Agreements

Darkness: The only way that you can exist, is if I do too. So let’s make a deal. Let’s share humanity.

Light: I choose access to their spirit.

Darkness: (laughing) perfect. I will claim their mind.

Light: (smiling) You’ll never succeed! Love conquers all.

Darkness: Perhaps, but belief becomes fixed in the mind and the mind has the power to crush the spirit. Beliefs of shame can bring dysfunction. Beliefs of secrecy can shatter trust. The mysteries of life can easily incite quarreling among those who hold the surest of beliefs.

Light: A simple willingness can turn the tides and with practice can bring improvements.

Darkness: Maybe. But, unwillingness is safe, and protects the ego, and just a little pride can ignore injustice. Belief brings belonging while rejection can be too much to bear.

Light: These are singular souls with individual spirits. They can celebrate differences and remain connected amidst opposing views. Spirit is grounding. It has the power to unite all men. Solidarity is not bound by belief!

Darkness: Ha! Your hope is no match for the oppression of belief. A belief that gathers multitudes can also crucify all hope.

Light: (confidently) Hope cannot perish – it is one with the spirit.

Darkness: Yes, but belief can conceal with an illusion of power; belief can smother, with its blanket of certainty. A slow and steady suffocation is all it takes. Few will barely even know it’s happening. Beliefs can pacify and the complacent love comfort!

Light: Even at its most vaporous state, hope can still hold infinite power. It’s hope that moves mountains while belief may claim impasse.

Darkness: (Standing to his feet) I will lead them to an agreement that belief is the light, and belief is what will keep their spirit alive! Without it they will feel lost, cut off from the truth. (laughing) They will cling to their belief as their only hope!

Light: Hope stands alone – it’s tethered to nothing. It remains steady against all odds and stands firm in unreasonable circumstances.

Darkness: (sitting back down) Oh, I too, have hope. Hope for unwillingness, hope for hate; Hope for complicity, and hope for division. Hope is universal.

Light: My hope incites development; yours develops ignorance.

Darkness:  Growth is growth – only the direction differentiates.

Light: (moving in closer) My hope can empower the most vulnerable; A singular radiance can blind the widest deception. Books will be written about encounters of hope – stories will be published revealing hope in action.

Darkness: Those same books speak of my stories, as well, connecting humanity with resounding grief. Misery loves company and beliefs will be the tar that traps capability.

Light: Grief may unite, but hope energizes bonds. You might destroy that which is temporary, but I am in the business of leaving a legacy. Sometimes it’s good for things to fall apart – it can often identify a poor construction.

Darkness: (smirks) See, you value my presence. Admit it, I’m necessary.

Light: Without darkness, the sun cannot rise. (Places his hand on Darkness’ shoulder) But this is not about dark and light. This is about where a man derives his thinking.

Darkness: (breaking free from Light’s touch) Ah yes, free will. What a dangerous gift.

Light: (confused) Free will is empowerment! Only those who live by fear constantly see danger. What each man chooses, will be his to decide. I exist to help him along his way. You exist to lead him in your way.

Darkness: I’ve been proven to succeed!

Light: And you have chosen what is best for you. And where one finds success, another finds failure. Where one finds sorrow, another finds joy. When one finds pain, another finds pleasure.

Darkness: My control is effortless.

Light: And I will continue to send messages of light – turning up the brightness all around them. I will illuminate a path that blends logic with faith; through intelligence they will find knowledge.

Darkness: (scoffing. standing to leave) Good luck. I’ll just make enlightenment appear phony – even comical!

Light: (reclining peacefully) With all that you are planning to do, we both know the unstoppable power the will of man has when entwined with hope. And where there is a will, there most certainly is a way.

 

 

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With It

How conflict is handled

is more telling of maturity

than any amount

of wrinkles or spots.

 

Words spoken in private

reveal more of the heart

than all the scans

that one may count.

 

A sense of style,

is no longer found

in the garments that one wears,

but expresses itself,

most humbly,

in how one administer’s care.

Knowing

You know that feeling you get when you don’t know something? Depending on what is lingering around in your mind right now, you may be experiencing good, or bad, vibrations.

  • Good vibes: you don’t know what’s in that Tiffany’s box sitting on your pillow; you don’t know when he is going to pop-the-question, or you don’t know how much your Christmas bonus is going to be this year – and it was a really good year.
  • Bad vibes : you don’t know what the diagnosis is; you don’t know why your friend is avoiding you, or you don’t know if he really is…The One.

The energy vibrations we receive when not knowing, are cues. They lead us towards discovery. Like when we open the Tiffany’s box, then we will know what is in it. There is a chase that is sparked when we don’t know. But what about people? How do we learn how to know people, to trust people, or to align with people?

When I think about knowing someone, I think about my husband, Michael.

I do not know Michael because his mother gave me a big book about who her son is. His brothers did not write to me about his integrity, his best friend did not share about his loyalty, and his grandfather did not get me up to speed on his character. And surely, his ex-wife did not give me the cliff notes on how he loves.

I know Michael because we have journeyed together. We have failed one another, and we practiced forgiveness. We have missed the mark, and we stuck around to practice a better aim.  We have practiced facing grief and pain together. We have practiced being in step with one another. We have practiced vulnerability while we practiced listening. We have practiced our sexuality while also practicing trust.

