Monthly Archives: June 2014
It feels like my “to-do” list is miles long. The garden is a mess. (I still haven’t thinned those radishes.) It seems like when it’s raining I have time to weed, but can’t get out. When it’s a beautiful day for gardening I have errands to run and places to be.
Last weekend Orion and I went to Gilda’s Club to celebrate Gilda Radner’s birthday and we had a great time. I got to introduce him to all the people I know from volunteering there. He’s still talking about it! We got home minutes before the rain started. Life is just like that sometimes, but it doesn’t get things done!
Tomorrow I officially start my pre-surgery diet regiment. I went to a class to learn what to expect and got a shopping list of things I might need in the next few weeks and for a few weeks after the surgery. I anticipated a few of those items, but there are still several that have been added to my “t0-do” list. It seems like every time I turn around it gets longer!
I went to make toast this morning and the toaster didn’t work. No electricity. No electricity in the entire bar that is the primary electrical source for my kitchen. It’s not the circuit breakers, it’s the uncanny old wires. Add hire an electrician (which may become an electrical contractor) to the list of things “to-do”.
In the next few weeks I have several doctor appointments, including a pre-op. I have questions that I need to ask the surgeon that came up during the “what to expect in surgery” class. I have to get Orion ready for the changes coming up in his schedule. (Helping with transfers will be a BIG no-no for me for awhile. I’ll even have to work up to tossing the wheelchair into the back of the car, and that doesn’t weigh nearly as much as he does!)
And then there is coordinating support. I can’t tell you all how much I’ve appreciated the kind words, thoughts, and prayers from my readers. The comments cheering me on are invaluable. They mean the world to me and brighten my days. They just don’t get the grocery shopping done. Yet another thing to add to the “to-do” list.
Merriam-Webster says a sacrifice is “the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone”
But SACRIFICE is a word that holds meaning beyond its simple definition. It carries an emotional response. It begs the question, “why?”. It needs a context in order to be fully understood in its usage. Therefore it needs all context to be fully understood.
As a teacher of spiritual practices my students are often surprised when they get a question they feel they’ve already answered. In my experience, spiritual growth depends on asking the same questions over and over. We hope to find a new perspective and new insight each time. One of those questions is “What is Sacrifice?”.
I’ve touched on this topic before in the blog. I’ve talked about harvest and about corn but I’ve never written about it here directly. I do talk about sacrifice in my book, Manifest Divinity. There’s a whole chapter on “The Hart of Sacrifice” in When Gods Come Knocking:An Exploration of Mysticism from a Deist Perspective. The idea of sacrifice and how I feel about it pops up pretty regularly for me. It’s one of those markers that says “time to take another stab, or acknowledge the success, at spiritual growth”.
I find myself exploring this question again as I prepare for my upcoming surgery (see last week’s blog). I am definitely “giving up something in order to get or do something else.” I want to get healthier. I want to be able to do more things. I want to have more energy. I want control of my relationship with food. It’s the giving up part that’s ambiguous. I feel like I’m writing a blank check to the universe. This surgery is my “whatever it takes”.
In order to justify that act of giving up I need to have faith that I will see positive results. In order to be 100% behind the “whatever it takes” I need to recognize the sacrifice. I need to acknowledge that this is a sacred act. I believe I’ve got a talented surgeon. I believe I’m capable of following the protocols and going through the motions. That’s not enough for me. I need this to be a ritual of sacrifice, a holy undertaking, a sacred act.
Small sacrifices can have large results. Large sacrifices often set us free to follow a new course. They mark a new beginning, a different way of being in the world. That is my adventure. And apparently the sacrifice that is called for is the willingness to write that blank check. I don’t know what I will be giving up in the long-term. I do know that whatever it is, invoking the sacred helps to ensure it will be worth it.
Both of my books are available in paperback or as e-books from Amazon.
I’ve been delighted by the signs of change, of the turning seasons, in my neighborhood. I’m trying to notice more, to be more present with the small things. After all, the only thing that’s certain is change.
In my second book, When Gods Come Knocking: An Exploration of Mysticism from a Deity Based Perspective, I talk about Deities tapping on shoulders and making demands. I say that generally when that happens the Divine wants something done for them. I maintain that the attitude of “I’m the only one who can do this” is hubris. We can say no. Sometimes we know we shouldn’t, but we always can.
In my first book, Manifest Divinity, I talk about building relationship with the Divine. When we work on developing and maintaining relationship sometimes that tap on the shoulder becomes very personal. The “tap” that I’ve been getting for the past year, louder and louder, has been “Change or Die.” Now that can certainly be commentary on the political situation, on climate change, on conservation and resource use. But for me it seems very personal. The action items are directly about my health.
