Sunday, August 15, 2010

Speaking of life speaking

Below are some quotes from Parker Palmer's book, Let Your Life Speak.  I'm still working on the listening part.  These words have meant a great deal to me, helped me on my journey, aided me toward coming out.

High Falls, DuPont State Forest, NC
Instead of more whining from me, read this.

Before we tell our life what we intend to do with it, we have to listen for what it intends to do with us.  Before we tell our life what truths and values we have decided to live up to, we have to let our life tell us what truths we already embody, what values we already represent.  In other words, there is an inner life that wants to live through us.  By listening to our lives, we can better discern what we are meant to do and what we are meant to be, what God wants us to be and to do.
Today I understand vocation quite differently – not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received.  Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess.  Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not.  It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original self-hood given me at birth by God.
It is a strange gift, this birthright gift of self.  Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else!  I have sometimes responded to that demand by ignoring the gift, or hiding it, or fleeing from it, or squandering it – and I think I am not alone.  There is a Hasidic tale that reveals, with amazing brevity, both the universal tendency to want to be someone else and the ultimate importance of becoming one’s self:  Rabbi Zusya, when he was an old man, said, “In the coming world, they will not ask me: ‘Why were you not Moses?’  They will ask me: ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”
I'm not sure of the page numbers or such.  The link above give a much larger excerpt.


Ur-spo said...

Most folks are fearful to ask about their Journey, as it means usually getting what you didn't want or ordered.

Neil said...

Are you only working on listening to your life or also listening to your interlocutors?

Jeremiah Andrews said...

I've tried to stop and listen, and maybe I am not doing a good enough job right now. I know you can't rush listening, at least I've learned that.

I am trying to be good to myself, to take care of myself and do the next right thing.

I guess for now, that is enough.

Thanks for your thoughts on the blog.


Lemuel said...

I think that more than quite a few of us spend our lives trying to be Moses.

Cubby said...

Life is like a complex maze. With nearly every step we have before us choices on how to proceed. Some choices will lead us to happiness, some will lead us to despair, but most will just lead us in circles, getting more and more lost in the maze.

Knowing well our inner selves will not lead us directly to happiness, but it will help us eliminate some of the bad choices we make, making the attainment of happiness much more likely.

I admire you Joe for proceeding through the maze carefully and not getting lost. Or at least not as lost as some of us.


Michael Dodd said...

For the sake of the discussion, let us say I think my vocation is to be a loplaker. Too often I think discernment means learning all I can about loplakers and then putting all my energy into pouring myself into what seems to be the loplaker mold.

The more important question would be, when I dig around inside myself, do I discover a loplaker already there?

If so, being myself will mean being a loplaker -- but it will mean being MYSELF as loplaker.

Sadly, sometimes other people decide what loplakers can and cannot be like, and even though a loplaker is standing right before them, if the loplaker does not fit into their perceived loplaker mold, they assume it's not a loplaker.

Fortunately, I am more than loplaker and the choices others make about me do not have to cut me off from my own rich possibilities.

It may turn out that I am better at something else, even though I was a very good loplaker. In my case, even though I was a happy and effective loplaker, it turns out I am now a happy and effective librarian.

Frank said...

Hey there. Glad I found your blog again. Hope you're doing well....

RG said...

Aaaah, but here's the rub - life's journey is just a set of random actions of which we are apart.Those random actions came to us, we didn't go to them. Sure, we have free choice, and sure we made decisions on those random actions.

And, are we so sure that we really aren't living in a multi-verse, and have crossed over time to time to other universes, because everything is the same, but different - much like those random actions that come at us.

Man, this weed is gooooooooood. LOL