Friday, December 3, 2010

A Propos of Absolutely Nothing

After posting those pictures, don't ask me why, but a little spiritual nugget from Tony DeMello, S.J. that's been helpful to me popped into my head, and I thought I'd pass it along.

DeMello has this insight that a lot of the time in life we're reacting to stuff around us without ever taking the space to sort of appreciate whatever is going on in perspective.  And it leads to us exaggerating the importance of certain things, or making ourselves out to be more the victim than we are (and of course, less the bad guy).

So he suggests trying throughout the day to imagine yourself watching yourself.   Like, there's the you working and running around and eating sushi -- and then there's like floaty guardian angel you, who's not judging, not interfering, just hanging out and watching it all happen.

And you think to yourself, and the point is?  Well, first of all, it's not easy to do, especially when you're busy and/or frustrated about something.  But with practice it has an unexpected way of helping defer reactions and building both sense of humor and compassion.  I was doing it the other week, in the middle of some really busy times, and it gave me this image of myself as like a person strung out on crack, shaky and desperate.  And in my normal life I'd probably move from that insight to judgment or "fixing".  But in the prayer, instead I just sort of held that shaky child part of me as it shook on.  Incredibly helpful.

Again, no idea what prompted the thought. An Advent gift from me to you!


Michelle said...

An apt end of the semester image - when a good mix of humor and compassion would not go amiss for either students or faculty.

I'll try not to cringe at what I see!

kmbrco said...

I often wonder if I would even recognize myself, should I pass myself by. (Huh?). Do I take things too seriously? Not seriously enough? Aside from the physical presence, what kind of energy do I send out into the world? Would I cross the street to avoid me, or would I welcome myself with a friendly smile. Good question.

On occasion, when people smile or grimace at me I wonder what they see. I fear I would not be as kind as they. Not even as kind as those who grimace.

I'll try.