Archive for January, 2011

Valuing relationships before they end

January 25, 2011
posted by Admin

Today, I said goodbye to someone I love. It was very painful but mostly my heart ached. I felt for both of us as she granted me this last goodbye hug. I had expected this move…the sudden withdrawal….not returning phone calls. I knew that the separation was imminent and now it was here!
Up to now, I had never really thought about the natural cycle of a relationship. To take the step of loving another human is risky! Now, once I stepped out into loving someone and I am committed in a relationship, there is a beginning, middle and end to a relationship. At the start of the relationship, we often don’t realize this. We are flooded with feelings of curiosity and excitement about the other. We believe and hope that this beginning can last forever. We trick ourselves into thinking and believing that this is the way I should feel when I am with this person. We feel nourished when we are with this person, male or female, it doesn’t matter. Oh, our expectation that suspends us through the air of possibilities! But then, we are forced to view the reality, the limitations of time and space – the limitations of our simple, human condition. It is certainty that all relationships will come to an end!
We plead with our God, the Universe, Mother Nature to keep the love energy flowing between me and the other – that our relationship with the one we love will never end. But, of course, it must! When this happens, we are heart-broken!
It is the heart break that draws us to appreciate the middle, which most of us would agree is the daily, hum-drum part of the relationship. We also know in our heart of hearts, that this is the staple, the life-blood of any relationship. It’s like licking the cream out of an ordinary, yet quite extraordinary Oreo cookie! If we could enjoy the day to day with those we profess to love, the way we enjoy that Oreo cream, the quality of our lives would be vastly improved!

Active Tolerance

January 18, 2011
posted by Admin

Today was a typical day in my life. I grabbed my cup of coffee and sat down to read the New York Times. After reading the lead article, the title of which is not important, I can’t help but reflect on the polarization of our country and people. I am infinitely sad at the way my country is so polarized; the way that people are so angry. By highlighting differences, the average politician winds up inciting anger in his constituents. The result is confusion and upset in the minds of all citizens.
Politicians want to seek solutions. I get that! It is tempting for all of us to seek easy solutions. Find what you think is right, stick to it, and then categorize all other points of view as wrong! This standard black and white thinking reduces our struggle towards compromise and fully understanding other points of view. It feeds into a false belief that if we think that we are right, we are safe. But, it seems to me that we have shoved our fear into a box and covered it over with our anger towards opposing points of view. It doesn’t matter if this is left- right; liberal-conservative; Democrat or Republican. We are all entering into this kind of thinking that separates us from our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens. We become more and more isolated from each other and fearful.

Does everything in this country come down to right and wrong? Are we that frightened of each other?

We will never truly know who is right or wrong in the way that we think or believe. We will never live in a world where everyone agrees with us. No matter what we believe, there will always be others who believe that we are wrong. We will not be able to exist or to create a future without the collective efforts and talents of all of our citizens, those that we think are right and those that we think are wrong.
In the end we will have to forgive those that are different from us if we are to heal and move on as a country. What is happening in our nation right now is important! We need to pay attention to our anger, fear and helplessness. In reading the paper today, I came across this quote:
“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope……Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore, we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” Reinhold Niebuhr
May the New Year bring you peace!