There is a journey to intimacy – it starts with a WE and it costs an investment of a lifetime.

Don’t be fooled into thinking there is a “fast track” to knowing or that there is a quick route to closeness. Intimacy is not a race. And it is definitely not on a time schedule.  Intimacy is not a destination, but a voyage. You must first purchase a ticket. Then you kinda have to show up. You have to get on the boat and let it take you out beyond the breakers into the unknown.

The key to intimacy is simple: remain in the understanding that you do not understand everything there is to know. The humility that comes out of knowing how much you don’t know has a hollowing effect. It clears a space for depth and growth,  makes room for trial and error. Humility also sparks a curiosity that stirs us to the start of a chase, a chase along a mysterious path that leads us towards a fullness of life we have not experienced…yet!

Some of us have a big book of miraculous mysteries, second-hand stories, and testimonies of faith. Some of us have been reading these stories our whole lives and yet never feel completely connected and sure in our understanding. So we strive. All the time. We strive. We have made it our life’s work to know more. We even stop living, stop exploring and stand still, hoping that this book will tell us more.

The truth is: no book will ever tell us everything we want to know about someone. We have to journey alongside them. Better yet, we get to. We get to go through the adventure of life, alongside them.

Here’s the catch: we must be willing to put down the book, put down the phone, put away the portrait that has been painted – and just be with them.  It’s a hands-free, eye-to-eye knowing. The more we engage in the journey towards knowing someone, the more we will see how much we don’t know. And isn’t that a sweet relief – to discover that we may never arrive at fully knowing? It leaves us with one very great revelation of the journey towards intimacy: enjoy the chase.

 

 

The Creatives: Delia Cadwallader

Creativity:(noun)  the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns,relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms,methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination. 

I always feel a certain sense of enchantment when getting to sneak a peek into the mind and life of a creative person. Whether it’s through an Instagram post that reveals their home decor and plant obsession; catching a glimpse of their bookshelf to see what they are consuming, or discovering one of their playlists on Spotify. There is an intrigue to uncovering a bit of the mystery that accompanies the creatives, the makers, and the artisans.  Continue reading The Creatives: Delia Cadwallader

Pain or Personality?

Pain.

It cannot be denied.

It will be released.

It will have its day in the sun.

You can lock it up, stuff it way down deep, try to ignore it or even temporarily pacify it. But eventually, Pain, in its relentless pursuit of freedom, will let out its voice and demand to be heard. However, Pain is also immensely creative. It is able to be released in many, many, various and differing ways.

How we release our pain, is ours to choose.

Some drink, some smoke, some eat, and some rage, while others soldier on. Some paint, some write, some sing and some strum, while others soak, wade, and wallow.

With so many options, we must remember that we get to choose the way in which we release our pain. Or do we? Does everyone really get to choose, or is the act of choosing reserved for only the sound mind? And what if we are in denial of even possessing some sort of pain, what if we see our behaviors as simply part of our personality that we feel people just need to accept?

Here’s a way to find out: Ask.

Ask your friends, ask your family, ask your children, or ask your spouse. Ask.

Inquire about how you make people feel. Request feedback on your behaviors and your expressions of love towards them. If asked in genuine sincerity, a wonderful thing happens – your people will tell you the truth. Because here’s the thing: expressing criticism is a loathsome, yet necessary, venture. But, when feedback is requested, someone has indicated that they are willing and open to hearing. 

Recently, in one of my communications classes, I had to give a survey to a few close friends and get feedback on my communication skills (aka: listening skills). I sent one to my best friend, gave one to my husband, then gave one to my three children. I carefully prefaced the survey, stating that I surely had not arrived at complete communication gold status, and really just wanted honest feedback.

And that is exactly what they gave me.

A few scores stung a bit, I have to admit, but I was more thrilled that they were truthful, and that they trusted me with their vulnerable honesty. After all, I feed them. They could have very well feared a week of sloppy sandwiches and refried beans for dinner! What a success. We had practiced the art of cultivating authentic relationship through honesty, vulnerability, and trust with one another, and it was good.

I did not say it was comfortable, I said it was good.

Asking your loved ones to evaluate you is both healthy and humbling. It took a lot for me not to react in defense and pick apart their scores (both of which are responses to pain). I had to work extra hard to remain open and soft. But that, for me, was also a practice to the art of curating authentic relationship, and it was good. Again, not comfortable, but good.

Say this: “I have not arrived”.

Congratulations! You have just acknowledged that you have more to learn. This statement is wonderfully deflating to the ego, as it brings us back down to the level of connection to humanity. Back to the ground level. Back to where our two feet are planted on the earth – smack dab next to our brothers and sisters.

To which they may reply: Welcome back.

Sometimes, the celebration of our ego’s deflation is an indication to how far we have floated above others. Rising so far above them, that we are no longer able to see their expressions to our behaviors, or hear their voiced concerns. Sometimes, the celebration of our ego’s deflation comes as a lighthouse beacon shining onto our path, preventing us from crashing into the rocks ahead.

Some relationships can be salvaged, some cannot. But when we take the time, the effort, and courageously make ourselves vulnerable today, we will see the soft blinking lights, those opportunities for development, that arise to prevent a break-down in the future.