After every national tragedy, like the one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, a familiar rhythm of grief emerges. Politicians, religious leaders, and other public figures emerge to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those afflicted. President Donald Trump offered “prayers and condolences,” and First Lady Melania Trump tweeted that the Florida victims were in her “thoughts and prayers.”
(Originally posted 02/01/14.)
If you’re in a boat out on the water, and a storm comes up, and the boat’s rocking and at risk of tipping over; it’s critical to turn the boat to face into the wind. This won’t stop the wind, but will keep it from rocking the boat.
Emotional intelligence is like that. It won’t make life’s storms go away, but can help keep them from rocking your boat.
In my view, emotional intelligence is the same as emotional maturity or psychological or spiritual maturity. This is what spiritual growth is all about.
Continue reading How emotionally intelligent are you? Here’s how to tell.
In “recycling” these old posts, my practice has normally been to reproduce the whole post. In this instance, I’ll merely link to it:
What got me at this writing was this passage, which strikes me as awfully current:
“Josh Barro is one of those who just didn’t get it. To me, the whole row has been about free speech. It is unacceptable in this country that mere shifts of the zeitgeist should force an individual’s conscience; that we should become a thought-police state.”
That was dated 01/11/14. I’m struck that we may now be at greater risk than ever, of becoming a thought-police state.
Efforts to dialogue with Dan Rodricks’ position (that is, take it seriously) led to a lot of confusion and self-doubt in my prayer time Friday morning 10/25/13.
The past week’s instability in my support system had forced me to ask for and accept significant (by my standards) amounts of money from acquaintances who had never donated to me before. It was as if the Cosmos was retaliating for things I said in “Chaos overwhelms the poor.” Am I a panhandler already myself? Is there any shame in that? Am I in any way a better investment than the drunks who panhandle on the street?
Continue reading (3) Baby steps
THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Copyright A.A. World Services, Inc.
(Originally posted 11/30/13.)
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger
6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
(Originally published 11/16/13.)
(From an April 2010 e-mail to my family:)
Dad was still in good health back in ’83-85, when I became so deeply interested in spiritual healing. He maintained a pragmatic skepticism about it throughout; in essence, “What’s the use? We’re all going to die anyway.”
I recalled that Monday night 12/07/09 on my way home from Rite Aid, where I’d had to go buy a few things. I was having pretty severe pain in lower left abdomen, after having had several “difficult” eliminations earlier in the day. I took the pain for infection-inflamed ureter; later concluded I was passing a stone. Long time since I’d passed a stone. Long time by my standards, that is.
The state I was in at that hour, I was inclined to cancel all appointments and errands for the next day, and plan to spend all day Tuesday flat on my back in bed. With pain like this, you can’t do much more than just stare into space and feel miserable.
I would recall one author’s answer to Dad’s argument; Lawrence Althouse is the guy’s name. He said the sheer alleviation of pain — without opiates — is justification enough for the practice of spiritual healing. Pain occasions loss of productivity, as just described. It also stresses relationships; with any less self-control as to these things than I’ve learned in the past few years, had anyone crossed my path the wrong way on that trip home, I might well have snapped at the person.
That’s not something you want to do in the ghetto. Especially at night.
There are other was to effect spiritual healing, besides prayer.
Just being nice to people, as opposed to choosing, say, to inject needless pain (“static”) into their world — that’s one.
Crystal happened to wait on me at the Rite Aid; she’s my favorite clerk, and I’d not seen her in months. Damn if she didn’t smile at me and give me a cheery greeting as soon as I came in the door.
Damn if my pain didn’t go away — completely — for some time, later after I got home, as I recalled that encounter. “Spiritual” — healing — indeed.
Every word can work good or ill. My choice; your choice.
on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger
My prayer for myself today was that I “come into a world where my diligence will be rewarded.” A related new concept, as far as the blog is concerned: efficacy — the feeling or sense that one can accomplish something. In question is whether I perceive my world that way now.
It is notable that a background of chaos militates against efficacy, and normally teaches that diligence will not be rewarded, except as it’s expressed in opportunism and predation (See “Can’t resist temptation? …” below.) A background of, or perceptions of, order, in contrast, teach the exact opposites.
Related previous post:
– Chaos overwhelms the poor
– Can’t resist temptation? That may not be a bad thing
(Originally posted 11/02/13.)
I have been asked to share my vast wisdom on the subject of yeast breads (chometz).
I’m not a big fan of lots of different recipes for bread. My philosophy is to find one basic recipe and then do variations on it: experiment with different ratios; stir in a cup of raisins or nuts or grated cheese; make rolls, using cinnamon, sugar and butter, or jelly, or peanut butter and jelly; use milk or evaporated milk or even fruit juice or cream instead of water; and so on.
I’ve forgotten the basic recipe I used before becoming homeless. One could start with this one, and experiment with different ratios until one settles on one one likes.
(Originally published 07/01/13 at Trojan Horse Productions. Republished here 10/30/13.)
One of my buds came into McDonald’s this morning looking for me. I’d not seen him in about a week. He’s in really good shape today, but it turns out that, as I’d supposed, he’d been on a bender.
We went out front to smoke and talk, and the time came for him to get on his way. I expected him to turn to go back upstairs to get his stuff. He did not. “Where’s your stuff?” I asked.
He’d lost it. Again. Everything. Kept only his I.D. and Independence card. Somewhere, sometime, while blacked out, he’d got up and left wherever he’d been, leaving behind all his belongings in a forgotten place.
In my immediately last prior post, “Me, me, me,” I said:
It’s not that I despised material possessions; I did not value them nearly as much as I (overwhelmingly) valued relationships. What I did despise was the desire for material possessions. As a result, now I have none.
Relationships are what I do have. They are my treasures in heaven.
on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger