...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Joy is in letting go

Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.
Anthony De Mello, The Way to Love
 
Let go and receive the gift of enduring joy
This is one of the many great stories that Anthony De Mello tells. It's in his book, Rediscovering Life. The book was published in 2012 to mark the 25th year of his passing.

 A man who was moving from one village to another sees what is called in India a sannyasi. 

Here was this wandering sannyasi, and the villager, when he meets him, says, "I cannot believe this." The sannyasi says, "What is it you cannot believe?" The villager says, "I had a dream about you last night. I dreamt that the Lord Vishnu said to me, 'Tomorrow morning, you will leave the village around 11 o'clock and you'll run into this wandering sannyasi.' And here, I've met you."

"What else did the Lord Vishnu say to you?" asks the sannyasi. The man replies, "He said to me, 'If the man gives you a precious stone he has, you will be the richest man in the world.' Would you give me the stone?"

So the sannyasi says, "Wait a minute." He rummages in his little knapsack that he had. He asks, "Would this be the stone you're talking about?" And the man couldn't believe his eyes because it was  a diamond- the largest diamond in the world. He holds the diamond in his hands and asks, "Could I have this?"

And the sannyasi says, "Of course, you could take it. I found it in a forest. You're welcome to it." And he goes on, sits under a tree on the outskirts of the village. The man grasps this diamond and how great is his joy.

So the guy has the diamond. And then instead of going home, he sits under a tree, and all day he sits, immersed in thought. And toward the evening, he goes to the tree where the sannyasi is sitting, gives him back the diamond, and says, "Could you do me a favor?" "What?" says the sannyasi.

"Could you give me the riches that make it possible for you to give this thing away so easily?"

Holy One, could you give me the riches that make it possible to give so easily?
 

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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