Feast or famine?

The rain is falling this morning. At around 4:30 am, as I lay in bed, I could hear the first drops begin pattering on the eaves, and now, at around 6 am, they are playing a merry tune on the gutters. It’s going to be a wet one.

I’m still lying in bed, cozy as a hermit crab tucked in its shell, if crabs wore fluffy robes. I’ve already had tea and toast, and with each bite of toast, I was delighted by how good it tasted: the soft-crisp yield of the toasted bread, the sweet butter that clung briefly to the roof of my mouth, the pop of the sunflower- and poppy seeds that were baked into the loaf. I’m considering returning to my one-cup-in-the-morning habit of coffee because I miss the taste, especially now that colder weather is here. Green tea is good for me, but coffee isn’t bad, and I can drink green tea the rest of the day. I haven’t decided yet, but it’s no big whoop either way.

There are times when life does seem like a big whoop: when thoughts about particular events press down on my mind and cause me to suffer. I don’t know if you’re like this too, but I can see one word written, hear one word spoken, glimpse one expression cross a face, and create a maelstrom of fantasy around it. My stories usually serve up the worst-case scenarios, too; there’s rarely a story that paints me as the heroine, only the victim. Who wants to live that kind of story? Not you, and not me. Yet there are times I fall into that pattern of thought and don’t know how to get out of it. Like over the past couple days.

That’s when God speaks through good friends. I knew instinctively to talk to both Lorraine and Linda yesterday, aware that they would offer me distinctive insight based on their own experiences and beliefs, each of which is different from the other, as well as different from mine. The amazing thing was that, after listening to both of them, and even as I listened, I could distill from their individual systems (and we all have one!) the truths that were applicable to me, without having to take on their entire body of beliefs myself. And the great thing about both of them is that they recognize that their beliefs are their own, and don’t expect me to take them on. There is such great respect in that. I honor them for it.

And God speaks through good books. I was so encouraged this morning as I read the chapter “Healing the Emotional Body” from Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love. After practically every sentence, I had to stop and let his words take hold in my mind so I could absorb them into my spirit. I had a little revelation regarding that, too. I’ve always regretted my poor memory, and have rued the fact that I have to reread books over and over until their message finally sinks in, but it occurred to me that – as Eckhart Tolle keeps saying – the words are simply pointers to the truth. I don’t have to remember the pointers! Only the truth, and that’s already within me; that’s already owned by me, intrinsically part of me. The problem is not knowing the truth, but avoiding the tendency to pile layers of lies on top of it. We all, already, know who we are: we’re little bits of God, manifested. Not quite like the hermit crab in its shell, as our humanity is vital to our lives, very important and to be enjoyed to the fullest, but maybe more like the turtle. And I don’t mind comparing myself to a turtle at all. They rock.

So now, right now in this moment, I feel the fullness of God in me. I know that I have control over myself and the power to create the life I want to lead. I have no power to control anyone else, and I don’t want it. I am responsible solely for myself, for the love I carry inside, the love I lavish on both myself and others, and that’s all I need to be responsible for. It’s all I can possibly manage, anyway! In any relationship, with anyone, we are responsible only for the half that we bring to it. We can’t make the other person happy. They can’t make us happy. That will never happen and if that’s what we expect, we will continue to be disappointed throughout the rest of our lives. We can bring only our own wholeness, our own love, our own happiness, to the table for feasting. If the other person is also whole, the feast will be great, but if they’re not, the feast will still be great because we always have enough to satisfy ourselves! That’s it.

And now I think I’ll read a little of Boy’s Life before I get dressed and go over to help Mom get to the doctor. Robert McCammon is such a fantastic writer; I was agog over the scenario featuring Cory, the protagonist, and his dying dog. The masters always stir us in some way, don’t they? I’m thinking of my own unrealized book… as well as of school, and other upcoming decisions. But those are for another day. I plan to spend the next hour right here, in bed, in my fluffy robe, reading another chapter of a marvelous book. Listening to the rain. Soaking it all in. I wish the best for you today, friends! Love you all!

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