"Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."
--- Luke 6:38
When we read this, we think: "OK, we need to give. This is the highest virtue, being a giver. I guess I better do more of that. It's the right thing to do."
But we forget the second part: ".. it will be measured back to you."
Now there are folks that have a vending machine mentality, figuring if they give, the "God machine" or the "Universe machine" HAS to give back. In my opinion, that pretty well is ridiculous and will not work. It's more like playing Giving Lotto. Treating yourself, others, God or the Universe like that is shallow and silly.
But then there are the others who forget to receive. Many of the subscribers and followers at RitA are by nature Givers. They just give and give, mostly without expecting anything in return.
The issue is, though, do we take the time to receive back when it is given to us? Are we cheerful receivers as well as cheerful givers?
That is so important, because we simply cannot sustain the race without receiving back. This is particularly true when it comes to personal love, affection and care. It is more like a flow between persons of giving and receiving.
Somebody's got to give and somebody's got to receive!
So, today as we figure out how to give more graciously, we might also take the time to receive more graciously, so we can keep the flow going!
Only in Dependence is there true Freedom.
What? I thought it was independence that was freedom! This is what we celebrate, what we have been told by everyone, everywhere ever since we can remember.
But, if you think about it, if we want to be free from our situations, our many trials and challenges, free to live and not be crushed by ongoing adversity, what do we do?
Is it freeing to grasp for control and power, even just over our little world? How quickly life can change for any of us. How much control do we really have over anything?
I think that in reality we do have tremendous power, but not the kind of control that we think. We have the freedom to choose who/what/how we "depend".
Have you ever personally met a free man or woman, a truly free one?
If you have, then you know the Mystery that lies in their freedom; that it actually does involve a free choice to depend on a core Mystery that is greater than any of us.
A Mystery which brings a freedom that rises in, through and above all other partial freedoms.
A freedom that is completely Free because it Depends.
Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash
"Love is the poetry of the senses." -- Honore de Balzac
And I believe that poetry to be of the comedic variety!
In Greek times, comedy referred to poems or plays that ended happily, not tragically.
Aristotle, in Poetics, wrote that comedy is a representation of laughable people, fools really. And honestly, what's easier to laugh at than fools in love?
But if love truly is the poetry of the senses then there's more to it. There's more to poetry and love than lovebirds and sonnets.
In a very poetic way, love has the ability to make us sad while we are happy. It might be during a game of fetch with your pup, a game of catch with Grandpa, or singing with Grandma. An underlying part of the love you are feeling is the sadness of knowing it won't last forever.
And that goes for any relationship that came from love. I guess that means that sadness plays a decent-sized role in our comedy.
When a big part of the poem that is our life is taken from us, it certainly feels like a tragedy. But, if we believe in something more, and we laugh throughout our ridiculous play, then that part of it and all the others will result in a COMEDY!!
I think the only advice I can give you on how to live your life well is, first off, remember... it's not the things we do in life that we regret on our deathbed, it is the things we do not. --- Randy Pausch
Randy expresses something that I have heard from very many people in my life, but what does it really mean? Did they regret not doing a certain something, or was it just a generalized playing it too safe?
Most of the time it was because they were busy being responsible to real people and fighting through life's very real challenges. It's an odd thing to regret.
Sometimes, though, you look a little closer, peel off a layer or two and then see what you find. What we (or at least I) usually find is that much inaction may be caused by fear - fear of failure, fear of change, fear of doing something new and different.
And fear is an interesting thing. It is genetically coded into our DNA. Early on, those who did not fear were the first eaten or killed. Flight or fight (driven by fear) was an effective survival instinct.
So what happened? Human existence changes.
Today we have a virtual cadre of self proclaimed life coach - gurus proclaiming their gospel of prosperity, "living the dream". Abrahams Maslow's heirarchy of needs with self-actualization at the top is alive and well. Freedom itself is now equated with this innate human need for self-actualization.
Possibly, though, if we would look at the entire hierarchy, we might have a little more understanding and compassion for others and ourselves in a more holistic and complete humanity. In the four levels below self-actualization, we find these needs:
4- Esteem. prestige and accomplishment
3- Belongingness and love
2 - Safety and security
1- Food, water, warmth and rest
Interestingly, this is the stuff of all our news lately, or should I say, the lack of this stuff. I personally would like to spend more effort at the bottom of the list and help others work up through the levels. I think at least for me, it's the only way I'm gonna make it to that 5th level. And it's the only way for humanity ultimately to survive.
Maybe then we can legitimately say to each other: "It's the fear; let go of the fear; I got your back; dare to live the dream." And mean it for everyone, not just the elite few.