Morning Musings

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Hurdles

  1. Old Wounds
  2. Pessimism
  3. Despair
  4. Bad Habits
  5. Fatigue
  6. Lack of Plan
  7. Lack of “Fuel” for Dreams

How To Leap

  1. Descab, administer balm, cover – protect what needs protecting while it heals.
  2. Practice optimism – find at least one thing I can consistently embrace as producing/providing substantive hope.
  3. Practice hope – commit to my source of hope.
  4. Pick one – change one bad habit at a time – replace with a good habit.
  5. Drink more water, less coffee; eat more fruits & veggies; exercise at least 20 mins. every day; sleep well.
  6. Plan to plan – make a habit of making plans, little ones that I can accomplish, build on each plan, even if I don’t have a “big enough” dream; just get in the habit of dreaming, planning, and doing, no matter how small.
  7. Pray. My dreams are born only of sense of purpose. Find my purpose through prayer.  Do this first, every day.

“Training Plan”

  1. Pray for daily purpose.
  2. Make a detailed plan for accomplishing something(s) to fulfill that purpose.
  3. Eat and exercise for long-term health and today’s fuel.
  4. Incorporate one specific good habit that eradicates a bad habit.
  5. Be grateful.  Thank God for everything.  Especially for Christ’s trustworthiness.
  6. Share a smile: articulate my gratitude. Write or make something that shares my joy.
  7. Affirm my need for time, space, and means to heal.
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Recognizing my wounds and weaknesses is not enough.  I can too easily fall into despair when contemplating my own frailty and insufficiency.  Thankfully I have faith.  And it’s deep.  And it’s old.  I thank God for the gift of faith, a faith that is deep & wide, old & new, mine & communal, here & transcendent, universal & specifically manifested in Christ.

Thanks be to God!

This morning I am reflecting on how debilitating my propensity to depression can be.  But faith is stronger.  I wouldn’t be here without faith: a sense of the rightness of hope in general, and my faith in Christ specifically.

I imagine many (most?) of my readers are not Christians, or wouldn’t describe their faith experiences the same way I do.  That’s fine with me.  And I’m not preaching here.  I am not attempting to persuade anyone to think or feel or believe like I do.  I am simply enjoying the luxury of articulating my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs!

One of my foundational perceptions of reality is that within a general truth there are specific truths that express that general truth in delightfully unique ways.  This view of Truth can be beautifully symbolized by a hallmark of great music: melody implies harmony and harmony implies melody.  The point here is that my experience and understanding of Faith in Christ is that most belief-systems have a kernel of Truth, and by God’s bountiful Grace, all those little truths point to The Truth Who is fully manifested in Christ.  Anyone seeking Truth will eventually find Christ.  Some journeys are more circuitous, some have many detours, but God honors all seekers with finding, and ultimately all finding draws us nearer to Christ.  That’s because Christ is the Logos, Christ is the Author of Truth; God created all that Is in, through, with, and for Christ.  And the purpose of it all is Love.  We, and all God created, are essentially Celebration of God’s Love!

Personally, my journey with Christ reveals not only God’s amazing Grace – God’s generosity toward everyone, but also the cost: letting go of anything that deforms me…  in my view, the door to Heaven is open to everyone, and it has a shape: Christ. I must become conformed to Christ to fit through Heaven’s door!  However, again, this isn’t accomplished primarily by my effort.  It is mostly brought about through Grace, by birth of the Spirit.  Yet, it does require my consent.  And every day, every little thing I choose or don’t choose is assent to or dissent from Christ who faithfully calls me.

So how does this relate to my lists noted above?

I find myself floundering in this phase of “mid-life”.  (It’s rather fanciful to call it MID life because I’d have to live beyond 100 years if this were my life’s mid-point!) Regardless, it’s a new stage of life, it’s new psychological territory, and I find it requires new dreams.  I tend to think that I have more interior resources than most from which to generate strong dreams, but I have been able to rely on and travel so very far on a simple vision (of being a musician and teacher) that its challenging to birth another, sufficiently equal to it.  In other words, I’m currently stuck in a feeling of disappointment: the world was so much bigger when I was younger.  The world seems so much smaller now, and frankly, I don’t like it as much as I used to!  I believe I need to find a “new” dream, a sense of purpose for the next 30 years.  I need to find an even deeper sense of Living in which I can fall in Love with Life.

