Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Domination and Power Lust Hurts People


"Whosoever ... desires domination and power, very often seeks to obtain what he loves by most open crimes." --Augustine

Even crimes such as lying, controlling, deceiving, envying, competing, jealousy, boastfulness, ridicule, bombast, fakery, withholding, manipulation, cheating, and rudeness are considered - by me, anyway - to be 'most open crimes'.

As the recipient of such open crimes I can testify that they really are criminal. They hurt. They confuse, frustrate, and cause to stumble.

They are not only not good, they are very very bad. Evil even.

Thanks be to God whose presense in our lives bears fruit that is lovely, good, uplifting, and true.

I choose to avoid evil in whatever form it takes - to battle it to the death if need be! - whether in others or in myself. When in others, an admonishment may be called for. Sometimes walking away is the only recourse. But evil - if it won't be confessed and repented of - must be shunned, for it is a thief of serenity, and a time bandit, and a messer of minds.

I choose to 'think on these' noble things, and shun the open crimes which creep into life but can easily be swept away once recognized.

Secret: Recognize and Refuse

Over and over if necessary.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Peak Performance for Life


"The universe is always changing. But in the Perfection Syndrome, you tend to swim upstream against change, trying to control your environment instead of working with it, all to avoid the possibility of failure. The need to control brings a harsh, judging attitude about things. You end up, no matter how successful your life looks on the trophy shelf, stressed out and burned out.  
'Peak performance occurs when you are able to reach out and discover, using the natural essence of self - creativity, inquiry, and aliveness. When you operate from these qualities, rather than perfection, the questions that you ask are not whether you are right or wrong, but, 'What can I learn? What am I feeling? What value am I adding?' These questions lead you not to be concerned about failure but to be fascinated with the outcomes of your actions. And that fascination gives birth to the key to peak performance - awareness. Through awareness you make adjustments naturally." ~~ Tom Crum 
During a recent gathering I witnessed both Peak Performance and the Perfection Syndrome. To have an object lesson to go with Tom's perspective drove home his points brilliantly. 

Harsh, judging attitudes reduced the joy of the gathering. Those with Perfection Syndrome couldn't stop controlling. They monitored, manipulated, threatened, reactively snapped at people, and just generally were terrible wet blankets during the entire event. It was unpleasant to be in the same room
with these people for they intimidated, caused tension, dampened spirits. It seemed an invisible rule book of dogmatic - and obviously flawed - life principles prodded the words and hands of the fearful. Strangely, these stiff-necked folks couldn't seem to make out that their behavior was diminishing, while the behavior of those they attempted to control was uplifting. The fearful seemed oddly blind to it all. I tried to avoid them and let their negativity roll off my back and succeeded to a degree. I have to say, it hurt to witness the hurt they instilled on innocents for no good reason.

At the same time, those who achieved peak performance - or nearly so and when not under the badgering of the 'fear of failure' folks - enjoyed the time at hand. Discovery, joy, happiness, creativity, inquiry, aliveness, participation. Learning, feeling, adding value to themselves and their world. They were aware. They were interesting as well and interested. They were fun, lively. And, yes, I witnessed natural adjustments being made as situations ever-changed, as they always do. I enjoyed hanging out with these folks.

What I learned over this weekend is that when Jesus says that unless we become like little children we won't see the Kingdom of Heaven, I think He means just that. He means we have to be alive, aware, curious, interested, teachable, open, and able to adjust naturally to the ebb and flow of life. The childlike way is to be receptive rather than controlling, respectful rather than belligerent, inclusive rather than judging. It makes sense.

Life unfolds slowly, over time. One must pay attention for reaping follows sowing. And, though sometimes hard at the time, after love and awareness are sown, reaping is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Living on the Banks

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting, and doing things historians usually record - while, on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happens on the banks."~~Will Durant, The Story of Civilization

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's Not Dark, But It's Getting There

Just learned this: My dad recently, pensively told my daughters that neither they nor their parents, brothers or cousins know the real America. He said he knew it. But it's gone. "You will probably never see it again." I'm crying because for some time my heart has told me the same thing. So few of us stop long enough to notice and fewer of us care.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Service is Joy

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know. The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve." ~~Albert Schweitzer, to a graduating class of medical students
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.  I awoke and found that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. ~~ Rabindranath Tagore