Just to be is a blessing…Just to live is holy
~ Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel ~
I find that life doesn’t always cooperate with what I want…particularly in the time frame in which I want it! I tend to be an impulsive person and, although I like to think of myself as a humble person, I sometimes find myself getting on what one of my brother’s wives calls: The Pasley High Horse. A less than admirable family trait, I must admit, that tends to move “my clan” towards assuming we know better than anyone else on the planet. And that, of course, goes for God too, because Heaven only knows, I am much better suited to being the pilot than the co-pilot…right?!
So I have to be very careful around a simple but profound cautionary saying that urges us to exercise “restraint of pen and tongue” which basically means, don’t hit that send button and shut up until the urge to express your opinion passes.
Once I react to what is going on in my life with a know-it-all attitude or decide to take matters into my own hands, I find myself invariably falling flat on my face. Why? Because I have not taken the time or made the effort to calm and quiet my intellect (that monkey mind that is constantly buzzing in my head!), pause and wait for the best answer, that is usually expressed as my intuition and a quiet voice within when I’m once again in a peaceful place.
A couple of years ago on a day I will never forget, I was in a business meeting where someone said something that I felt was an out-and-out insult to my work and successful efforts in my job. I’m a fundraiser and I had just brought in $500,000 – not a small piece of change – and this person suggested that this happened so easily and that it was a matter of luck that I was able to secure it at all. Never mind that I had been cultivating and building a relationship with this company and key people working there for over eight months.
My Irish temper was on fire – I know my face went beet red – but I thankfully asked (silently, of course) for a little help from my angelic friends and God. So I got through the meeting with just my hands tremoring a bit, and my face still slightly flushed, but left there still angry, put upon, victimized and under-appreciated. What I was able to concede at that first moment back in my office was – I wasn’t happy with the way I was feeling. So, with support from the wisdom of A Course in Miracles, AA and Science of Mind, I quickly knew the solution…I’d better find a new way of looking at the situation and reframing my reaction. I asked for a new way to look at what had happened and quickly realized that I was overreacting, had popped out of a humble viewpoint and, yes, once again I was on that Pasley High Horse and life was all about me and my feelings.
Pausing for a moment to calm my rattled nerves, asking for a new way to look at things and being willing to move just slightly in that direction was the magic formula to bring me back to peace of mind, pride in my work (not arrogance, but self-appreciation) and I was free again to realize what the above quote by Rabbi Heschel says so eloquently: “Just to be is a blessing; just to live is holy.” Thank you God and all of my earthly teachers who remind me of the wisdom of these words every day.