The Fool in Me

Is it wrong that I am all giddy about the Bachelorette and I believe she found true love?

Does that make me a hopeful romantic or a fool? 

I’d like to point out here that I did not watch the final rose ceremony but I read about it online.  (This is me taking the moral high ground.) I’m way above setting the DVR for that trash! However, I do set the DVR for the Real Housewives of New York City and Bethanny.  What does this say about me? 

I have a friend who tells me he can’t believe I listen to rap music.  He was looking through my ipod and was confused by my choices.  He doesn’t know what to make of me.  I’ve got rap music and country music and gospel music and Christian contemporary music and folk music and rock and pop (I’ll admit right here,   I sing along to Lady Gaga  – I mean, come on, Alejandro?  How can you not?)

I love to dance and I love to sing and I often do both…sometimes at parties, sometimes in my kitchen.  I’ve been known to walk away mid conversation by saying, “Oh my gosh, I LOVE this song!!!” and running to the dance floor. 

I felt compelled to write about this because watching the clips and reading the articles online about the Bachelorette actually made me happy.  They made me laugh.  I escaped into a world of love and fantasy and romance.  It felt good.  That’s how it feels to listen to music and to dance.  But sometimes when we dance we might look foolish or when we admit we need an escape, we might look weak.  Or if we say we like reality tv, we may not be looked upon as the “sharpest tool in the toolbox”. 

I love this quote that sums up how I’m feeling about all of this and I want to share it with you…

“I must learn to love the fool in me-the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.  It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool.”

-Theodore I. Rubin, MD

        

I hope you dance today!

Gripping

Are you gripping?

Are you thinking, “What is she talking about?”

Gripping means (now, I’m not Webster’s but this is what I mean by it) holding onto your belief so tightly that you are blinded.  You are spending all of your energy defending your belief and telling others how right you are, that you literally cannot see another way.

Now, some of you are thinking, “I’m not gripping, I just have strong beliefs.” Others are saying, “You have to stand for something.”

Yes, you do.  We all have beliefs.  We all have chosen our beliefs so therefore, we believe them to be the right beliefs for us.  Some of us may even think we are open and accepting to other’s beliefs.  We talk about acceptance and love and understanding. 

And then we are challenged. 

Someone says something to us that comes from a different point of view and we feel threatened.  We start to get red in the face.  Our heart starts beating faster.  We start talking without thinking and we are LOUD.  The worst is when the other person remains calm and composed and quiet. 

We recognize the other person is listening.  We see the other person nodding their head in understanding, they are showing compassion and they are trying to understand our point of view.  They do not feel threatened.

After this exchange (can you tell this has happened to me?) you feel tired.  You feel misunderstood.  You feel frustrated.  You do not want to repeat this again so you decide you are not going to talk to anybody, ever, about that topic.  In fact, you may never talk again.  You certainly aren’t going to talk to that smug, self-satisfied, know it all…

Then you realize you were the know it all.  You were loud and defensive and closed minded.  But how can that be? You are about acceptance and love and understanding.

Hmmm….

My feeling is that other person knows something about non-attachment.  She is not wishy washy with what she believes but she does not need you to believe it to make it true for her.  She does not need to prove you wrong to make her right.  She does not need to be right.  She hopes to be kind.  She hopes that she may learn from you and that you may be open to learning from her.  She is sharing what works for her in hopes that it may work for you.  If it does not serve you, she will not be offended. 

Her self worth does not depend on your acceptance.

What does your self worth depend on?  Do you need to be right? 

 Next time someone challenges you or your beliefs, listen, show compassion and try to understand their point of view.  I’ll be trying to do the same. Once I start talking again…

Soul

“You don’t have a soul.  You are a soul.  You have a body.” 

-C.S. Lewis

How much time have you spent working out this week? (If you are like me, you may be saying “not enough”)

 Have you ever heard anyone talk about spiritual exercises?  There is such a thing, you know.  Bible study is a spiritual exercise.  Praying is a spiritual exercise.  Bringing more awareness into your life is a spiritual exercise.  Breathing can be a spiritual exercise.  Writing in a gratitude journal is a spiritual exercise. 

Sometimes just finding the strength to mop the floor and do the laundry is a spiritual exercise.  I like to think hanging out with friends and laughing is a spiritual exercise.  

The point is, we need to work on our spiritual muscles as much as our physical muscles.  When this body is gone, our souls live on.  Isn’t that the irony?  As our bodies decay and become weaker, our souls become wiser and stronger. 

 Body acceptance is a tough thing.  But when I look at that quote I realize that my body is temporary.  It’s like my soul is being allowed to reside there for now but eventually, my body will give out.  I will not die but my body will. 

 Just like anything we borrow, we should take good care of it.  We should appreciate it.  We should not ruin it or abuse it in any way.  But also just like anything we borrow, we know we have to give it back.  We know it won’t last forever.  We can enjoy it and have fun with it and then give it back when it’s time…with gratitude.