. they didn’t want me around.
just over three hours of an operation, a couple hours in recovery, a lotta time hunkered in my car or the edges of the waiting room. all the usual pharmacy snafus, and then the landing home.
i was so excited to see him afterwards. and yet, when i saw his funny color, i didn’t relax like i thought i would. i tensed right back up.
thankfully, he lost that pretty soon after we got home.
the deal is that this is gonna be good. i think really good. i think this is gonna help him a ton. i am totally positive that he did this.
this morning tho, i realize how much it put in my face how fragile everything is. AND! how resilient! how could he just walk right out of a place after a three hour surgery?! it’s both, isn’t it? it’s both. and it put in front of my face how we don’t get forever. while apparently i like to forget about that part, i think being reminded is a really good thing too. tho the reminders generally tire me out a good bit!
i am so grateful this morning that we are here together. a few funky days ahead and then i’m looking forward to watching the resilience of the human body. and the healing of this goofy man of mine.
so, life. it doesn’t stop for the craze. or…maybe that’s what the craze is all about… so life actually doesn’t stop!
but you know what i mean. just cause you got the darn stay at home stuff goin’ on, it doesn’t mean things that stressed you out BEFORE that are gone! a double whammy!
so, i didn’t realize i was as stressed as i was. my husband is due for an operation next week. it’s in a surgical center, so as far as we know, it’s a go.
it isn’t a big deal. (tho it seems like one to me) the surgeon seemed so darn confident. i felt so reassured when we chatted. but um…even without a pandemic (what a word) i think i would be pretty stressed. toss that in, and yeah, i guess it got to me.
oh…and then toss in the news. i swear, they are shoveling fear at us so fast, it will bury you in an instant.
i THOUGHT i was being really careful about that. just doin’ a little bit, carefully choosing what i listened to, all that.
shoot…..it just got overwhelming even with being cautious. i totally got buried.
so. yesterday i saw what i mess i was. stressed. really stressed. and i stopped everything and went outside. for hours. just stayed out in my yard.
then had a great conversation with my man. i cried. he let me.
then i got up and canceled my subscription to a news source i was supporting because i felt they were as unbiased as you can find right now. you actually have to call them to cancel. she asked me why i wanted to stop ‘i can’t take any more!’ yes, even that source felt over the top to me.
it was more symbolic than anything. and the symbolism worked. instantly i felt lighter. i committed to staying totally off the news for a bit here.
and then i went back outside.
my one goal was to find myself again. to center.
this morning, i feel like a new person. or maybe…like my old self.
i set aside a few hours today to go outside. hours! a few hours! my top priority today is me. and my well being.
i feel like it all just got outta hand. and i had to turn it around for myself. it’s up to me. i’m the only one who could do it.
and then! this morning! I pulled the two cards you see at the top here. and i just stood there smiling at them.
i’m on this! and i’m typing this out for anyone else who is stressed. it’s up to us to fix that for ourselves. yeah, i get it. there will be a certain amount of stress right now. of course. but when is it too much? and what can you do to fix that?
i made this ‘shareable’ for social media the other day.
last night i could feel a funk really settling in. like it was gonna make itself at home. i think it’s just that you can’t turn in any direction without someone feeding you fear. i don’t know. it’s lotsa things. it’s the world gone upside down.
funks are understandable. but i really wanna keep them to a minimum. and i know a lot of that is in my power.
i thought of this and put it into action this morning. and it worked! it really worked!
i’m offering it here for any other funk dwellers who would like to dwell elsewhere.
rule number five – Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them.
my eyebrows raised a bit thru this chapter, as he felt a wee bit cranky to me. grinnin’ as i type this. but i totally got his point. kids can be amazing – and they are amazing, and that comes out and stays out with guidance and routines and stuff like that.
since i’m done with all the kid raising, i’ll move on to the next rule –
Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.
this one, for me, is gold. just gold. it gives me such focus. and it’s no tiny little focus.
here’s a little tidbit from that chapter – he asks a whole buncha questions like – “Have you taken full advantage of the opportunities offered to you? Are you truly shouldering your responsibilities? Are there things that you could do, that you know you could do, that would make things around you better?”
whew! and that’s just SOME of the questions! then he goes on….
