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JenellYB

Pearl Of Great Price

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While clearing old posts from my email box, I ran across one of those forwarded chain posts, titled, "Be still, Woman of God." And it started me thinking, about that idea expressed in other such expressions, as "Let go and let God", .."....those that wait on the Lord," etc.

 

But how do we know when the best course is to just be still, let go and let God, just wait on the Lord, vs when to get up, get moving, take charge of the course of events in your life? How do we ask ourselves, seek the truth within ourselves, our situations in life, "Am I really waiting on the Lord to do what I should be doing myself?" "Have I really let go to let God, or have I given up when I shouldn't?" "Am I really accepting, or going along with what seems easiest and most convenient?"

 

How do we really seek that guidance? How do we really discern when in our journey along the path, as we travel The Way, we are at a place at which we need to just sit down and rest, waiting upon the Lord, or actually just come to a fork in the road, where there is a choice we must make, or even just a steep, rough and difficult stretch on the path that is going to be a bit harder to make it through?

 

I've considered upon this matter many times before, and can't say I've yet found a really good answer to this question. Perhaps in my thoughts seeking that wisdom, digging through my own experiences in life when things turned out quite well, and others, when it didn't, others can find insight into this difficult aspect of their own journey.

 

I have an awful lot of experience with realizing, in hind sight, that the choice I made perhaps wasn't the best one, and in deeper self examination, probably wasn't made out of my better use of intelligence, common sense, or even personal values and morals. My own failures of integrity, weaknesses of character, have been my undoing more than once in more than one situation. It has been where I've failed to stay true to myself, my core values and beliefs, in making choices and taking actions, that I've most often made a mess.

 

While I try to take from those occasions what lessons are to be learned, forgive myself, and move on, wiser and more mature, I still must live with some of the difficult, even painful, consequences and memories. The worst of those, how my choices caused difficulty and hurt to others, complicated their lives and even the course of their futures, is where I most often get stuck. That I messed up my own life is a lot easier to deal with than the realization that by that I was an agent contributing to someone else's stumbles and falls. Some of my occasions of poorest judgement many years ago still have lingering consequences in my own and the lives of others, and always will.

 

It isn't the times when I honestly, truthfully, made poor choices out of lack of information or having been effectively deceived by someone or something, believing I really was making the best choice, taking the best action, but those in which my downfall was ignore-ance of what was plain for me to see and know. Sometimes, is was because it seemed the easiest at the time, or to go along to get along, to enable myself and another in co-dependency under the pseudo-motive of being a peace maker.

 

Sometimes, it was my failure of courage in standing up for what I knew in my heart and even mind was right and best, against the prevailing standards of society around me, the opinions and beliefs of others, whether my peers, friends, family, community. Too often I did that even when I knew, those others did not have the information I did, were not aware of all the facts of a situation that I had to work with, and might have seen it differently as well, if they had. Some of that weakness came out of, perhaps, simple laziness, because it seemed the easiest, the course of least resistance, or fear of violating my social conditioning toward considering others before and above myself, or making too much of what others might think about me if I didn't do what was expected or that others thought best or most right.

 

In that light, I can see that sometimes it was really my own falling into seeking "unrighteous gain" (mammon)for myself, that led me into trouble in the end. The allure of the material social or egonomic gain through playing the counter-role, even where I was well aware, at least at some level, of the co-depency game I was playing into with another or others, seemed, at least in the short term view, worth the sacrifice of my values. I was often afraid of losing the support, approval, respect, even love, of others if I went with my gut feelings, struck out on my own against others' opinions or wants.

 

It is so easy to do that in The World, when justications for it so commonly pervade popular thinking...that's just the way it it in life, that's just what you have to do to make it in this world. Everybody does it. Nobody gives without something in return. Exchange theory. When focused on immediate pressures in life, it can be awful easy to let that experience of the immediate "cash in hand" press back the sensible considerations of just how high the long term cost can be when we enter into a contract with a loan shark. Or, as in another metaphor, sell our birthright, our future, for an immediate bowl of stew because we happen to be tired and hungry right now. Our present World culture fosters, encourages, instant gratification over long term consequences. In our present socio-economic culture, a good citizen is a promiscuous consumer.

 

As what is above is as what is below, and the inner in accord with the outer, and the spiritual principle of "consistency throughout" the nature of the plant from root to fruit, so does that weakness pervade our lives and thought at every level.

