Wildcard Wednesday Sunshine came softly through my window today

by | Jun 3, 2009

WildCardWednesday.pngIt’s gorgeous here in Suquamish this afternoon. Temps are in the mid 80s and the sky is a cool blue, not the white-hot blue that sometimes steals freshness from a summer day.
I just finished editing this week’s episode of Self Employment TV (you can see it below, and someday I’ll even add it to the Self Employment TV web site). The reason that’s relevant is that I’ve been enjoying a spell of flow: focused, relaxed productivity.
I really like it when that happens.
Mom, Where Does Focus Come From?
Sometimes I swear that focus is a myth promulgated by over-adrenalized self-help gurus to sell books and CDs. I resent it mightily when someone pontificates about the latest system for getting focused.
In fact, I resent it so much that, sometimes, I stay unfocused out of pure spite.
But I digress.
I suspect that the focus I experience today is the manifestation of a few wise choices, one healthy practice (which has led to another), the support of wise and compassionate friends, and grace.
And it’s the grace I’d like to dwell on (and in) for the moment.
Wow, How’s this for Hanging a Left?
My mind just turned to Gerald May’s challenging and insightful book, Addiction and Grace. May, a psychiatrist and a devout Catholic (if memory serves), invites us to look into the deep dark corners of unexamined habits and preferences to discover where we turn from grace.
As we encounter and acknowledge our habitual turnings away, we may experience a profound and helpless sense of remorse, which is a turning toward that same grace.
It occurs to me that there is something quite lovely about the whole of this, the turnings away and the turnings toward, the hiding and the disclosing of ourselves to ourselves and to whatever greater power we recognize.
On Being too Full of Ourselves
Perhaps you, too, grew up overhearing the disdainful whispers, “Oh, he’s so full of himself” and “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.” And maybe to this day you find something a bit distasteful in public displays of self love and approval (or PDSLAs, as they shall heretofore be known).
The admonition against self love and approval can steal a lot of joy from innocent beauty.
I’m talking about the innocent beauty of any one of us during a momentary encounter with his or her own essential amazingness. (This topic is hard on one’s syntax.) We know it when we see it in children (except when we are feeling very, very grumpy). The joy of spontaneous self-love is beautiful to behold.
And what a turning away from grace it is when we step on the sparks of enthusiasm for ourselves. (And, remember the suggestion that this turning is part of a larger turning, thus not necessarily to be disparaged or feared.)
In January 2008, at the Certification Workshop for facilitators of The Work of Byron Katie, I noticed myself thinking, “I should be feeling more sober and serious. I shouldn’t be so full of myself. I shouldn’t think I’m so hot.”
As I walked down to the lunch tent, I did The Work on “I shouldn’t think too highly of myself.” Here’s a synopsis of what I found.
Is it true?
Can I absolutely know that it is true?
How do I react when I believe that thought? What happens?
I contract. I see others’ beauty and wisdom and feel resentful, envious, less-than. I compete both overtly and covertly. It’s like putting on a girdle and shoes that are way too tight, then bitching at myself for being cranky at the party.
Who would I be without the thought?
I would be the woman walking to the lunch tent in the sunshine with happiness bubbling in her belly. I would be shining. I would be so full of love and ease. I would be light.
I could go on and attempt to tie all this together. Fortunately for you and for me, it’s Wednesday, and that means I have a big honking permission slip that says, “Molly is allowed to write without purpose or responsibility today.”
So, I did.