Dichotomies all in One

Greetings my gentle readers to a new year for the “Be Yourself, Often” blog at www.joelwlamoure.com. Sit and settle down and be willing to stop and reflect in a comfortable way, put your thinking cap on and wonder about the questions that permeate the universe, collaboratively looking to answers that will help advance the spirit and ultimately humanity. Welcome to 2013 and a year that if we chose to take up the flag and carry it high may be the first of many where we practice the exercise of paying things forward. That concept of helping others with the extras that we have in order to be able to make the world and our communities a better place to be. If you have already failed in your New Years Resolution, it’s never to late and if you are succeeding, apply that knowledge to pick up a new skillset!

We all have skills and gifts, no matter how rich or poor that we are. That is one of the benefit of being human and despite the fact that society values certain gifts over another, that does not mean that one is any more or any less important at the end of the day. We should not allow our expectations to drive the end results of what we do, but rather by the actions, which are inherent in our belief system, we can see the benefits that transpire and ripple out in concentric circles.

Negatives as well spread (sadly in fact faster than success) and a negative belief system, fraught with first world whines is the most likely way to guarantee failure. Especially when coupled with a societal driven set of values versus being willing to accept the positives but also these negatives as learning opportunities. Learning opportunities are a positive that can be then translated into future positives. So instead of allowing the negatives to devour, one can reframe and stand back and reflect before passing the sea of poop downstream to the next unfortunate soul until you are immersed so deeply that it will be difficult to extricate. Aristotle stated that “We are as we always do”. But there is a possibility to reframe and readdress that belief system and thus what we do and change what we become. How? Positivity, learning from negativity and being critically aware (looking at the goods and bads) of our belief system and having the mental fortitude and emotional/spiritual maturity to change them as we want. It is possible for anyone to do that.

Lets pull these four thoughts together now shall we? These are 1) paying it forward, 2) we all have gifts and talents that are unique and 3) negatives beget negatives exponentially and finally 4) negatives can be reframed as positives. Lets filter these through the concept that knowledge is power and that knowledge can change our belief system.

We cannot be all things to all people at all times, which is a lesson personally to reflect upon. Instead of being always the teacher or student, it is good to reflect that we can actually (and are) be both. Basically, we just ARE ourselves. And that is OK. That I found was an incredible and very liberating insight. That degree of awareness and reflection will prevent some of the naysayers and dark jabs in the night from allowing us to be at-ease with ourselves. Of course we suffer mentally and physically in this life with all of the dis-ease going around! It is our positive side and resilience and gifts that keep us trucking along! We cannot teach everything and be an expert in all and conversely we can wish to learn from those masters what we have the emotional strength and willingness to learn. What do we need to learn? Only you know but quiet reflections and listening to the Fates and the lines within the shadows shall help set you on a better vector. A colleague told me this week that “God draws in squiggly lines” and that is so true. There is not a clear path, but forests and swamps and dangerous animals to reach the gingerbread house.

Want to help yourself? Give of the gifts and that cup does refill and eventually, truly does runneth over with opportunity and wonder. To keep to yourself and hide your candle under a bush will most only result in loneliness and a bush set on fire, or burned fingers when the candle is too small. Or actually, any of the three options.

Sharing the knowledge and being aware and not so tight-arsed about things gives freedom and clarity so one can see what actually is in the cup. Self-appreciation and self-valuation will help you appreciate the value of what is in the cup and stepping away from first-world whines will give you the fortitude top use it. That is the beginning of spiritual development and the antithesis of negativity begetting negativity.

First step is to be ALIVE, be aware and practice being at-ease with the self, and that involves stepping back from the yuck of the day and going to the meditative and reflective place of play and regeneration. We can be both past and present and indeed our past (good and bad) defines our present, which IS a gift. Once we start that we can realize be can be both adult and child, giver and receiver, teacher and student, healer and healing and start to be yourself, often.
~~~ Rev. Dr. Joel Lamoure January 2013

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