Posts Tagged ‘contemplation’

I reread my last post this morning, trying to recapture the gratitude and awe I felt about being – I think the word was defective. I just can’t quite muster it up today. Today I’m feeling very frustrated with myself for being defective – read fat – again.

I contemplated my frustration this morning during my walk. Walking is a great aid to contemplation, I’ve discovered. I began to string some beads together in my mind:

The truly magical moments of finding beauty in the midst of pain, tragedy, or utter brokenness.

The relief of finally admitting the powerlessness of a major screw-up, or the consequences of an addiction.

The tantalizing aroma of humility I detect when I’m in the presence of someone who has suffered well and now carries him/herself with a hint of greatness.

The occasional freedom I experience from the tyranny of worrying what other people think.

I began to think how tempting it is, even in the midst of these powerful lessons, to long to be bright and shiny at last. Finally to be accepted into the ranks of those who have it all – beauty, power, brains, wealth, and some sort of fame. When I stop to look I discover this temptation at the root of all my angst.

Temptation makes me think about religion and how religion should be a set of principles and practices that supports the good of living humbly, finding eternal value in simple realities. Religion makes me think of some of the goofy things that Jesus evidently said when he walked the earth. Blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the ones who are pure in heart. Stuff like that. How he tried to tell us, but how we screwed it up. It makes me really believe in original sin, the human condition, or whatever you may call it – the primal drive to be cool, enough, to be esteemed, to have it all, no matter what.

I want this to be my religion, my spiritual practice: to pray for the courage to value humility. To pray for eyes to see the beauty of defectiveness. To ask for the strength to be content when all around me people are striving to be shiny – and succeeding. To beg for the maturity to love myself and those around me as the amazing creatures we are. To have the strength to choose accordingly when the time comes, and to have the courage to face up to, and accept, my propensity to fall into temptation.

I wish there were a religion for that. Unfortunately they all seem cluttered up with other things.

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