The intent and goal of examining such matters in one's life can't be about guilt, shame, beating one's self up...it must be made into something useful, valuable, in moving forward. to come to a point of being able to frankly, honestly look at ourself, and others, see ourself and others as who/what we really are, and still love ourself and them, is, I think, one of the greatest milestone markers on the journey to true maturity.

 

The central issue I seem to find here is of learning to trust, have faith in, myself, over any other whether person or element of The World, whether of the written and unwritten laws and rules of my culture, society, community, or even religion. To be "under the Law" is to be what is psychologically termed as being "rule-bound." To be "rule-bound" is to believe we really can't change the rules (that we humans made and implemented to begin with!) for one person, break the rules for one situation, no matter what the mitigating circumstance. It is to elevate the written and unwritten rules, the Law, to the position of BEING our God. It is to seek God, and God's guidance, from without rather than from within. It is to have lost the Spirit of the Law through the insciption into stone, the Letter of the Law.

 

In so many of my occasions, it was my subjection to Law, acceptance of it as always good, as a set of rules that were not to be broken, as I knew and understood it at the time. It was so often cultural, social, religious, both written and unwritten Law, and how that was interpreted and applied in my social environment, that tripped me up so often with as psychologist Karen Horney termed "the tyranny of the 'shoulds'."

 

I think this is what the author of Romans, in his lament in ch. 7, from which I excerpt : (though I find that entire chapter relevant to this interpretation)

 

9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

 

This is an untenable position whether in our spiritual life and growth, or best interests in everyday life. Criminal profilers devote equal attention to the victim profile. The most crucial area of the victim profile has turned out to be failure to trust our instincts, heed our "gut feel" in a situation, about another person or persons. The victim's lament is so consistently, "I KNEW it just didn't feel right, but..." "I just had this gut feeling, why didn't I pay attention to it?" Criminals and abusers of all kinds know, perhaps out of their own instincts, just how to pull the right strings, evoke just the right response to the right elements of our commmon social conditioning and weaknesses of being "under the Law", to manipulate their victims into their trap. It is the skill and art of making the wrong thing seem right and the right thing seem wrong, and using it to take advantage, to trip someone up.

 

Where have we as Christians heard THAT before? And why do we find it so hard to recognize it, for what it is, in every aspect of our daily lives, from the most intimate choices to the greater issues of our society and communties?

 

2 Corinthians ch 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of LIGHT.

15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works

 

Progressive Christians participating at TCPC.org have incorporated into mutually agreed principles, Point 8: By calling ourselves progressive, we mean that we are Christians who recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.

 

A major part of that cost is extracted when we find ourselves at odds with elements of The World, that place us in real life situations in which we risk disapproval and resistance and even harsh judgements for standing against social forces that exert real power over our socio-economic success in The World, and people whose acceptance and love we care about that would have us ignore that gut feeling, that this just doesn't feel right. That cost can be material when to do so can cost us financial gains and socio-economic advantage and priviledge in The World in which we live. The social cost can seem even more painful at the time.

 

But this cost is not a loss, but an investment in greater gains. When I look back at the outworking of consequences in those times I made choices and took actions out of less than honest and noble motives, and contrast them to other times when I stood on solid ground of my personal core values and deeper instincts, what I felt, knew, was right, those cost/gain considerations look very different than they had in my short-term view when I made them as I did.

 

Often when I stood on that solid ground, it was terrifying, because I seemed to have rejected my best or even only option for a secure outcome, and didn't know where or how to proceed, but somehow they right path always appeared before me. Doors often opened I'd not even known existed before. Sometimes, it was so profound in this way, it gave me a sense of trully, that God had gone before me, preparing the way. I had leaped, blind, from the cliff, and was caught up as if on wings before I struck the feared rocks below. And each time that happened, my faith was gorwn, built ever stronger.

 

This is true in both matters of my material situation in life, and my overall psychological and spiritual sense of growth toward wholeness and well-being, and connectedness with the ground of my being.

 

Matt Ch 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

46 Who, when he had found one PEARL of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

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Jenell,

I think the questions you ask yourself are questions we all have pondered and were at times troubled over. I can only say that i no longer entertain those thoughts. Over time they have disappeared as my thinking has been surrendered to a greater trust that i am exactly where i am suppose to be for this moment and if it is to change i will know and do whatever it entails without confusion of thoughts.