That’s what “it’s all about” for me: Loving Life.  Giving myself to Becoming.  I.e. letting God birth me, ever more fully, ever more alive.  And the primary birth-canal for me is prayer.  So, today’s plan for “How to Leap” over my hurdles must start with prayer.

Thanks be to God!

The Race of Faith

12 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

(Hebrews 12: 1-2, NKJV)

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Authenticity Affirmations

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I affirm my

  1. Inner Child: Awe for simple goodness is grace, a gift to be treasured and celebrated.
  2. Sensitivity: Being Aware of small changes helps me see the gift of each moment.
  3. Need for Solitude: Alone-ness with God, with myself, with Quiet is nourishment for my soul; it is to be honored (never deprecated).  To recognize a true need and to fulfill it is Godly.
  4. Voice: Until I can speak freely as I truly wish, writing uncensored is Holy Work; I must do it.  Writing is Sacred Art that honors the Authentic Soul.
  5. Need for music: Hallelujah for the gift of music!  Thank You, God, for making me a musician!
  6. Need for color: Praise be Jesus for color and the gift of finely-tuned sight!
  7. Courage: I face my fears with deep courage founded on Hope and Grace.  I have faith in God and in myself.

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All I Need

Things I need: things, qualities, anything that helps me enjoy living.

  1. Art
  2. Books, believing
  3. Coffee, cats, chocolate
  4. Dreams
  5. Experimenting
  6. Freedom, faith, flowers
  7. Grace
  8. Healing
  9. Integrity
  10. Joy
  11. Kindness
  12. Love, laughter
  13. Meaning, music
  14. No! (yes, I need “no” in my vocabulary, in my experience)
  15. Open-ness, open-views (figurative and literal)
  16. Peace, process, poetry, piano!
  17. Quiet
  18. Roses
  19. Sweetness
  20. Truth, tenderness
  21. Up (upward thinking/viewing and the notion of defying gravity)
  22. Value, veracity, validation
  23. Wholeness
  24. Xeric plants!  I love succulents!  I love plants that grow despite little water!
  25. Yes!
  26. Zero (yes, the number and the notion of zero; I find it both mystifying and so practical it’s nearly banal.)  I also like that (until the 20th century), there was no notion of zero in musical-math.

So, ask me on another day, and this list might have variations.  And I realize “need” can be defined in many ways and the degree of need can be easily argued.  For today, for this list, what I mean is: these are the things/ experiences/ values that I regularly treasure/ embrace/ consciously and deliberately choose as part of my (mostly daily) living and for which I am always grateful.

For a more starkly realistic list of what I truly need?

What all human-beings need:

  1. Love (somewhere, somehow, some experience of being loved/ valued and the opportunity to love other.)
  2. Some degree of shelter, some amount of food and water, some degree of personal hygiene, some opportunity for communication (even if only within one’s imagination)
  3. Meaning/ faith/ hope.

I think that’s probably all we need: sustenance for our bodies, relating for our social selves, hope for our souls.

Thanks be to God for all Your blessings, graces, mercies.  Praise be Jesus forever.  Lord, give me the grace to be ever-more grateful and gracious, ready to receive and to share.

 

 

Choices

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My Favorite Things (Besides God, family, and myself!)

  1. Music: Especially classical piano solo; most especially Chopin, Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Brahms
  2. Books: Especially British and Russian Literature; most especially Tolstoy
  3. Coffee: hot/cold, black/altered, pure/flavored, any way you want to fix it; especially hot, black, dark roast
  4. Scripture: Old and New Judeo/Christian scriptures, especially Genesis, the Psalms, Isaiah, Hosea, the Gospels, select verses, and Revelation
  5. Sleep: especially in my own bed, in the dark, with absolute silence
  6. Trees: especially hard-wood forests
  7. Flowers: all!
  8. Ocean: especially the Atlantic
  9. Writing: lists, my thoughts, processing ideas, letters
  10. Pens: especially short and fat, heavy, metal ones
  11. Journals and great quality paper
  12. Color!  Especially tertiary colors and “colors” that waver between two or three colors or shades or hues

