wandering in wonder

sharing, on a pilgrims journey

the winner takes it all

The temptation to react to other people can be so strong.

I am most myself when I decide to be who I am, regardless of how other people decide to be.

so when someone is mean to me, unkind, tells lies, I still decide to be who I am.

So I responded calmly. 

I do not raise my voice when they shout and wave their arms around. It’s not my way.

I challenged the lie. I state that I found a particular thing unkind.

But I don’t ‘get even’.

or maybe I do? because maybe getting even, or even winning, is not letting that person control who I am, how I behave, or who I become.

September 1, 2008 Posted by | 'Being', balance, Challenge, courage, Hold on, Life, Never give up, People, tough times, voice of hope | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I am what I am’!

Today a ‘helpful’ friend who’s staying a while decided that being helpful meant picking up my precious piles of paper and ‘bits’ and wouldn’t stop despite polite entreaties.

I ‘have a system’ and rarely lose things. Why oh why should someone who visits my home feel the need or feel they have the right to insist on moving my things around, even throwing things away. (I will now have to go through bin bags – oh what fun.)

I felt mean and horrible when I had to ask for the third time ‘please stop, I won’t be able to find things if you move them around’. She meant so well and so intended to be so helpful.

No doubt I have character flaws, and perhaps needing to have my stuff left alone – even if it does look untidy – is one of them. I also procrastinate – I don’t enjoy the untidy bits, but I just don’t get around to clearing it up sometimes – other things, like friends and work, are much more important to me so that’s where my energy goes. I don’t share the house, so it doesn’t inconvenience anyone else if my stuff is in a pile somewhere.

Maybe someone else would have been delighted. I really, really wasn’t.

I may be alone in this thought, but seriously – being tidy does not have any moral high ground! It doesn’t actually make someone a ‘better’ person! This may sound obvious, but if you’re naturally tidy, have a think about it.

If you’re a tidiness freak, here’s a little message for ya!  – the untidy people in your life may be quite happy and not at all inferior for being untidy. It’s fine if you’re tidy – go for it, enjoy it, alphabetise your CD’s and iron your socks – enjoy! But we’re not all the same. I have so many other flaws to work on that really – being untidy is the least of my worres and trust me, when it comes to the end of the line, my big regrets in life aren’t going to be ‘I wish I did more housework’, or ‘I wish I’d been tidier’ !

I’ve stopped apologising now. I’ve realised it’s time to ‘come out of the closet’ (as it were) – I’m untidy and at least in my own home, that’s just how it is – I am what I am!

June 18, 2008 Posted by | 'Being', acceptance, balance, Life, People | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Monastic Way

“When we look at the world around us we see

the earth,

the sky,

the water,

the plants,

the trees,

the animals

and people.

But what we have to do is look behind all these phenomena

and discover their hidden source.

Most people stop with the phenomena:

they appreciate the earth or sky or flowers

or the sun or stars,

they admire the beauty

but they do not try to find the hidden source of the sky and flowers,

of every single thing.

We see beyond only when we look with the eyes of the heart.”

– Bede Griffiths, OSB  

 

May 12, 2008 Posted by | balance, Beauty, Bede Griffiths, Desert Wisdom, Joy, Life, Nature, People | , , , , , , | 16 Comments

blessed horribleness

I had to go to a horrible meeting this morning.

I got brave. (ready for this bravery?!)

I sent some texts and an email to friends who i know that if i asked, will pray – not the sort who only talk about it – people who will actually pray.

as i went in to the meeting, i felt so supported. and realised that although it was hard for me to ask (i hate to need to….), i realised too that this is what it’s all about – communion of saints, fellowship, support, family, body of Christ – look at it how you will – but it made all the difference today.

and the rest of the day – which could have been a bleak attempt at recovery – was almost overwhelming supportiveness of calls and texts and care.

how much i’d have missed if i’d stuck to my ‘i must be okay’, self-sufficient little ways.

perhaps i’m growing!

April 2, 2008 Posted by | balance, Challenge, courage, Light, Light up my life, People, Surprise, tough times | Leave a comment

tough days and opportunities

still a tough week… I was reminded yesterday of the wisdom of the Desert Mothers – they said (I’m paraphrasing) that every temptation was an opportunity for victory, an opportunity to resist temptation and ‘win’… which means surely that tough times are an opportunity to be faithful, an opportunity to ‘show what we’re made of’ in faith terms and get some practice in with the whole ‘trying to be like Jesus’ thing.

So maybe I should be more thankful for this? the things i don’t like that are happening.

some things aren’t right and they need to be sorted out, God’s values re-asserted.

I don’t think I should wimp out of setting wrongs right or not ‘stand up’ for myself. Rather the challenge to think of it as also an opportunity to put into action what we (I) say about wanting to be faithful in the bad times and the good.

 and in the ‘being like Jesus’ thing, to try to be kind even when I have to be tough with someone. To not let their negative behaviour dictate who I am or who I become. To stay faithful and even gentle and kind whatever other people’s behaviour is.

 challenges indeed…

March 6, 2008 Posted by | balance, courage, Desert Mothers, People, tough times | Leave a comment

Lent Balance

Hi! back after a long absence when…you guessed it… I forgot my password!

anyway….I last wrote at the end of Advent, and now it’s Lent –  who better to turn to for some words about fasting and balance than Desert Mother, Amma Syncletica (okay, I admit, I had to read up on her for an essay!). Here goes…a bit from my essay with a quote from Laura Swan, who wrote ‘The Forgotten Desert Mothers’….

 “Although the desert way was of sparse meals and fasting from most foods, Amma Syncletica understood that more was involved. Fasting may take the form of giving up something other than food, such as excessive commitments, overachieving, unhealthy attitudes, and old resentments. The desert ascetics began by fasting from food, possessions and social relationships. They then progressed to fasting from interior attachments, such as anger, jealousy, envy, or possessiveness. The desert ascetics understood that fasting creates the space in our bodies, minds, and spirits for God to be within us and new things to grow.” (Swan, 2001, pp. 44-45)

Looked at in this manner, ascetic discipline can be seen as a psychosocial and physical discipline. It relates to moderated, balanced living, and relates again to the concepts around simplicity and detachment. This appears to make it more challenging to the present day. The continually booming weight-loss industry, and diagnoses of addiction to food, drugs, sex, or exercise in Western countries, are testimony to the fact that many of us do not live in moderation and need some way to discipline ourselves. “

Back to blog then… I found this really challenging – to look at how we balance our lives and look at what we need to ‘fast’ from. It becomes then not just about food, or giving up chocolate for Lent (for example…though that always seems just wrong to me!!), but about committing, or re-committing, ourselves, to lives in balance with our priorities right, and prepared to ‘leave out’ or moderate anything which gets our balanced moderated lives in a mess.

‘food’ for thought?!

February 18, 2008 Posted by | balance, Desert Mothers, Desert Wisdom, fasting, Lent | , , , , , | 2 Comments