 

Joseph

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I am thankful for what people will say was a wrong turn in my life because I learned from it and every wrong and right turn after. It was like forging the steel to make it stronger. Now, like Joseph I have no time to look back because staying in the moment is what is real. I can't stop the mental waves from past or future, but I can surf them if I am aware. Surfing is easy, but it took me many tries, falls and failures to get it. The big mental waves are fun, but if I fall and get caught up in the wave, sometimes it is hard to find which way is up. The good thing is the sky is all around us and not just above us so there is no where to fall.

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I've had to give a great deal of thought to this before addressing these responses. I was immediately struck by the thoughts that somehow I had failed to adequately convey the central idea I intended, and that in whatever way I had done so, was consistent between each of the responses to one another. I also recognized that not too many years ago, my own response would have sounded a lot like these here. I had to think about what changed in me to try to find that link.

 

I've given a lot of thought, and research, to locating and identifying the point of disconnect, what and where the broken link was to be found.

 

I think I've found it, and will refer here to Erikson's theories of life stages within developmental psychology. Here's a link to an over view of those stages, as helpful to what I present here:

 

http://www.learningp...ize/Erikson.htm

 

Even as I encountered and studied these theories of life stages in college this past decade, I quickly recognized that I was already well into Erikson's 8th stage:

 

8. Late Adulthood: 55 or 65 to Death

Ego Development Outcome: Integrity vs. Despair

Basic Strengths: Wisdom

 

The only point of difference I would have to how the referenced summary descibed this life stage is that while Erikson presented the alternatives for how any person negotiates this stage of life as either 'integrity' or 'despair', it has been my experience that both have played major roles in my process, and I suspect will for most people. 'Integrity' and 'despair' have very much played parts in my journey through this life stage, as opposing polarities not in a negative sense, at odds with one another, but as complimenatry counterparts toward attaining toward the goal of this life stage. I've found 'wisdom' has come through finding a middle ground between them.

 

It has seemed to me that to negotiate this life stage purely out of one polarity or the other must lead to a vain, ego-centric, even arrogant, outcome. Whether to see out life in terms of pure integrity, purely positive, purely success, or that of the opposite, pure despair, purely negative, pure failure, is to hold a narrow ego-centric view of our own power to control not only our own choices, but those of others, as well, and of even power to control outside forces that might impact us. That's a very arrogant ego-centric position.

 

Finding the middle road, which is wisdom, it seems to me, requires the interaction and interplay of both ways we may percived ourselves and our actions throughout our life. Both the successes and the failures teach, not only each its own lessons, but the greatest lessons, through that interaction of both. Integrity without despair, or despair without integrity, seems to me empty and vain. We are not always right, we are not always wrong. To embrace either without regard for the other seems to me to end not in wisdom, but in arrogance. It is to say, whether of for good or ill, it was all in my own power to control. And it simply isn't.

 

In this, I see the 'depair' of this stage as the remorse that leads to repentance, that must come before we can proceed toward 'integrity' through a process of justification. This process itself IS the Pearl of Great Price, Christ, as presented in my original post.

 

Further study of Erikson's theories of developmetal stages of life make it more clear than this simple look at them that these various stages are not entirely discreet units that occur in some clearly defined sequential order over the course of our lives. In many things, we have to work on the same elements again and again over our lifetime before we finally navigate our way through them to a succesful resolution. Some people manage to do so more effectively or successfully than others. That is not a matter for judgement of anyone. Each person has a different set of tools to work with, from genetics to evironment to life experiences. The matter of import is not how far through the process any make it, but that that the process is under way. That is an important point, because again, we do not have power to control all potential outside forces, or the conditions we are born into. Whatever the most powerful 'learning experiences' of our life, or the tools each of us have for dealing with them, they are largely out of our control. We can only try to make the most of what we are given.

Edited by JenellYB

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Each person has a different set of tools to work with, from genetics to evironment to life experiences. The matter of import is not how far through the process any make it, but that that the process is under way. That is an important point, because again, we do not have power to control all potential outside forces, or the conditions we are born into. Whatever the most powerful 'learning experiences' of our life, or the tools each of us have for dealing with them, they are largely out of our control. We can only try to make the most of what we are given.

 

Jenell,

 

I can relate to these statements quoted and find much agreement to my own experiences. The rest of your response is a bit above my head intellectually as i don't really analyse my life very much nor am i read in psychology . Never attended College, just some technical schools and 4 years of correspondence Bible study. I try to be aware of thoughts without getting caught up in them and find myself most times just smiling at them.

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

Erickson's life stages theories are the result of study of tendencies of natural development over the lifespan of individuals. They are stages that take place whether we have any awareness of this, or of any set of psychological theories about them.

There is a tendency to think of developmental stages of psychological growth, cognitive, emotional development, as simply a childhood process, culminating in the fully matured adult, a finished product. Erikson observed that development not only continues throughout our lives, but did so in certain distinct stages, just as had been observed in childhood development.

 

Analyzing one's life IS the task of Erickson's 8th stage. That is the classic hallmark of that life developmental stage. It is something we generally don't get much into until we approach this stage in our lives. I know that my own musings toward analyzing my life before these later years was quite superficial, more oriented to where I was in my material life than in my spiritual growth or psychological maturation.

 

This has, of course, been observed throughout history across many cultures, even if not articulated into a structured theory. We can see it at work in all our lives, and those around us, interwoven into other natural patterns of life, such as the cycles of young adulthood, finding one's place in the world, taking on responsibilities of marriage and family, the middle years, coming to grips with one's mortality as in a mid-life crisis....

 

There is something of a cumulative effect of our life's experiences, and how we deal with them, but also a dynamic that comes into play something like finding 'key pieces' that make previously attained pieces of a puzzle suddenly fit together, where they didn't before, or in a new and different way than before. One can come to this either gently, gradually, or suddenly, traumatically. For each it is different. But I think the more confident one is of having it all together, the harder it hits.

 

This doesn't change that I accept and love myself, even like myself, as I am, as who I am. And for that all those past experiences are what brought me here, I must embrace them as positive, too. But just as I had learned how to let myself see others as they really were, and love them no matter how different that was from the fantastical image I had once held of them, learn to love them all over again for who and what they really were, I had to learn to confront and see myself, not just as I am now, but as I was back then, and accept and love 'her', that person i was before I became the person I am now. I had to confront 'her' flaws, her failures, and how that had affected others in 'her' life. I actually was only able to begin that work by casting my younger self in role of 'other', as 'her', not me. That was the only way I was at first able to have compassion for her, some of the things she had chosen, done, to look at her as i would some other little girl, young woman, young mother, in the circumstances she was in, before I could feel those things toward myself. Without that, my love and acceptance of myself really wasn't complete.

 

But too, I came to a better understandings of the underlying 'cause' for so many of both my own failings, and those of others that had been involved in my own stumbles and hurts, and those I had inflicted on others. I don't want to use the word 'blame', because that word implies something we are helpless against. To understand a 'cause' opens the way to effect, and it is there we can seek ways to effect change, not only in ourselves, but perhaps in the lives of others.

 

If any one truly feels there is nothing in their life, their choices and actions, for which to feel regret, I cannot say what the truth of it may be for them. Perhaps they are right. But it may also be, just as in my own life, they just haven't come to realization yet. We so often don't see the real consequences of our choices and actions at the time we make them, or even for many years after. I saw my own parents go through this late in their lives, ways that their choices and actions that had seemed right to them years before, had affected others in ways they had never imagined. Both had to confront things coming to light they'd buried so many years before, they struggled to even draw up the memories of some very major and significant events. They both had some really big stuff they had avoided, had never confronted themselves about, that they had held as deep dark secrets most their adult lives. It was painful for them, and for me to watch, as outside events forced them into the open. And some of it had very definitely affected how they had been toward me, and again, finally knowing those things, helped some of my own puzzle pieces fall into place. I had been carrying some of the burden of their baggage all my life, from infancy, without even knowing what I was carrying!

 

That, too, was one of those pieces that would become for me, key to putting together so much that just hadn't fit right for me before. Since those events had affected me, too, I too had to struggle to grasp why they had done as they had, understand, and learn to love them in new ways, with compassion for what they had experienced. I am thankful we had the chance to work through that stuff before the end of their lives, that it wasn't hanging as unfinished business for either them or myself. We had a chance to understand each other, each others failings, in terms of cause and effect, not blame.

 

What somes of this recognition is that trully we are never a finished work, we are always a work in progress, we are always in the process of becoming, and that whatever it is we have become and are now is no 'better' than what we were on our way to this point. And I really don't think we can grasp that until we've learned to look at honestly, have understanding and compassion for, who we 'were' along the way, as much as we have for who were are now. Further, there comes the realization that our work is also part of others' work, in ways we don't even know. Just as I, from infancy, was bearing burdens of my parents' choices and actions and things that happened to them through outside forces, so are my children and others whose lives I've touched bearing some of mine, even if neither they nor I know of it.

