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Hi Lori -- I'll side with Tennyson on this one. To me, lost romantic love is still worth it -- but only if you take the time to reflect on what you learned from that experience. Happy to say that in my case I learned a lot from one particular relationship that ended badly. It hurt a lot at the time but I also learned a lot more about what I was looking for -- and my next relationship turned into my marriage!
2 years, 5 months ago on Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost…
Sandi -- nice post, it made me think about what I've been doing in these different areas. On the soulful front, I've recently started meditating for 15 or 20 minutes a night. In terms of being kind, I've been helping some younger kids with their reading through a volunteer program at my son's school. Previously, I'd tried to make headway in both of these areas and really struggled, partly because I was trying to do too many things. What I finally settled on was picking one project in each area and then really trying to turn it into a habit by getting more deeply involved. It's easy, as you say, for it all to fade away without real focus. I've read that it takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for a new habit to stick -- and that seems to be true in my experience. Thanks for prompting me to pause and think about this a bit.
2 years, 5 months ago on Do You Take Care of Yourself?
Great question, Lori. I'm certainly not a prolific quoter of the Bible, but I especially like "May it be done to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38). It's what Mary says when the angel appears to tell her she will be Jesus' mother. It used to strike me as a very passive thing to say, but I've come to appreciate what an extraordinary statement it is. It's simultaneously an unprecedented act of letting go and also an ambitious pledge to work hard on cultivating the receptivity and mindfulness needed to live in that fashion. I usually want things done according to my word, but, if I'm honest, most of the good things in my life, were done for me and not by me.
2 years, 6 months ago on What’s Your Favorite Positive Affirmation?
You know what, Lori? I really like the idea of a surprise journal -- will experiment with that for the next week or so and see how it goes!
2 years, 6 months ago on Do You Like Surprises?
Lori -- the older I've gotten, the more I've come to enjoy small surprises -- they're the ones that seem to stick with me the most. For example, my son had a couple boys sleep over at our house the other night for his 8th birthday. In the middle of the night, apparently, one of the boys forgot where he was and crawled from his sleeping bag into my son's bed! My son couldn't get him to move, so he got out of bed and tried sleeping on the carpet. Finally he moved into the boy's sleeping bag and spent the night there. What surprised me and my wife was that he figured the whole thing out by himself -- without waking us up to provide a solution. Little surprises come up like that all the time, and they're great because they offer new insights into other people and myself.
Hi Lori -- rather than being inspired by the big accomplishments of famous people, I tend to prefer the work of more obscure people who make extraordinary lives out of ordinary moments, much like Bradbury in that wonderful passage you cite. About 10 years ago, I first heard about Brother Lawrence -- a lowly cook in a 17th century French monastery. Very few people thought much of him at the time. But the letters he exchanged with a few confidantes revealed his remarkable spiritual insight and were later turned into a short, conversational, very practical book called The Practice of the Presence of God. 400 years later, this man, who never had claim to worldly glory during his life, is still regarded as one of the greatest Christian exemplars of prayer. People like that never fail to inspire me with their work and their personal example!
2 years, 6 months ago on Who Inspires You?
@Lori -- Hi Lori, think my calling(s) has become clearer as I've gotten a little older. Family and writing were always big priorities for me, but I've grown into them more and learned to appreciate them more as well. So, for me, it hasn't been so much a process of new callings emerging as it's been moving deeper into existing ones, if that makes sense.
2 years, 7 months ago on How Would You Describe Yourself in Four Words?
Great exercise, Lori. I'll go with Husband, Father, Seeker, Writer. Especially like your point that how we see ourselves changes as our roles change. Having written a good bit lately about how to find callings in our lives, I've noticed that many people think that a calling is a single thing you find and then the quest is done; your calling won't change. Certainly I've been guilty of believing that. The truth, of course, is that our callings can and do change. But we need to stay aware of that and step back periodically to be sure we're seeing ourselves as we are right now, rather than how we used to be.
Hajra -- nice post; perfect for a gloomy, rainy afternoon in North Carolina. I've learned two key things from life's lemons: 1) going out for a three-mile run always helps and 2) disappointments and frustrations always teach me a lot more than the things that go exactly the way I want them to. It's hard to keep that perspective in the moment sometimes, but I'm grudgingly trying to accept it.
2 years, 7 months ago on How Do You Deal With Life’s Lemons?