Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mother Teresa

I am reading "Transformation; Understanding the Three Levels of Masculine Consciousness" by the psychologist Robert Johnson. I obtained the book through an inter-library loan. My therapist recommended it to me. I read it once last night and I'm in the process of reading it a second time. It is short and beautifully written.

There is an interesting footnote in the introduction that I'm going to re-write in its entirety This book was written in 1991 so the story is a little dated, even as its meaning is timeless.

There is a fine story about Mother Teresa of Calcutta. A reporter was finally given an interview with the Roman Catholic nun who has made such an impact on India by caring for the poor and dying. Ushered into the simple room, the reporter bust forth, "Isn't it terrible, Sister, Ten thousand refugees are pouring into Calcutta every day from besieged Bangladesh, and there is no food or housing for them!"

"No," replied Mother Teresa, "it is wonderful. See, he just took food," pointing to the shriveled youngster in her arms who had just taken a spoonful of milk. A true saint, manifesting a form of enlightened consciousness, had seen a miracle and found hope and reason to live in that immediate fact. The reporter, quite certainly, a man of complex consciousness, was lost in the terror and meaninglessness of the situation around him.

The way I interpret this story is that I've got to slow down and pay attention to the small miracles that happen in my life.

I see people who have entered my life as being miracles. That I should have found them, amongst all the strangers in the world, always seems like a gift of fate. I count the little old ladies in church as gifts of fate, I count my therapist as a gift of fate, I count my friends who have mental illness and yet live lives with dignity and happiness as gifts of fate, I count my husband as a gift of fate, and yes, I even count my animals as gifts of fate - for they all came into my life in mysterious ways - I was simply wandering down a path and encountered them like flowers that bloomed on the side of where my feet were walking. Oh, I think I would count my family as gifts of fate too. I did not chose these people who are close to me, bound to me by living for many years in the same household, now flung apart by worldly obsessions and concerns, but in the heart, very close indeed.

I met a psychic once who said that she was getting a message for me from my grandmother. She said my grandmother looked out for me and made certain that I encountered interesting people in my life. As if heaven could arrange meetings and greetings.

I'm a silly person. Last Sunday my minister was giving a sermon and she began to cough. She had a glass of water on the podium next to her and she took a sip. But still her words were intermingled with coughing. So she took another sip of water. Alas, her words were rough and she still struggled to speak. So I prayed to God to take away her cough. To heal her from a tickle in her throat!

At one point in the sermon the minister lead us all in a silent prayer. The prayer started off as silent, and then the minister added her words. I continued my own private chat with God and prayed for forgiveness for getting so angry at my husband that I screamed at him, calling him "a pig, a whore, and an asshole." I know now the words I needed to say instead. I needed to say, "I am not comfortable with your daughter, who has no experience what-so-ever, building a thousand dollar computer. I put my trust in professionals. We should put that thousand dollars instead toward a conventionally built computer for you. If she ever gathers a wealth of experience building computers, then she can build you one." But my anger took away my ability to reason, and I became verbally abusive. I know I did wrong. And so in Church I was praying for forgiveness. My husband had easily forgiven me, he says he does not hold grudges. But I had not yet forgiven myself. So I prayed and my closed eyes filled with tears and they leaked down my cheeks.

After the prayer the minister told us to greet one another with a handshake and the phrase, "peace be with you". To my horror I had to look my neighbors in the eye knowing that my own eyes were wet and perhaps red from weeping - I have yet to encounter one person who cries in church as I do. It is a fact that my emotions run very close to the surface. But I do not want strangers to know this.

It is something to accept as part of who I am.

Also something else to simply accept and move on from. I could not write well today. I worked on the book for one hour and then felt simpleminded and lost. My usual rate is a three hour stretch. But not today.

Open hands, open heart. I cannot be someone other than who I am.

So today, I have several free hours to spend in non-intellectual pursuits.

I think I'm going to look at table cloths or scarves. I need neither one. But for me, this constitutes high entertainment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen,

    I've been enjoying reading some of your writing and I wish you great luck, inspiration and perseverance with writing your book. I'm also trying to write a book, a memoir, my first attempt to write a book. It's proving to be a slow process, but rewarding nonetheless. This afternoon I spent recalling junior high school, getting back in touch with just how I perceived the world way back when. I'm trying to write 2-4 hours a day, but I have to become more disciplined. I also write a bunch of stuff, put it aside and have an aversion to looking at it again and re-working it. I figure, at least I'm gathering material. And the process is not A to B to C, but A to M to C to wherever. The process appears to have a life of its own. I like that, makes me feel like I'm being initiated into some mystery.

    I admire your hard work and perseverance. It's good to know that there's someone out there trying to dedicate herself to creating a good book.

    I've been reading through a few of your blog entries and I'm going to try to read through more of them this week to get to know you better.

    Kate : )


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