 

In my analogy to the field in which a great treasure is hidden, the pearl of great price, it is this work, this process, of mining the field, of my life, selling all that I own of value in this world (pride, self-satisfaction, approval of others, success by social standards) to get at what is of true value, the process toward justification. The process I see as 'being in Christ'.

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Jenell,

 

To me my pearl of great price is not a work at all but rather the "rest" of God. The reason it appears to me as to be of great price is because it seems, at least in my experience, one has to give up (sacrifice) what was previously counted to be of great value and seemed to be the source of, at least in my case, my identity.(what i thought was my personal and valuable thoughts and life content) In that sense it seems costly since one must surrender the things that seemed valuable to receive that which is free and seems of little perceived value to one self. Yet that which is free seems of no burden at all because it is selfless.

 

In my personal view, for me, i see a rest where there is no need to analyse content, carry a burden , put together anything , label or even understand stages or where i might have been or am now at. I am not saying that i am not on occasion disturbed from this peace or rest but only that i personally see this rest as the real treasure. In this rest is seen no anxiety or despair but rather a place of trust whereby positive actions can flow without conflict of thoughts. Perhaps i might describe it as a place where the present isn't constantly compared to the past or future and life can be lived more in the moment. A place where i am more amused at many of the thoughts that arise in me rather than caught up in them as if they are me.

 

Just some of my own related thoughts,

Joseph

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Yes, rest is an element of what I'm trying to convey...that rest, or repose as it is sometimes called, seems to me to to the 'center', the 'still point' at which we can observe, examine, evaluate our life and what we've brought forth through it, at a 'place', or 'state of being', in which nothing of that can touch us, we are safe from the painful aspects of those memories we may examine. I think this later stage I refer to comes only when we've confronted events and people in our lives, and have begun to confront ourself. To confront our painfull things without the pain, but with an open and objective mind and heart. Our own self is the most dificult of all to confront. But in that place of rest, repose, we are safe as we do so.

You wrote on there being no condemnation in Christ. It is neccesary for us to have found that state of no condemnation, as we confront outselves, else we could never really look at ourslves honestly and openly.

 

Perhaps Erikson was right, that some people do negotiate this latter stage with integrity, others with despair, but for me there were elements of both that worked in complimentary ways with one another. Perhaps there can be any range between those polarities involved. I know I felt very together, very integrated, until that time of crisis precipitated by traumatic events around me. My sense of security in my life, the world around me, was so badly shaken, I've never gotten over the sense of dread, pounding heart, trembling hands, any time the phone rights too early in the morning or too late at night. Perhaps part of it was the sense of group security involved, for all those events involved very stable people and situations, in which we ALL had it really together, if that makes sense. It was all just so NORMAL, and then it wasn't.

 

And perhaps there are differences in the lives of those that have experienced a lot of trauma, confusion, difficulties in life, and those that haven't. Though personally, I think more people carry traumas than we might suspect, but they pack them away and carry them quietly, out of sight. I've had some limited experience in 'death counseling' situations, as someone worked out those final thoughts as their near pending death drew near, and have talked with others that have, some working in nursing homes or hospitals or hospice. People often feel a need to share, talk about, things they've never told anyone, to someone 'safe', not close friend or family, perhaps out of fear of shock or judgement. Most often the struggle between the practical reasons for what they did, felt it was what they had to do, or was best at the time, against emotional, or moral reasons for why they might have acted in a different way. Often these were people any that new them would have though were together as it gets, had led uneventful lives.

 

But however eventful or not, there are still matters our mind, spirit, soul, have unfinished work in as we approach a senior age, the age of reflection. They are often things that simply confused us in our younger years, for our lack of adequate resources and experience to deal with them, or feel secure we dealt with them in the 'right' way. A woman may look back upon a newborn infant she had when very young, and given up for adoption, while another may still grieve the abortion no one knew about, and yet another struggles with how badly life has gone for her infant fathered by a rapist, that she kept and raised. A man I knew still struggled 60 yrs later with the death of his infant son, smothered by his own body in a bed when he dropped off to sleep without first putting the child safely in its crib. Yet another may discover only later in life that someone he had treated harshly, for some offense he believed had been committed, had not been guilty of that offense at all, and saw how his harsh treatment negatively impacted the other's life. Sometimes, one can just feel one has wasted their talents, frittered life away in vain pursuits. Many things. Many reasons.

