I read something this morning that tends to go along with some of my most recent posts. It’s taken from a book I’m reading by Richard Bode entitled Beachcombing at Miramar: The Quest for an Authentic Life. He says, “This desire to please others, so widespread, so deeply rooted – I wonder where it comes from. Is it the result of what others do to us, or what we do to ourselves…..? We yearn for a blessing from those who have the power to bestow it on us, and when they don’t give us what we crave, we blame ourselves.”This is true in many ways. A lot of times, the occupations we pick are to satisfy what someone else wants for us or where we live is to make our families happy. Are we living lives that are true and authentic for what we desire or are they carbon copies of others? Bode goes on to say, “The impoverished in spirit have no choice but to bless themselves. This is as true….for me, as it is for every individual who yearns for the affirmation they never had. We must bless ourselves; there is no other way. If we don’t, there is no telling how far we will go or what terrible acts we will commit to prove our worthiness.” I got to thinking about this in relation to what I quoted from Dr. Northrup in my Nov 30th post $$$ Money $$$ - Where Is It - Where Can I Get Some?, where she says, “Those who have trouble receiving attract those who have trouble giving.” Perhaps, the approval we are pursuing lies in whether we can receive it or not. Can we give ourselves permission to receive the acknowledgement of a job done well? Sometimes, the approval is there and it comes but somewhere within we’re rejecting it before we can even see that it’s there.
I live in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and every year for at least 20 years we get a permit from the U.S Forest Service to cut our Christmas tree. They have special areas set up for this every year to thin the forests. Yesterday was our assigned day to get our tree. It was a beautiful day, blue skies and mild temperatures for this time of year, a little wind and not much snow to trudge through. In the past, we’ve usually been able to spot our tree and have it cut and loaded in usually about 45 minutes. It was taking much longer this year and we went from spot to spot, get out and roam around only to come up short. I guess after 20 years of Christmas tree cutting in this area, the perfect-shaped trees had all been taken. We moved onto another area and my husband was getting a little discouraged but we decided to have patience and enjoy the scenery, beautiful day and allow the right tree to show itself to us. Then, there it was off to the distance next to a large, mature tree. It was like we were drawn to it. In the past, a part of me always felt a little sad to take a tree out of such a beautiful setting only to set it up in a warm house and adorn it with plastic ornaments and blinking lights. It felt unnatural. But it was different this time. It seemed like the tree offered itself to us wanting to celebrate with us the birth of Jesus and join us in prayer for Peace on Earth. After we gave thanks and asked blessings for the tree, we brought it back to the car, loaded it up and headed out to the main highway. As we were driving along the dirt Forest Service road, a rock outcropping caught my husband’s eye. It was a huge boulder balanced perfectly on top of another boulder. The boulder had a strong pull and so we stopped and got out and climbed up to it. There was such a strong, loving energy coming from the boulder and I put my arms around it as far as they would stretch as the boulder was immense. As I stood there, allowing myself to receive what energy this boulder was giving, I felt like it was giving me love and for the first time I could actually feel myself accepting it and receiving it. I permitted myself to receive this pure love without having to reciprocate. The energy was so strong and giving that it brought tears to my eyes. I felt like I had been reunited with an old friend. I think because I have been preparing and writing on a number of these types of subjects they had become more apparent to me and my awareness more acute when they presented themselves. The rest of the day continued this way and when we got home I was able to write the posting for my blog with the information coming together effortlessly (and I think it is one of my best postings - Footprints in the Sand - Footprints We Leave Behind). The day ended with the most beautiful sunset capturing gorgeous blue and orange hues. This was a perfect day and I realized it unfolded that way mostly because I allowed it and permitted myself to receive the blessing and accept what presented itself. Each day can be a perfect day for you and me, not just a random event, if we open ourselves up to the possibility. Permit yourself to be blessed and if there’s no one around to acknowledge it, bless yourself.
Richard Bode goes on to describe his appreciation for one of America’s most important and successful artist, Georgia O’Keeffe See Biography. He is moved not only by her paintings but by her words in which he quotes her saying, “I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it – how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that the critics can write what they please. I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”
Permit yourself to appreciate who you are and what you do. Don’t wait for someone else’s approval – bless yourself.
From the kitchen table - Pat
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