Currents are a constant in our lives whether we think they are only associated with swimming, floating vehicles , and flying vehicles. Currents can be composed of waves of opinion, short surges of emotions, or the constant, strong force carrying you on and through the ups and downs of your life. All currents are strong and cannot be easily swayed; they just keep on going the way they are going. We can take a lesson from that so that we don’t fall under any influence we haven’t chosen for ourselves. A good way to check for these currents is to look at what ‘everyone’ is doing or are saying they believe. If we unthinkingly start using the new catchphrase, listening to the newest music, considering the most favored career we might want to ask ourselves why we are doing so. Have we truly thought about the music we put in our heads? Or listened to what is coming out of our mouths? Or taken the pluses and minuses of that career that will take us to the top and sounds good too? Generally we drift along with a group of others along on a solitary path, neither of which imply any disconnectedness, never thinking that we’re not thinking for ourselves. Why?
Sometimes we feel left behind, that others are moving along ahead of us; that they now know more, are more oriented and having more fun. That they are satisfied and that we are not and don’t know how become satisfied. We may set ourselves apart even more by becoming distant or avoiding contact with those closest to us and thus confusing both. Speaking up about how we feel lost in everyone’s wake or disconnected from everything familiar because it is all changing can clarify the issues in our minds, but we have to be willing to accept that we cannot live in a static world because our world is not static; it is dynamic and we must at least watch and follow along or we will likely feel disconnected and left a step behind until we become dynamic ourselves. This is not to say that we are not left behind occasionally, sometimes being left behind is inevitable we all die; what we must remember about that is that we, in our turn, will be leaving others behind. Sometimes it is best in any kind of relationship to leave each other behind if beliefs and goals changed or rates or directions of growth have diverged. It could be that being left behind or leaving another behind would be the best thing that could happen now, don’t you think?
It is considered to be an admirable trait and it makes you trustworthy in others’ eyes, it may even gain you wealth or power if used in judicious or unscrupulous ways. If we are willing to be devious and underhanded we can use this trait for only our own selfish and damaging uses. The ability to be able to keep one’s mouth shut is a rare and valuable thing. It is very difficult to keep one’s mouth shut while being criticized or badly instructed while constructing a whole rebuttal in your head. It is increasingly difficult to be observing a devolving event or escalation of troubled relationships and allow those involved to solve their own problems. It is probably the most difficult when one has overheard a conversation by chance or on purpose and to know that the conversation was meant to be private. allow that to happen, and never speak of it. Though this is all true it is probably the most, and unconsciously, difficult to know when to tell someone what you know or have heard. It is appropriate to tell what others do not want known if the damage possible to others is substantial or if withholding information is causing another agony. This is where common-sense comes in – do you consider yourself capable of making such distinctions?
Mostly, when we take a leap of faith, we don’t realize that we are challenging or testing or affirming ourselves. When we state that we are performing certain feats, honoring our word, or acting in the name of a particular person or thing we undoubtedly believe that we are truly acting as we have averred. But that’s the funny thing about faith, when you are declaring to all and sundry that you are acting in its name or for it, you are distancing yourself from that faith by assuming you know faith and whatever is behind it. Only when we release ourselves from the chains of what we call faith and honestly and knowingly openly can we experience the benefits of faith. If we try to rely on something we don’t really understand we’ve gained nothing; blind faith will get us nowhere since it requires nothing from us. Devotion and constancy are traits that are of value anywhere and any time and we can only gain to acquiring them. It’s not an easy aspiration and its expression does not appear often but… Don’t you think it might be worth it?
No matter how far ahead or meticulously we plan ahead we’ll find ourselves waiting in line somewhere, and the hardest part is that we really, really want to experience what it is we’re waiting for. Apart from the unreasonable length of time we have to wait, the lack of a way to comfortably wait, and the lack of a restroom, we are subjected to other people while we’re waiting and, even more irritating, their children. Ours, of course, are perfectly behaved and don’t whine, shout, range around, or climb on things, including people they don’t know. In these situations we tend to stay divided into our own small groups and to become annoyed at any small interruption. It would be interesting to see what happened if we were to turn and say something friendly to that real person standing next to us. We might get along and find interesting things about them. We might even divulge a little something about ourselves and be found interesting. Someone might overhear and join the conversation. Having gained an acquaintance and explored in another’s garden for a bit, we might be able to tolerate (or ignore) their children better. And won’t the waiting time have gone by faster?
Rain has been largely vilified in most cultures; it is inconvenient, it causes floods, it causes sickness. Rain is an amazing mood changer and defines our mood much more than we would like to admit. When the sky is a dull, sodden grey dominated by a constant, monotonous downpour medium-sized drops that feel much wetter than they look, you can’t help but feel a bit more down than you did before you looked out the window or walked out the door. But when we feel the light sprinkle of rain that seems to lift the hairs on our bodies and not dampening them, then see a rainbow, we’re surprised when we walk back inside and find that we are wet enough to wring ourselves out, and still have a smile on our faces. We attribute moods to the rain that match our own; in general we can’t help anthropomorphizing things and we do so quite often with all types of weather, especially rain. It is used in religious observations, in all kinds of welcoming ceremonies, as a libation, and we must have some form of water to sustain life. It seems strange then, that we have so much trouble with going out into the rain to get somewhere we want to or need to go, or that a random splash could horrify us. After all, we take baths and showers, don’t we?
When there has been some kind of disaster, a car or ship wreck, a tornado or mudslide, a lost pet or lost friend, and many more such things that can count in disaster in our minds, though may not in others an instinct comes to the fore in our brains encouraging us or demanding that we come together and work as a community to do everything together from rescuing to healing one another. Acting together in concert may not be how many of us operate, but in whatever singular circumstances in which we find ourselves, we also find that there is not much effort involved in participating and that we don’t worry about what others’ opinions of us are. Nothing matters but to ‘make it better’ as quickly as possible. While working at vital, important work we don’t find ourselves worrying about what looks right wrong or what behavior would make us look the best to others, those thoughts all fly and we behave as we truly are or think we are striving to be. Perhaps we all need to be survivors, survivors of our own mind’s solitude and those who teach alone-ness. There’s a community out there, right?