Things I can’t stand:

  1. Cruelty: actual or implied, to humans or animals or anything conceptualized as being able to suffer
  2. Noise: meaningless sound, any sound that is too loud, any sound whose purpose is simply to fill up silence
  3. Bullying: whether bullying a child or an adult, I can’t stand bullying behavior
  4. Lies, deceit, deception, cheating, dishonesty, profiting from wrong-doing or untruth — intended or not
  5. Evil in any form
  6. Intentional killing of any human-being for any reason
  7. Hypocrisy

How I respond to things I can’t stand but can’t change:

  1. Pray for God’s intercession
  2. Pray for revelation and/or discernment of what I CAN do
  3. Do at least one positive thing in response no matter how small, because there is ALWAYS a positive option
  4. Persist in faith, hope, and love.

Authenticity Affirmations

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I affirm my:

  1. Inner Child: My awe for simple goodness is grace, a gift to be treasured and celebrated.
  2. Sensitivity: Being aware of small changes helps me see the gift of each moment.
  3. Need for Solitude: Alone-ness with God, with myself, with quiet, is nourishment for my soul; it is to be honored (never deprecated).  To recognize a true need and to fulfill it is Godly.
  4. Voice: Until I can speak freely as I truly wish, writing uncensored is holy work; I must do it.  Writing is sacred art that honors the authentic soul.
  5. Need for Music: Hallelujah for the gift of Music!  Thank You, God, for making me a musician!
  6. Need for Color: Praise be Jesus for color!  And the gift of finely tuned sight!
  7. Courage: I face my fears with deeply fertile courage founded on Hope and Grace; I have faith in God and in myself; I have faith in Life.

 

A person’s a person.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”*

A person’s a person, no matter how tall.

Whether a he or a she or a me or a we,

Whether virgin or straight or an LGBT,

A person’s a person.  And that is all.

 

No matter the race, no matter the age,

Matters not if they are foolish or if they are sage,

I don’t care what color their skin or their clothes,

The size of their body or the shape of their nose.

I don’t care if they like elephants or if they like donkeys,

If they prefer hawks or doves, or bees, or monkeys,

There’s only one thing that matters to me

A person’s a person.  And that is all.

 

A person’s a person whether loser or winner.

A person’s a person whether a saint or a sinner.

No matter what they’ve done, what they can or can’t do.

A person’s a person, whether a me or a you.

 

A person’s a person no matter their power.

A person’s a person whether sweet or they’re sour,

Whether neighbor or stranger, a friend or a foe,

A person’s a person where-ever you go.

Whether it’s you or it’s me, whether it’s “them” or it’s “us”

Remember one thing, remember we must:

A person’s a person; let everyone live

No matter their ___, (anything)!   Just let each one live.

~ MLHC

(*Quote from Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who”)

Substantial Support

On what does my “independence” depend?

  1. Being; created by the Creator
  2. Wholeness; formed, healed, renewed, sustained in the image of Christ
  3. Sense of purpose; ignited and enlightened by the Holy Spirit
  4. Musical thought and ability; born out of and built upon all the musicians before me, especially my teachers
  5. Vision of a teacher; examples of my parents and teachers
  6. Capacity to think; good genes, early nutrition and health in general, parents’ example, teachers’ coaching
  7. “Inner life”; good genes, God’s gifts (charisms), parents’ example, Holy Spirit
  8. Character strengths; parents’ example and early culture
  9. Continual contextual support from my husband
  10. Meaningful work
  11. Sufficient peace within my community
  12. Faithfulness of the community of Faith

I’m sure there are many more things I could list, especially infra-structures and persons responsible for them that allow my life-style to be what it is.  In fact, I can’t really think of anything for which I could say I alone am responsible, except for my choices to say “yes” to life and to follow Christ.  But even that is grace.  God and the faith community give me the strength, discernment, and encouragement to make my best choices.