Posts Tagged: discovery


19
Mar 12

Forced, Fake or Fabulous?

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Hi… me again.

If you have been reading my blog any length of time at all you know that I love a good quote.

I am impressed when someone can make a simple twist on words and capture a powerful thought.

I consider a quote particularly good if it causes me pause, I tilt my head in curiosity like a dog hearing a strange noise, and hear myself automatically go humm as I ponder the meaning.

The quote that tilted my head today was the following.

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You laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh at you because you are all the same.

- Jonathan Davis

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Hummm…?

Now this quote may not trip your trigger at all.  You too may have liked the quote or you could be just sitting there in the blue glow of your computer going huh? instead of Humm.

If you’re going huh?, that’s completely ok.  The fact is, there are quotes that strike you as brilliant that would make my head implode.

That’s the wonderful beauty of our world… we’re different… and thank goodness.

There is something deeper we need to take a closer look at.  The quote is only half the learning.  The real insight comes with the natural questions that follow.

Why does this quote move me?  What about the message strikes me?

This is where the gold is found.

For me, the quote strikes an important chord … that of being ordinary.  I don’t want to be ordinary.

I want to be different… just like everyone else.

I’m not trying to be funny with the last statement, just trying make a point.  I do believe it is important that we find who we are and be okay with the fact that it may mean we are a bit different.

I find it kind of amusing that there are those kids who shy away from what they consider to be the boring mainstream because they desire to be unique and end up all looking the same.

That is not a judgment about them or the position they choose, I am just making the point that we all fall into groups that have similarities.

I have a pretty good feel for who and what I am.  And yes, I like to be different.

But if you saw me walking down the street I wouldn’t necessarily stand out from the crowd… except of course for my devilish good looks, boyish charm and Statue of David physique.

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Side Note: When my wife reads the last sentence she will fall off her chair laughing hysterically… because I never go walking on the street.

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It gets messy when people have no idea who they are or what they believe.  If not careful they just end up flowing with the stream they’re around them that has the strongest current.

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You got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.

-         Yogi Berra

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So the next time you read a quote and it stops you… be willing to take a closer look at the “why”.  You’ll learn a lot about yourself.

If you are honest with the answer to your questions you will find out if you are forced, fake or simply fabulous.

See you on Thursday.

Ciao.


29
Mar 11

The Payoff

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Hi there.

I’m not sure what happened, but I fell off the earth yesterday.  All I know is that I had to attend a meeting and somehow and somewhere the blog fell out of my head.  I think it has to do with the Law of Displacement thing I talked about a couple of blogs ago.

Sorry about the delay… my bad.

Last Thursday I talked about the difficulty of giving up negative things in our lives.  I ended by saying that there is a payoff for keeping negative things in our life.

I tend to believe that we don’t do anything (positive or negative) without some kind of payoff.

In many ways we are just like animals.  We do things for a reward.

With animals it’s pretty simple.  They concentrate on food, sex and sleep.  For our animal friends, food is usually the greatest motivator, except for maybe a couple of times during the year… if you catch my drift.

Humans are more complex.  We are able to think, reason, analyze, and logically sort through options.  We can create things out of the abstract, and to top it off we have a conscious.  We delineate between right and wrong, and good and bad.  All of this makes things much more complicated.

The good things about these amazing gifts are we can rise above our baser nature.  We are not relegated to a stimulus response life where we are doomed to function solely by our instincts.  These gifts provide freedom to choose.

But like any good thing there is some negative fall-out.

As I said earlier, these gifts make us much more complicated.  Because of these capabilities we can fall into the trap of taking abstract bits of information and form totally erroneous assumptions and act on those faulty beliefs.

Yes, life is simpler with animals.  They just eat, sleep, have sex and occasionally fight if threatened.  Interestingly, animals don’t have the emotional baggage or hang-ups we humans have.   They have no concept of a low or high self esteem.

Now what does this mean in respect to having a payoff for our actions (or inaction)?  What is the payoff for people to hang on to negative things?

This topic is far more complex than a quick blog entry can remedy.  But the intent of the blog is not to provide easy solutions but to us think.

Payoffs

For illustration and to make this real world I need you to identify something negative that has been pestering you for a while.  Ok, have something identified?  I will throw out some payoffs for you to consider.

Immediate Gratification: This is the most obvious of the payoffs.  This is the one that taps in to our most base nature.  The payoff is the immediate presence of pleasure or the elimination of pain.  The focus is primarily on what I want NOW… pleasure or relief.

Immediate gratification quickly translates in not addressing the hard issue with your spouse; taking the drink for pleasure or escape; buying something for yourself when bills are piling up; eating the cupcake; or going out when you need to study or work.

Immediate gratification was the easy one.  Now we get into the more subtle and insidious payoffs.

Validation: This is hanging on to something negative in your life because it validates a faulty belief about yourself.   These are beliefs such as, I’m a failure; I will never overcome this issue; I can’t handle this; I’m no good; I don’t deserve better; etc.

Pride: This is the twisted notion of hanging on to something negative because changing announces that you were wrong.  Or even worse, you are weak and not in control of your life.

I do not wish to over simplify very complex issues.   Nor do I believe my few blog paragraphs will be the “silver bullet” of change in a person’s life.  But hopefully I have increased your awareness and made you think.

See you Thursday… yes Thursday, not Friday.

Ciao


8
Jul 10

Uncomfortable with Comfort

Bonjour… as you can see I’m feeling a little international today.  There’s no particular reason, it just popped into my head.  Yes, I know, there is medication to help people that have weird things going on in their heads.  But here’s what I say to that, “Je ne veux pas prendre des médicaments pour les choses qui se passent dans ma tête, j’aime la façon dont je pense maintenant.”

