"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Are You One Bulb Short a Fully Lighted Trio?

By Micky Wolf
Lighted ceiling fan fixtures come in a multitude of styles and designs although many have three lights. Which means three bulbs. Not one or two. Three.

Pardon my metaphor with regard to our Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—or, in this case—you and me, created in the image of likeness of that same God.

We are not of a singular nature. With the insight and creativity only the Divine could comprehend and imagine, we are body, mind, and spirit.

Body…physical, structural. The container for the organs, cells, soul, the heart, the emotions and feelings, the milieu of matter and experiences.

Mind…intellect, thoughts. The reservoir of knowledge and facts that form and equip us to make meaningful decisions, develop ideas, design processes and tools.

Spirit…the seat and center of our supernatural GPS—God Positioning System—the invisible presence that leads and guides us in living our lives with kindness, compassion and love.

Put simply—it ain’t no accident we are tri-part beings. Or that the health and wellness of each part contributes to the greater whole. Which means that like the lighted ceiling fan, when one part burns out, the brightness and effectiveness of the whole fixture diminishes.

That being said, would that repairing one of our parts were as easy as buying a replacement bulb on our next trip to the store.

A major difference between our parts and the light bulbs (at least older filament styles) is those bulbs don’t provide warning signs they are about to blow. You and me? A different story. Some signs are obvious, others not so much, yet if we are discerning, we will notice indications of an impending malfunction.

We might like to believe it would make things easier if we could isolate each trouble spot and then fix that one thing with whatever it took. Except “it” never functions alone.

Choosing to ignore that each part interacts with another is a surefire recipe for becoming unbalanced. And I’m not referring to a mental disorder, although that may be an eventual outcome. In focusing on one part while being indifferent to another, we may unknowingly be setting ourselves up for an unwelcome, life-altering, crash and burn wake-up call.

As we begin to understand the Divine Design is intentional, we begin to discover how everything is connected and related to everything else. That a “sign” of something amiss in one area is an indication of a problem in another part. Paying attention may mean the difference between healing resolution and ongoing suffering.

For example…

Body and mind…medication may help lower dangerously high blood pressure, but unless one learns more effective ways of coping with stress or eating a healthier diet, the potential for a heart attack or stroke, albeit lower, still remains.

Mind and Spirit…anger management classes may help diminish the possibility for flying into a fit of rage, but unless the core issues that trigger the anger in first place are acknowledged and mitigated, the potential for an explosion, albeit less violent, still remains.

Body, Mind and Spirit… physical exercise and support groups may decrease the desire for succumbing to an addiction (food, alcohol, shopping, sex, you name it) but unless one realizes the need for dependence on a Higher Power to provide strength and perseverance to resist, the potential for relapse, albeit less often, still remains.

Taking the time to cultivate an awareness of what is happening, or not, with our body, mind and spirit is not an action of self-indulgence. It is a holy responsibility, a privilege, an honoring and respect for this temple God has gifted to you and me.

Would not our best offering in return be to live the fullness of life inherit in that gift?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Healing Power of Silence—3 Considerations

By Micky Wolf

Consideration #1—What is silence for you?

Absence of human clatter? Of mechanical or electronic sound? Of environmental commotion?

Most of us can find ways to minimize or eliminate the aforementioned if they become too disruptive or unhealthy.

However, here’s another perspective—or is it conundrum?

The clatter, sounds, and commotion that reside within each of us—the bits and pieces of thoughts that weave and wander in and out of heads. Or the feelings that wiggle, tickle, or stir about, giving rise to this or that emotion.

Try minimizing or eliminating those little prognosticators of perturbation.

Which. Is. Why. We. Resist. Silence.

Consideration #2—What is keeping you from entering the silence?

For example…resisting the silence because we may discover we are experiencing feelings of anger or resentment, or are being judgmental of others (or self) will only serve to give space to the kind of pain and hurt that, left untreated, becomes an ugly infection of the heart and spirit.

Given that reality, would you refuse treatment for a health issue that involved short-term discomfort for long-term improvement in the quality or years of your life? Would you stand by, silent and stoic, watching someone you love suffer needlessly?

Consideration #3—What value do you place on silence?

Probably not very much if you see it as opening the door to something unpleasant or unsettling.

And yet, as Jesus, and generations of sages and spiritual guides have exhorted and encouraged us, it is through our willingness to be with self in the silence—as best as we can allow ourselves to enter that state of being—that we discover our true self. The authentic, created in the image and likeness of God self.

In silence, we discover God. His Love. His Truth. That is the power that heals.

It doesn’t matter what we are feeling. Or thinking. What does matter is that we accept ourselves as we are, in the moment. To acknowledge our brokenness, our woundedness, our pain, our hurt. To acknowledge our need for healing, and to allow that healing in.

The value of the silence—the unsettledness, the discomfort—become the labor contractions that give birth to genuine humility. Gratitude. Thankfulness.

That is the life and work of God with, in, and through us.

That is the gift He longs to bestow on each of us, if we will choose to enter the silence.