Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Let Your Light Brighten The World

Softly and kindly remind yourself, I cannot own anything”.
-Wayne Dyer
The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
-Pema Chodron
We all own things.  In general I am not a materialistic person but I love my music and book collection.  Books and music have been my solace in life.  Here’s the rub.  While owning things is not wrong, when those things own you it can be a problem.  There are material things to which I am very attached.  It would be difficult to let them go as if they had no importance to me.  Like most married men I only control about 10% of my home.  My wife controls the other 90%.  Of course, this does not include the kitchen or the laundry room.  She has no interest in either of those rooms so those rooms are part of my kingdom.  Most of what I care about, and to which I am attached, is in my man cave.  It is my Fortress of Solitude and it’s where all my stuff is.
I have often written that most people overrate themselves.  Who can accept their own reality?  Who can look at a flawed person in the bathroom mirror and think, “I’m good with him or her”?  Age often brings honesty.  By the time most people are my age they know who and what they are.  There are parts of who I am that are very good.  There are other parts of who and what I am that need a lot of work.  I believe all people are basically good but we are also flawed and broken.  We have all been hurt and we have all been scarred from life.  It is challenging to face your own brokenness.  It can even be more challenging to admit your pain.  However, on the flip side, most of us are slow to admit that we are also “walking around shining like the sun”, to use the words of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk who has been a great influence on me.  Today happens to be his birthday.  Own your pain but also own your greatness.  Don’t be weighed down by attachments and don’t be discouraged because of your brokenness.  Let your light brighten the world around you.

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