I’ve always struggled with unrealistic expectations and the depression that follows when I’m forced to face the realities of our human imperfections (including mine) and a seemingly hopelessly imperfect world.
One of my many disillusionments has been how imperceptible are the differences even the greatest of us makes. For every plague we cure, another one is born. From every war we win, the seeds of the next are sown. For every race or nation emancipated, we project our inner evil on another one. For every answer we discover, a new question arises.
I cling to the hope, that in the overall picture of eons of evolution, that there is progress imperceptible to us in humanity’s short history, but recognizable to God.
Sometimes in the crucible of my own struggle to become the person God created me to be, no matter how humiliatingly limited that potential may be, I get a glimpse of a tiny, almost imperceptible new strength, understanding, and freedom in my willingness to love. If I can resist being overwhelmed by the multitude of areas where I still fall short, I can focus on the next breadcrumb in the spiritual trail God has scattered for me in my daily life.
The key word for me is ‘tiny.’ My illusions are large with fairy tale size expectations.
My husband is a realist, who lives in the moment, and is able to focus on just the next task. I once had a dream in which we were at dinner on a river cruise. The waiters kept bringing small appetizer like courses, one after the other. My husband happily ate each one as it came, while I refrained, waiting for the main course. At some point I realized that there was no main course.
I cannot lie, it’s still frustrating. Sometimes, I have overwhelming dark days of discouragement. But they aren’t frequent, they don’t last long, and usually I can follow God’s bread crumbs out into the light again, feeling a tiny bit stronger and wiser and a tiny bit more able to love. Grace can turn dark times into what stretches us and increases our capacity not only for persevering, but for joy and love.
Some of those bread crumbs are found in blogs I follow. Among them (but not limited to these) are: Unshakeable Hope; Make Believe Boutique; Notes from the Bluegrass; Doctor Dad; Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Staying Sane; Morning Story and Dilbert; Mridula; Dark Matter.
The many sources of bread crumbs vary greatly from Scripture, nature, friends, books, movies, TV, dreams, memories, and even the comic strips. When we look for God’s breadcrumbs, they are everywhere.
I found some notes today on a delightful little book I bought in England years ago: The Power of Meow
by Bernard Gunther about Rumi, his cat.
The following are quotes from this:
I have known three zen masters in my lifetime. All of them were cats.
Zen is nothing special; just doing one thing at a time.
The power of meow is fully being at this moment, completely present, totally aware of your boundless, real, authentic, cat like nature.
Life is like a cat. It often doesn’t do what you want it to. It tests, annoys, frustrates, fascinates, exacerbates, and sometimes confuses you. ….
For, life is not your fantasy. It is what’s ultimately good for you. Because all in all, life itself is your spiritual teacher, your guruh.
When you learn to deal with what is not ideal, your life will be a good deal easier.
Spirituality is about being fully present (open) in every moment to moment relationship and situation.
If you make a mistake, make it a take, learn from it. Don’t dwell on it, forgive yourself and move on. Some people suffer just for the hell of it.
Value what you have as much as what you want.
Rumi, being always present, does not have to achieve anything or get anywhere. So he can be spontaneous, free, with no obsession, tragic story, or chronic fear. Life is a constantly unfolding playful mystery.
Every moment, thought, feeling, experience, or situation is an opportunity for greater awareness and transformation.
Who you think you are can’t survive, but who you really are can’t not survive.
True love is being in love with the ultimate source of love.
We are all melting in the fire of Ultimate Love’s intention.
This spoke so loudly at the time and once again in the now. I definitely have spiritual Alzheimer’s.