I have a favourite quotation, though I’m afraid I don’t know where it came from but it goes like this:
The measure of our greatness is in how we stand up after we fall.
I think of this so often, bore people to death with it, prod my patients and students with it and recite it out loud whenever I feel that I’ve stumbled in life. It usually ends then with, ‘So stand up, Brenda! Come on. Stand up!’
So I try to see not only the greatness and beauty, but the magnificence in everybody. But of seeing EVERYONE as amazing and magnificent, can sometimes be a challenge. Then I think that in all the best stories there must be an antagonist… He or she is not only as important as everyone else, but is actually essential. It’s their job to test, taunt, befuddle and obstruct the hero and often demonstrate how NOT to behave; what NOT to do… Indeed the hero can never find himself in fully his magnificence unless there’s someone who makes him think, makes him grow, makes him finally stand up in power and integrity for what’s right – for the truth. It’s the antagonist who helps shape the hero and prompts him to do and be more than he ever thought he could at the beginning of the story.
Much of our learning is stimulated by painful things, but for me, equally if not more important, is that there is so much light we often don’t see if we’re focussed on the dark and the pain. Sometimes it’s hard not to do that since the pain seems to envelop us and drag us down, but, if we can just look up there’s amazing gifts all around us. And since it’s a fact that what we focus on increases, ideally we can keep ourselves afloat even in the hard times
Each of us is the hero in our own life story. And somewhere along our path we will come across our antagonist – or many. These are people who have agreed to play the awful roles. They’re the person in the film that everyone hates… But it’s important that we don’t hate, otherwise we get dragged out of our hero role and start to behave just like them- hating, judging, being aggressive, divisive and more.
We don’t need to do that! Let’s stand in what we know to be right and refuse to abuse even those who abuse us. Let us demonstrate every day a better way to live; a more loving way to live; a peaceful way to live. Those who are behaving badly need our love even more than the rest! They even deserve our gratitude because they were willing to take this awful part in order to prompt us to stand up! But also, they have already more than enough hate, negativity, anger that fuels them to behave as they do. And that’s usually because they themselves have been badly hurt. So, let’s not add more!
So, amazingly powerful magnificent loving peaceful people, let us keep moving forward. Only then can we turn the tide.
Have a great day!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the blending of different styles of communication – different languages even – and all the physical gestures and body language that make communication so rich and alive – and how we enter into the sacred dance as we approach each other. We learn each other’s language and twirl and play with each other, helping guide each other around the dance-floor of life and relationship while we try not to stand on each other’s toes. And, if we do, hopefully, we apologise. Then we gain pace and, ideally, listen to the rhythm of each other’s inner music and keep in step harmoniously, while allowing the other to have the beat alternately too, so that the relationship stays alive and respectful. And how we need to remember the etiquette of the dance – equal partners, sharing the time and the space and attention, no matter who we dance with – even briefly – whether strangers, or authority figures or people who may have difficulty understanding us. And, of course, with children too. And how, if we don’t listen to the other’s rhythm, and therefore stand all over each others feet and sensibilities, relationships can lose their music and descend into a noisy painful chaos… the dance lost.
Sometimes , like everyone else, I lose my rhythm, get off track, miss a beat and then my thoughts aren’t clear, my intention wobbles, my path appears lost for a while and I need to pause and look and reign myself in and start again. I’m grateful at those times when some mystical divine order sends something to alert me, warn me, show me that I need to make a shift, even if its painful, to align myself with divine will and walk straight, dance fluidly, get back in my power and be fully in tune with the beat my life requires for me to share this planet with a wonderful diversity of cultures, colours, creed, age, gender and be as be effective as I can, doing my work, living my mission, loving unconditionally.
So, now I’m off to dance with life. Have a great day!
Here it’s early – 4.40 to be precise and I’m up, as usual, having my precious time before this part of the world wakes up. I love this time… quiet, still dark at this time of the year, but in summer, already serenaded by birds. This morning there’s a feeling of being blanketed, a muffled sort of silence, this bit of Wales cuddled up and sleepy. While no doubt the foxes that I sometimes manage to catch sight of at this hour, are almost at the end of their hunting time and preparing to go home.
But that takes me to all the people around the world who don’t have a home to go to. Who are waking up on the street or down some alleyway or a shop doorway, or in a bit of wreckage that was once their home, camped in a pile of rubble or wherever. That is, if they ever got to sleep in the first place. In Zambia, children will be waking up on the pieces of cardboard they spread out on the road still warm from yesterday’s traffic or in the storm drains where they run the risk of being downed in a flash flood during the rains. And I wonder just how much we’ve progressed as humanity that such things can still be the norm for millions of people.
There was a UN report a little while ago about how many people in UK are living from food banks, scrabbling around each day to be able to feed their children. How have we allowed that to happen? Where ‘austerity’ has spelt out starvation even in this, one of the richest countries in the world. Where women are once again often hardly eating so that their children can. I remember my mother doing that in wartime when she would wander around looking after us and lying that she had already had her meal or that she’d have it later so that my sister and I could have what there was. But this is not supposed to be war time!! We should have learned better by now!! How can we be standing by as a new system apparently giving credit universally leaves many queuing at food banks, humiliated on a daily basis?
But instead of grumbling, what can I do – today?
And now, my solar plexus, my heart and every other chakra opens up in defence and defiance.
One thing is that I can use my voice! And with respect, we need to use our voices – all of us – to stand up for what is right and just for all of us. I can donate to the food bank. I can show kindness to someone homeless. All sorts of things I can do. I can smile!
So, I wonder what little thing each of us could do today to help ease the burden of the many who can hardly stand up because they’re weary or hungry or lost. Just pause for a moment and think. What little thing can you do today???
And then, please enjoy where you are, have a great day but include in it that small something you can do to help the burden of someone else.
Today I feel happy to have a bit more time after a very hectic week and to be able to be here with you this morning.
I’m preparing a workshop, so I’ve been thinking a lot about anger and how, if used wisely, it can creates a clean space where we can again, behave differently, understand better. But sometimes it does quite the opposite and leaves such a painful mess that it’s difficult to wade through. I’ve witnessed both of those extremes this week and been fascinated – and in the latter case – saddened by the pain and chaos that could have been avoided with better communication on both sides.
So I’ve been thinking a lot also about the art of confrontation. (I’m pretty sure there’s an article here on the forum about that if you want to read it.) And also about how some people can manage to get very quickly to forgiveness and move on, whereas others get stuck and unable to budge, and we then there’s an impasse. Of course we’re all witnessing that in our parliament too, here in UK!
Being willing to see the other’s point of view seems to be a major stumbling block. Taking time to listen and not miss that pearl of wisdom that another person’s point of view can reveal when we ourselves can’t see it. Then using all the wisdom to help us move forward… Walking an imaginary mile in the other’s shoes could be a good exercise for us all to adopt…
So, I remain thoughtful but hopeful that we can all do that. Then step back into our own shoes with a better understanding of the issues we need to work on and gracefully progress.
Enjoy your day!