” . . . I can, with one eye squinted, take it all as a blessing.” Flannery O’Connor
“It might be liberating for us to think of our onward life being informed as much by our losses and disappearances as by our gifted and virtuoso appearances and our marvelous arrivals. As if the foundational invitation being made to us at the core of our continual living and dying is an invitation to participate in the full seasonality of existence. Not just to feel fully here and fully justified in those haloed times when we are growing and becoming, and seen to be becoming, but also, to be just as present and to feel just as much here when we are in the difficult act of disappearing, often against our wills, making way often, for something we cannot as yet comprehend. The great and ancient art form and its daily practice; of living the full seasonal round of life; and a touchstone perhaps, of the ultimate form of human generosity: continually giving ourselves away to see how and in what form we are given back.” David Whyte
“Everything helps me to God.” Jean-Pierre de Caussade
“If you cling to your life, you will lose it,
and if you let your life go, you will save it.”
Jesus in Luke 17:33
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Taking everything as a blessing definitely requires some “squinting.” As you witness the horrors of these days, can you also “squint”–struggling to see what less obvious good might accompany the losses?
- I love Whyte’s humor referring to our “virtuoso appearances” and “marvelous arrivals.” It’s then, when I’m advancing and being applauded that I’m satisfied–and gratified. Whyte challenges me to participate in the “full seasonality of existence”–where I’m unnoticed (“invisible”) and frustratingly unproductive/unsuccessful. Can you do that?
- Are losses and limits teaching you to accept what you didn’t chose? . . . to nevertheless look for good in a situation you hate, and can’t “comprehend?”
Jesus, you made the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, and the dead to live again. Do something strong in me in this time that seems so stagnant and unpromising.
For More: Falling Upward by Richard Rohr