Sometimes, something comes along to give you the healthiest, best and most needed “kick in the arse”. That kick is another form of Compassion, I suggest. Easing ourselves or others from distress can be in the form of a loving and well intended and delivered jolt. And our body can be the messenger of same. As I enter The Fast, I am reminded this morning of one of my long time “favourite” prayers.
O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord. — ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
More friend to me than I am to myself. Now, please understand that, as a Baha’i, I do not see God as man nor woman nor any gender in the sky. I cannot even imagine God. For me, that is not the point. I do believe in a sentient, unknowable, unimaginable “Force”… that is always with me. And that Force runs through everything, every freakin’ thing; including me. So, that said, our bodies can act and serve as messengers.
Some months back, my great and wonderful dentist observed something in my mouth and suggested that we “keep an eye on things”. This past week or so, I felt something as if to say “check it out” and subsequently did so last evening. From my Dale Carnegie Training days 1987-2001, I remember well Dale Carnegie’s guidance on managing stress and worry. And, armed with my own sense of Faith and beliefs on death and dying, I asked myself “What is the absolute worst that can happen here?” That is Step 1. I answered, “I could have cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat… and could even die”. I then, fully accepted (Step 2) that as possibility, which frees us from What If… and allows us to do the third step; improve upon it. As I answered what is the worst, and fully accepted its possibility… something very similar to my days of Stroke in 2015 happened. I was flooded with very real and honest thoughts on how I would live whatever time I had left. Cartooning and dancing and boxing remained possible without voice; writing too. For instance. My work and purpose and service and joy could still be served.
Now, some might think this morbid. But death is the only reality to life. And I do not believe it an ending. I do believe life is the ultimate infinite game; and we are all young in it. Last night, I saw that deep belief in action. I was ready and I knew it. That said, the gift was in the flood of ideas born of Candor, in that moment. And they matched the answers after Stroke 7 years back. Some of those ideas, I manifested in those 7 years… and my thoughts now were about continuing same but more. Some were new and added. All were honest gifts from a friend better than I often am to myself. Indeed and in deed.
That said, upon getting “checked out”, whatever was there before was gone… and whatever my body was feeling was born of lesser concerns that now need addressing in further changes to diet. But, I have those gifts of the flood, and I freakin’ intend to follow that path. I have been reflecting and meditating on same for a couple years now… on Next Chapter. I have meandered through meaning, throughout that time. Yesterday was the compassionate kick in the proverbial arse. Last week, I posted here twice on Our Core Four and Joy, Zeal and BOXsa. This week, gaps have been filled in, and the kick inside has happened. My March onwards feels palpably and powerfully and pungently clear. My best friend inside spoke. Be your own best friend. Insh’allah. Peace. 😉
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln