Thursday, November 29, 2007


My granddaughter amazes me. She has the wonderful childlike quality of truly being in the moment. In this regard she is a true Zen Master. This Christmas season is the first year she really gets the whole Santa thing. The moment I walked into the day care on Tuesday, she immediately started telling me what Santa was bringing her. I doubt that Chloe's parents know about anything on Chloe's personal list. It probably changes everyday. A few weeks ago my wife and I bought her a pink stuffed horse the size of a Shetland pony. I got a lot of stares as I carried this animal through Toys R Us. I'm sure this magical creature will be needed to pull the wagon that will hold all of her other gifts. During a recent five star dinner at Dairy Queen she told my wife and me about her recent visit with Santa. According to her, Santa looks a lot like me! After dinner, when we got to my house, she had to check out all the Christmas decorations. Chloe is also developing memories. When she was at my house on Tuesday, she remembered a bad habit I taught her several weeks ago. "Let's eat sugar, Pa Paw"! In a moment of wondering "What can we do now?" I had taught her how to get her finger wet and then stick it in a sugar bowl. "This tastes really good, Pa Paw"! I guess I now need to let her help me bake a cake so she can learn to lick the extra batter from the bowl. She will be over again tonight. What kind of trouble will we get into?

Yesterday one of my readers sent me an article with suggestions on how to do a better job of preparing for Christmas on a spiritual level in the midst of all the secular and commercial busyness. This coming Sunday is the 1st Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus. I am enclosing the link for those who are interested.

I have often read that who we think we are is not who we are at all. Most people are judged and evaluated by their personalities. Our personality is not who we are. Our personality is one of many masks that we wear as we participate in the great drama of life. As Shakespeare once said, "All the world's a stage". Our personalities are little more than characters we play in life. The personality that the world sees is something all of us have created for ourselves. Of course, it was not a conscious creation. It is our life experience, especially our childhood, that was the inspiration for the face that we present to the world. Psychology tells us that we created our personalities as ways to protect ourselves from the traumas of life. My personality appears on the surface as very laid back, peaceful, and easy going. It's not all a lie but it sometimes masks less desirable traits such as being angry, rebellious, and hostile. The personality you see is a sometimes false image of who I really am. My passive persona masks a very passionate person. It hides how I sometimes feel because I don't want to be angry, rebellious, or hostile. Other times I may seem withdrawn because it is difficult to express what I am really feeling. I am not always happy with my own behavior or needs. I wish that I always felt like I appear to others. So what's the point of this? The spiritual journey is a journey into ourselves, through the maze of false selves and personality characteristics, where someday we hope to find ourselves in God. This finding of ourselves in God will reveal our true self. our true nature, and the essence of who we really are. I'm not quite there yet. Some days I feel like I am on the right path. Other days I feel lost in the forest of my own contradictions with no bread crumbs to help me find my way back. Those are the days where I feel as though I am just wandering aimlessly through life.

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