Time, Discovery, and Patience

Have you ever had the privilege of watching something transform before your eyes. Perhaps you did not see this transformation immediately, but slowly and over time. This morning, I was reading a selection from Mark Neepo’s book The Book of Awakening. In his reflection for today, he wrote:

I recently learned that the first form of pencil was a ball of lead. Having discovered that lead, if scratched, would leave markings, people then wrestled with large chunks of the stuff in an attempt to write. Through the work of many, the chunks were eventually shaped into a useable form that could fit the hand. The discovery became a tool.

I am humbled to confess after a lifetime of relationship that love is no different. Be it a lover or a friend or a family member, the discovery of closeness appears in our life like a ball of lead – something that is wrestled with, will leave markings by which we can understand each other.

But this is only the beginning. The work of love is to shape the stuff of relationships into a tool that fits our hands. With each hardship faced, with each illusion confirmed, with each trespass looked at and owned, another piece of the chunk is whittled and love begins to become a sacred tool.

When truth is held in compassionate hands, the sharpness of love becomes clear and not hurtful.

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Back to Kindergarten

One of my favorite books for the longest time was Robert Fulghum’s book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In it, there was a list of important life lessons he learned in kindergarten. Number 11 “Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” When one was in kindergarten, it seemed easy for most people I know to lead a balanced life. We went to kindergarten, learned and thought about things like the alphabet and big and little letters. We would spend time in school and after school, playing and creating games or stories with our friends or by ourselves.
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The P Word

I was talking with an associate of mine about, what my son calls the P word, Patience. She said when she used to preach about it, she would say, “God I need patience, and I need it now.” The interesting thing about patience is that we have the capability of being patient at any point in time in our lives. We just have to choose to work what a friend of mine calls the patience muscle. Unlike things like time which we all have the same amount of regardless who we are. regardless of our race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, sex, etc. we all have 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute. What we do with those 24 hours may differ, but we all have the same amount of time in a single day. Patience, unlike time, is one quality one can acquire greater levels of over time. The secret is in working your P muscle. As many wisdom teachers have argued, the more you practice patient, the more patient you become
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It is not all about me.

So a many of you know Zoë and I legally were married this past Saturday after having been together for 10 years. Thank you to the State of New York for the great anniversary present. I love being with my wife. I also love being mother to my son Nicholas and all the others who have adopted me as a parent figure in their lives. I know all these relationships are part of who I was created to be and what I was created to do in this world. However, there are moments when I am not in love with any of these roles and there are even moments when I am not too pleased with life either.
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In the Meantime

Have you ever been in a relationship where you were not quite sure whether you wanted to leave or how you wanted to leave? Have you ever had a conflict with someone and not been quite sure what to say or how to mend those fences? Have you ever had a vision of something you want to do, but not known when or how to do it? If you have, then you were in the meantime. In the meantime is what happens or what you do while something else is happening or until something else happens. It is that season in our lives where we might feel like we are living our lives in limbo.
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Releasing Perfection

The last several years have been a time of intense personal growth and spiritual transformation. When I first started on this journey, I had this vision of being loving, patient, kind, compassionate, balanced, wise, etc. I felt as if I was supposed to embody the qualities of spiritual leaders who had come before me like Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, or some other vision of divine perfection. I had this notion I was supposed to be a model of walking divinity; that everything I said and did was supposed to be a living monument of love, patience, justice, humility, and divinity. I had this notion I was supposed to be perfect all the time and was not allowed to have any human moments or feelings.
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