 

Jenell

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In my senior years past and future are experienced in the mind. The present moment I experience in the spirit. I like the present moment experience the most.

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Definitely the present is the place to be!

I don't know that any of us can stay there all the time though, and being able to fully in the present can require dealing with both the past and the future to some extent. Perhaps more or less for any one, but there, none the less. No doubt some people have a lot more in the past that wasn't fully dealt with when it happened than many others, and until it is dealt with, one can find it difficult to even find the present, let alone stay in it to any extent. This can be especially so when relationships with others are in the mix.

In shamanic traditions, this is sometimes spoken of as 'soul retrieval', traveling into the past to find some piece of one's soul, or psyche, that was 'lost' there, to bring it back into the now, to help make the broken whole again.

 

Attending the future is also more important to being able to stay in the now than many may realize. Example, if you weren't in the circumstances you are now, knowing you have reasonably well arranged your life so as to not concern yourself with what you will eat tomorrow, where you will stay, etc, it would be much harder to stay in the now. Again, expecially when relationships with others are involved,such as children depending on you, too. Another example I've experienced now as older, my health not real good, in having taken carefully thought out and planned actions to as they say,'set my will in good order', so as to make myown passing, andant complicating health matters that may preceed it, so my children won't be thrown into trying to figure it all out at a worst of times, what to do, what I wasnt done, who I want to do what...even preparing for each a personal letter explaining choices I did in what I've designated to each. I want this responsibity, to give them at the last, as easy a task as I can. I cannot gurarntee I can spare the many of the nasty stuff after some family deaths, but I can do what I can. Which weil be given chatge of what, established between them ahead of time, and all shared between them so they all known. To avoid, such as amy mother's passing, 4 differnet people she had promised to leave acertain speical itiem...andI really think each were being honest, mother has just forgotten she's already promised it then promised it to another.

Knowing I've taken care to try to avoid those problems for my own loved ones helps me not think much into that future, to stay in the now, the present when with them.

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Jenell,

I think you bring up some important concerns and points. It does seem wise to take care of preparations for the future if and when we are able. And when it is being done, in my view, it is best done in the now. Yes, being in the present doesn't mean we don't take care of things for the future or learn from the past but rather that we deal with them by being present with them rather than allowing the mind to enter a state of anxiety by focusing on "what ifs" of the future or "I should haves" of the past. To me, the different is both subtle and profound. It seems sometimes, our mind internally argues with what is or as tariki might say with the "suchness" of the moment. When we become accepting of the moment, we align ourselves with Life and Peace itself and increase our capacity to be an agent for positive change whether in planning for the future or procuring healing for the past.

 

In short, i think one could say when in the present moment there are no real problems. Actions arise from clarity rather than confusion, depression, doubt, anger or other emotions.caused by being lost in the content of the past or fears of the future of ones life. To be in the moment, nothing can be more important than the present moment which is not a denial of what is needed in our life but rather a focus from which we can work from and experience fully. I believe the moment will allow for the futures unfolding.

Just some thoughts inspired by your words,

Joseph

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You know, the truth is that the present, this moment, is really "all there is". This moment is the only thing that is 'real' for any of us. To stay, dwell. in the past with such negative emotions as you note here, is pointless. In my consideration of dealing with things past, on a psychological and emotional level, so as to resolve whatever issues that have tended to keep us anchored in the past, preventing our being able to be/stay fully in this moment, is to let go of that anchor.

 

The same I see it pertaining to future. Worry about future is as pointless as guilt or shame or anger at things past. Whether of past or future, there are things that are subject to resolution, and those that are not. Come down to something as in the serentiy prayer, courage to change what I can, accept what I can't, and wisdom to know the difference. Most of the ways in which we might productively resolve things past are much related to things future as well, because it changes us, and how we go forward.

 

In say, matters of future, taking present action to affect future, is to recognize that at some point, that future will in turn become the present moment, when we get there. Just as my present moment has much to do with past actions taken in past present moments.

But again, what we can, and what we can't, has much to do with it. For example, were I or you or anyone be placed into a situation, set of circumstances, in which such options for the future as most of us here take for granted simply aren't open to us, peace, serenity, is found through acceptance of that present reality.

 

Jenell

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