Friday, May 16, 2014. There were a number of events at McD this morning that normally would have distracted me, and did not. This suggests that presence is becoming habitual — as is focus on my goals. But there may be more involved.
Roy and Jimmy sat in a booth near me, and Roy was complaining that the clothes they give him at the clothes window at the shelter aren’t always the right size. He also, to my amazement, complained about the food. I answered him silently, “If you were focused on advancing your own situation, you wouldn’t be concerned about those things.”
In the past, it has been a powerful distraction to me (scandal, offense) that so many men around me have no interest in improving their lives.
Later was an incident where a bunch of us were crowded at the front door, smoking, to stay out of the rain. This one drunk produced a pint of vodka which another one wanted to share, and this third guy, whom I’d never seen before, wanted to participate in that, too, and was asking everyone for “a short,” that is, the last portion of one’s cigarette. (Pause.) Ghetto.
I came in and headed back upstairs to my booth, and at this one table I had to pass by an ugly, ugly man.
Providence means that God constantly gives us more than we need (Matthew 6:26-30). As per the Parable of the Talents, right use of that much yields access to still more (Matthew 25:29). Neediness comes from mis-use of what we have now. “My cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:5) refers to the surplus of what God provides, abetted by right use thereof. These are the resources we can use in intercession, in giving to the poor, in helping others who cannot possibly repay.
In the past, I would have responded to any of the events I have reported from this morning, by feeling my energies depleted. How is it I passed by them all today unfazed? Is it because my attention has become focused on my goals? (Note that, even a few days ago, it wasn’t really focused on my goals; I didn’t really have goals.) It seems to me more likely that it’s become that “my cup runneth over,” that I have enough surplus energy available now, that encountering these negativities can consume from that without taking from what I really need for getting on with my own life. Thus I don’t feel depleted.
Compare “Give from abundance.”
It is essential that a person seeking to move from poverty into the mainstream, who normally begins in a context of negativity that’s constantly draining one’s “light,” attain a “my cup runneth over” so as to be able to move in those circumstances without one’s essence being drained.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
Maybe I’m not doing as well today as I was on Friday.
My big goal for today is to quit smoking. As of 12:36, I have 2½ smokes left. But circumstances at McDonald’s this morning were prone to make it more difficult to quit.
There were several incidents of negativity that I choose not to detail, but some involved friends of mine; and whether or not it’s so, I’m inclined to say they just were not to be ignored. Yes, they drained my spirits; “brought me down.”
For a “normal” American today, anyone who grew up in the sort of context I did, to observe any of these events and be unmoved, a person would have to feel singularly hard-hearted. So, maybe presence involves the risk of having to learn to be, what others would see as, singularly hard-hearted.
(13:08. Abruptly, all kinds of strangers are asking me for money.)
Some powerful mystical experiences Sunday and Monday indicated to me that William Tell is no longer a persona for me to contemplate, but rather the person for me to be. This mandates some changes in my personality, consistent with my learning presence and learning to be emotionally positive, as far as possible, all the time. On the one hand, a post of several months ago (Issues with upcoming posts) indicated my desire that William Tell be or become wholly upbeat. I cannot encourage the distressed unless I actually do that — encourage, not scold. On the other hand, I don’t know that I’m doing anyone a service if I fail to speak bluntly about what a black hole the world of squalor really is.
(Originally posted 2014-08-09.)