Friday, February 11, 2011

Random Thoughts Volune XVIII

Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard of Facebook. It's an on-line social network that was originally geared towards young people but now even old people like me are out there. Each person can indicate what they like in terms of products, entertainment, and many other kinds of things. You can also update your "status" so all your friends and connections know what you are doing. You can learn a lot about people by looking at the kinds of things they post on their Facebook page. Whether or not we are on Facebook or not, all of us put "status updates" out on a regular basis. When I come to work in the morning I have a co-worker who can immediately know my status by the look in my eyes. When my wife gets in our car at the end of our workday and sighs it's a pretty good indicator of how her day went. We do this all day with our moods, our body language, and the kinds of things we say, not to mention the way we say them. What is your status today?

We hear many voices in our daily lives. Most of the voices I hear are positive, affirming, encouraging, and loving. The rare voice is negative, critical, and life draining. Unfortunately, the critical and negative voices can seem like a shout while the positive voices are more of a whisper. The voice of God and the voice of love are gentle sounds. Most of the time we may not even hear them because the negative and critical voices can seem so loud even if they are few in number. This is why it is important to be centered and awake so that the ear of our hearts can hear and listen to the gentle voices that remind us that we are loved and that we are good and that we are appreciated. Turn away from the critical and negative voices in your life. Tune your ear and your heart to the voices of those who love you and who build up your life.

"There is no instinct like that of the heart".
-Lord Byron

Although I have a gut type personality who sometimes overreacts to situations, I frequently feel caught in the middle of a tug of war between my head and my heart. My head is the intellectual and analytical part of me. My heart is the intuitive, caring side of me. Sometimes data and facts will point you in one direction but your heart pulls you in another. I must admit that I always lean towards my heart. I trust my heart. It tells me what is right and not just what is correct. I've heard it said that you should always use your head in all decisions that don't involve people and to use your heart in all decisions related to people. Of course this does not always work. Sometimes the right thing to do is also the difficult thing to do and while your head might agree, the decision may break your heart. On the other hand, I have never made a decision with my heart that gave me a headache.

Here's something my granddaughter said to me this past weekend.

"It's not fair that adults have to go to work everyday and kids have to go to school and pets get to stay home. They should have to go to school too so they can learn not to pee and poop all over the house".

My mornings and evenings at home bookend my day. It is during these times that I breathe, read, meditate, relax, and remind myself what is important in life. Everything in between, whether I am in the office, or out and about in the world, is task related and work. Work is work and I expect it to be challenging and occasionally frustrating. When I am not in the workplace doing my employer's work, there is the work of taking care of the demands and needs of my own daily life. Life can seem to be a never ending "to do" list. This is not always bad thing. Much of it is truly necessary. I do try to avoid unnecessary work that is generated by other people's agendas. Tuesday night, however, it was necessary that I go to the grocery because my pantry was very low. Although I am grateful I had money to go buy groceries, I find grocery shopping quite an ordeal. Walking through the aisles, filling your cart, emptying your cart at the checkout, loading all the bags in your car, carrying all the bags into your home, and putting it all away is definitely work. We will never have task free lives. However, the tasks of life, all the "doing", must be counter balanced with some time for "being" when we can breathe, read, meditate, relax, and remind ourselves what's really important in life.

While I was taking my daily walk yesterday I found myself thinking of my Dad. He died two years ago today. The night before he died I was alone with him in his hospital room. His last words to me were "I want to hug you good bye". I leaned down over his bed and we hugged. I could see a tear in his eye. It was a very emotional moment for both of us. He died the next morning just moments before I arrived to visit him again. I miss him more than I thought I would and I realize more and more that he was a good father to me. He had many flaws, as we all do, but time is judging him more kindly. When I think of him I wonder whether or not I am a good father to my children. When we become parents we swear that we won't make the same mistakes as our parents but we usually do along with a few new ones. We didn't know it at the time but when my father in law died in 2003 Chloe was in the womb. Since my father died more great grandchildren have been born. Shakespeare was correct when he said that "All the World's a Stage". In the great drama of life, some characters exit stage left while new characters enter from stage right. The stage is always full but the collection of characters is forever changing.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very interesting thoughts.
Hope you already read the Bible.
Please also read the teaching of Swami Vivekananda, or Bhagawath Gita.
It will give you further insights.
John. P.K