“Have you cleaned up your life? If the answer is no, here’s something to try: Start to stop doing what you know to be wrong. Start stopping today. Don’t waste time questioning how you know that what you’re doing is wrong, if you’re not certain that it is. Inopportune questioning can confuse, without enlightening, as well as deflecting you from action. You can know that something is wrong or right without knowing why. Your entire Being can tell you something that you can neither explain nor articulate.”
“Stop saying those things that make you weak and ashamed. Say only those things that make you strong. Do only those things that you could speak of with honour.”
think you already do that? so did i. ahem. been workin’ on this ever since i looked. and will be workin’ on this for the rest of my life, i hope.
good timing as we all seem to have some extra time on our hands these days.
you didn’t think i forgot, did you? back to the rules! (if you have no idea what i’m talking about, check the earlier blogs.)
so, okay, rule three is pretty darn straightforward –
‘make friends with people who want the best for you.’
that’s so straightforward, i thought i’d include the next rule here as well. though, i do want to pause and let that sink in. we don’t always do that. and perhaps we need to ask ourselves why!
okay…the next one – number four –
‘compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today.’
yes! so helpful! that’s enough right there, isn’t it?
but you know i gotta add a few lines just to give you some of the gold i’ve been enjoying.
he begins with talking about the internal critic. ‘No matter how good you are at something, or how you rank your accomplishments, there is someone out there who makes you look incompetent.’ ‘Talking yourself into irrelevance is not a profound critique of Being. It’s a cheap trick of the rational mind.’
and then! oh gosh, there’s so much here, i don’t even know how to begin – he talks about how things change when you change your beliefs –
“And the direction of your sight changes. You see past the limitations that hemmed you in, unknowingly. New possibilities of your life emerge, and you work toward their realization…’
‘… and then ‘better’ means to aim at the Improvement of Being, with a capital “I and a capital “B.”
and he goes on to talk about faith and describes what that means – “Faith is not the childish belief in magic. That is ignorance or even willful blindness. It is instead the realization that the tragic irrationalites of life must be counterbalanced by an equally irrational commitment to the essential goodness of Being. It is simultaneously the will to dare set your sights at the unachieveable, and to sacrifice everything, including your life. you realize that you have, literally, nothing better to do.”
“Attend to the day, but aim at the highest good.”
and that’s just a tiny bit of the gold i found with these rules. this was absolutely perfect for me today. once again, thanking dr. peterson.
while i understand that my own personal morning routine is of no interest to anyone else, there is stuff about this story, that i want to share…
so i’ve been walkin’ in the mornings for YEARS. it helps keep me sane. so then i had the ‘jolt’ last week (that’s all in a blog post, i’ll spare you the repeat of that story…) and while that wouldn’t have been enough to stop me, trying to consider my husband’s feelings in the whole thing, got me to rethink the ritual.
and…something helped with that…. one of the things i’ve been working on – trying to listen to where i am led.
maybe it is time for something new. he obviously would be relieved, and who knows what it could bring me. i wondered, watched, experimented, and figured out the components of what i wanted.
i really love being in the dark. i need movement. i need the sky and the trees.
once i figured that out, i had an idea!
we set up my bike in the back yard on a stand. so it’s just like a stationary bike. and i went out early this morning, in the dark. and i biked with the sky and the trees.
and i loved it!
and! here’s the part that makes me pretty darn sure i found something that’s gonna work – my imaginary friends showed up on bikes! (my inner crone was on a racing bike! coolest thing ever!)
talk about an affirmation!
the parts of the story that seem worth sharing – listening to my partner’s concerns, even tho i didn’t share them. hearing him enough to try something new (tho, this has taken a loooong time for me to get to. so i guess we gotta be thankful that finally sank in!) remembering that change may be leading me to something new. figuring out what are the things i need, and finding different ways to get those met, and – the best part – hearing my inner parts of me rejoice and play and realizing that’s a very good sign.
that’s good stuff, ya know? so i wanted to share.
who knows how long this will work. but for now, i’m tickled!