I have made many changes in my health related patterns over the years. I’ve studied nutritional theories and taken on dietary changes that make a difference. I’ve looked at exercise and movement, and physical therapy and had limited success. I’ve addressed mental health taking a hard look at my self sabotage, getting out of a bad marriage and examining my unhealthy communication patterns. But at this point the change being demanded is dramatic and fast, a line in the sand.
A friend of mine died unexpectedly last week. We’ve been out of touch for several years. We had a falling out because I wasn’t kind in speaking my mind and she wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say. Essential my message to her was, “Get help to change or die”. Now she’s gone. I don’t have any details, but I know she struggled with significant health issues for many years. Some of those issues are the same one’s I’m facing.
In my experience, when the Divine puts something into action there are usually multiple things being impacted. Often times we can only see one, especially at the beginning, but the Divine has a broader vision. Along the journey of carrying out the task we tend to touch many people, interact in many different ways in the world. We are often not aware of the impact that we have, but it can be profound.
Being friends with this woman, even for a short time out of the scope of our lives, had a profound impact. She was one of my inspirations to write. She was incredibly helpful, demanding clarity in my use of language when discussing spirituality. She gave me Ireland. We traveled together, because she needed a companion and I wanted to go. If I pronounce any Gaelic word correctly, it’s because of her. I am changed, simply because I knew her, and I will always be grateful for that.
But the time has clearly come for me to change as well. I have spent much of the last year exploring options to address my own multiple health issues. Although I recognize I have the choice to say no, I have chosen change. I have decided that I want to live and that I want to live more fully and actively than I have been able to do for some time. That definitely requires a dramatic change.
Sometime in July I am going to go through bariatric surgery. I’ll keep you posted where I can, and write more about my perspective and process. But if, in the next few months, I miss posting please hang in there with me. It’s easy to become overwhelmed looking at such big changes and trying to plan for all possible outcomes.
Both of my books are available in paperback or as e-books from Amazon.
My little girl turned 21 years old this weekend.
She continues to be such a delight.
I’m so proud of her and all she’s doing with her life. But it’s also a little sad.
Seems like yesterday she was crawling into my lap.
So I took a little stroll
down memory lane.
When was the last time you got a busy signal calling someone on the phone? I know people who’ve never heard one. I recall one time my daughter handing me the phone asking, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s just busy.”
Voice mail has made the busy signal obsolete. Most business will give you the voice message “all of our lines are busy” rather than a busy signal and some cell phone providers do the same.My parents are hold-outs. They refuse to put in call waiting. If they are talking to someone they are busy and don’t want to be interrupted (especially not by solicitors). They find it rude to put someone on hold to check another call. I often get a busy signal.
I expect that at particular times. My Mother makes weekly phone calls to some of her friends and relatives. I know I won’t reach her during those times. I also know that a birthday or special occasion (like Mother’s Day) will make it nearly impossible to get though. “Just calling to say Happy Birthday.” takes most folks at least 20 minutes where my Mother is concerned.
Maybe that’s where I get it from. As a teenager the phone was regularly attached to my ear. I often ran the cord under the basement door and sat on the top step for some privacy. Just the idea of a phone I could carry with me wherever I went made me giddy. You’d think I would be at the top of the line for the next, newest, best.
You would be wrong. I went into Best Buy in the late 1990’s looking for a new “portable phone”. Not a cell phone, but one that didn’t have a cord attached. I said I was replacing an old phone and really needed to be able to take this one with me out into the garden. The very young salesperson immediately assumed that the reason I needed to replace the phone was because I was gardening and not cleaning the phone properly. He tried to up-sell me a wipe for the phone. I said no, the phone I was replacing was a dial phone. He looked at me like I’d stopped speaking English.
“Dial doesn’t make a phone.”
“No a phone with a dial.”
“You mean you press the buttons to dial?”
“No a rotary dial phone.” I made the motion in the air. Apparently I’d stepped out of a time machine. His recovery?
“Yes, you really do need a new phone.”
I’ve learned to not jump up every time the phone rings. I’ve learned to let it go to voice mail when I’m busy. I’ve learned to send texts – although after an exchange of 3 or 4 I’m ready to just call you to complete the conversation. I’ll even use the bluetooth built into the car.
None of that changes my capacity for a good conversation. There are a few people, long distance relationships, that are bound to be a long call. My Mother and I sometimes will get into a long conversation, especially if there is drama in the family. Apparently I come by it honestly, but I can have that 5 hour conversation. I don’t do it very often, but sometimes I just get to talking.
That’s why the blog is late. I took a Monday morning phone call and , well, got to talking……….