Finding Courage and Wisdom on the Path to Wholeness
Dear TSJ Friends,
Today I want to share some ideas that are swirling in my mind, seemingly stirred up by my little toe. I apparently lost focus Sunday evening as I was bringing a book to the living room area and stubbed my left foot against a wooden leg of our sofa. I may have even broken it and this ouch has called to my attention some life lessons I need to review.
If my toe could talk (in ways other than pain) what might it want to teach me? Would I listen? Who listens to a toe?
It occurs to me that many of the things we value in life have to be reviewed from time to time not only to reinforce what we already know, but to expand our knowledge and broaden our perspectives. Or to become more awakened to (conscious of ) profound Truth often hidden in plain sight – God’s Love permeates our moments.
Wednesday Wisdoms are primarily about things you already know. But each time we review what matters, what is of such value that it lasts, what makes us live our lives with more contentment and less anxiety, we open up our minds to savor truths in a grander way.
Those who have read my blog letters for years have seen the picture above before. I used to cherish that cup each day as I spent morning quiet time with God. If you remember, I called it my “Sip it and Zip it” time of silence. Then one day the handle broke. Tom glued it back together for me. I have been a bit tentative about using it as it has sentimental value now. But it survived the moves and is still my favorite size for a quiet cup of tea. And it is meant to be used. Especially since it reminds me of things that matter such as God, quiet meditation, being present to the present moment. It also reminds me broken things can be repaired, re-glued and reused – and still be valuable.
In fact, that describes how I am feeling of late. My sore toe has brought me a reminder that in one split moment we can be vulnerable, wounded, broken. It reflected things that I have been pondering, but in a very physical, earthy sort of way. Pondering keeps things in the head. Stubbing your toe – or any physical wound – keeps things in the here and now, and in the up-close-and personal arena of learning.
As my foot mends, I don’t plan to stop using it just in case it happens again someday. That is so obvious you could rightfully say, “Du-uh!” Yet, with so many things in life, when we experience woundedness, humiliation, or failure, we tend to lose courage. Sometimes we become too cautious, as I did with this mug – to “protect” it rather than let it remind me to “Savor Each Moment.”
I know it does not mean to savor the pain. It means to savor what you learn through painful experiences. And when you are not in pain, it means to savor our moments rather than racing through them and not digesting the love and joy and contentment they offer (much like we often inhale food while barely tasting it).
As I have been doing my best to let my foot guide my activities this week I have been thinking a lot about how “little things” matter. They are important. I mean, really, it is only a little toe! But it hurts and when even a small part of the body hurts, the rest of the body follows suit. You limp. You use different muscles, You are not walking with good posture as your weight is shifted.
It is not unlike little things we say and do that hurt others, that ultimately cause pain in the greater body… like the family, the groups you are part of or your friends or students.
So my sore toe is talking. Between the experience of the wound and the meditative readings i have been doing, I am reviewing nuggets of wisdom:
* Small is not really so small.
*When things are mended they deserve to be valued again. And my mended cup is even more important because of its mended handle than in spite of it.
*The art of savoring puts us back in touch with the good, the true and the beautiful in each moment.
Here is what Emmet Fox wrote about the importance of savoring in his book,Original Blessing:
“If we savored more, we would buy less…. we would be less compulsive and less unsatisfied. ….. If we savored more we would communicate more deeply, relate more fully, compete less regularly and celebrate more authentically. We would be relating more deeply to ourselves, to creation in all its blessedness, to history past and future, to the Now and to God.”
“The source of all authentic pleasure is God.”
If my wounded toe could have spoken to me I believe it would have told me to savor my numerous blessings and embrace the contentment and compassion that seeps into my heart when I do so. That is how we are awakened to God’s numerous ways of telling us how Loved we are. And this Love compels us to be kind and loving in return.
The toe apparently did speak its truth. At least that is what Solomon says.