Side Note: If you want to know what I said you can go to this link and get it translated.  Just cut the above statement and paste it at http://translate.google.com

For those who are first time visitors I hope I haven’t weirded you out too much.  I just get caught up in the moment.

For those that are regulars they know that I get side tracked pretty easily and they, for better or for worse, end up being dragged along with me to my “happy place.”

This whole blog thing is a journey for me and I have invited anyone to join me who wants to be challenged to step beyond where they are now and explore the possibilities of things outside of our comfort zone… our safe little world.

Exploration can be dangerous business.  It’s risky to put yourself out there for possible failure, criticism and pressure from others to get back in the box they are use to us being in.

There are lots of people who are intrigued by what’s beyond the walls of comfort.  They will occasionally peek over the fence to get a quick glimpse and then quickly retreat back to comfort.

Yesterday I found something I wrote twelve years ago in a journal.  It fits nicely with what I am talking about today.

Journal Entry – July 7, 1998

Human nature leans toward ease.  Difficulty and unpleasant things are to be avoided.  But ease is a deceiver.  Ease robs us of the grander things available to us.

Those of ease who are unwilling to enter in the realm of endurance and perseverance never experience the sweet fruit of overcoming, the satisfaction of accomplishment and experience the strength of endurance. Ease focuses on the moment and traps the unsuspecting from grander things.

We are not taught the discipline of endurance without the reality of discomfort and the inconvenience of “pushing through.”

Our commitment must be toward those things that rest beyond our sight and touch, and not be lulled by the ease of the immediate.

For me, and probably for you, it took a while before I took these words seriously enough to take the larger, riskier steps outside my safe walls.  But over the years I became more aware of the possibilities and joys that await the explorer.

As I said in an earlier blog, awareness is like hugging a porcupine… the closer you get the more uncomfortable you are.  As someone who didn’t like to fail or look bad I became more uncomfortable with my comfort and unsatisfied with my satisfaction.

So as you can see I am on the trail of exploration and discovery.  It’s not been all fun and games but it sure beats sitting in the confines of my old self.

See you Monday


21
Jun 10

Deep Calls to Deep

I started this entry early this morning in St Louis.  I am in Indianapolis and just now finishing.  Weird day. 

Monday Morning:

I’m feeling very introspective this morning.  There are all sorts of stuff tumbling around and I sit here trying to logically sort out the moving thoughts and emotions. 

There’s a lot of movement… not erratic or helter skelter… deep currents in motion.  The types of things that slowly emerge into momentary recognition and then silently sink back. 

These are not troubling stirrings but substantive truths trying to make their way to consciousness.  I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that there is a difference between being troubled and being stirred.

Side Note:  Every time I use the word stirred it think of Bond, James Bond… “I’ll have mine stirred not shaken.” 

Yes, I know… I’m weird.

 

When I am troubled I know that something is going on that needs attention and decisive action is the cure.  But when something is stirring the opposite is true.  For me, when something is stirring I need to just be open, reflect (not try to figure it out), give it some time to allow it to surface.

Also, I recognize that the stirrings I am currently having today are deep Spiritual things… God stuff… not normal personal stuff.  There are stirrings that are important personal things that tumble around inside. These take shape with time, thought, reflection and logic.  But this is not true with Spiritual things.

You cannot logic out Spiritual things. Spiritual things are reveled.

 

I don’t know about you but God stirrings cause my ears to perk up and my head to tilt.  I know that there is something for me to pay attention about.

Oswald Chambers said that earthly things are thought out by logic and insight but with Spiritual things you must obey your way out.  Humm,  Very interesting thought.

Side Note:  If you have never heard of or read Oswald Chambers you have missed a treat.  He was a Scottish minister from around 1900.  He thinks on a different spiritual level.  My wife and her friend talk about Ozzie. 

What kind of stirring has been going on with you?  Is it a God stirring or just deep thought? 

I know that I have been writing a lot on stirring lately.  I have been a bit concerned but I write what I believe I am to write.  Either there is something God is trying to get at in me or in you.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

See you Thursday.


1
Jun 10

Movin’ Blues

As many of you already know my wife and I have just moved.    I am sore, tired and my daily routine is all screwed up.

I have come to this conclusion – Moving is a pain in the butt.  Yes I said the word butt.  Now to most of you saying the word butt is no big deal.

When I was growing up I couldn’t say the word butt.   I couldn’t say the word ass either.  I’m not too sure why… I think they were considered cuss words, or close enough to being cuss words to where you would get a whiff of sulfur from the flames of hell if you used them.

It was confusing to me.  I didn’t see too much wrong with them and it was especially funny when on rare occasion a preacher would read a scripture that contained the word ass.  Ass is used about 90 times in the Bible (King James Version)

I think the preachers I knew just avoided those scriptures during their sermons because they didn’t want the awkward embarrassment of the congregation or to cuss while preaching.

I know that “Ass” in the Bible refers to a donkey, but it was fun as a kid expanding the meaning of certain scriptures.  For example:

“And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”

Genesis 22:5

My friends and I tried to figure out if Abraham was referring to his father-in-law or his wife.

Then there was the really risqué scripture.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, … neighbor’s wife… nor his ass.”

Exodus 20:17

Just so you know, as young boys were weren’t interested at all in coveting his ass… now his wife’s ass was a different matter.

Now, now, don’t get all upset with me.  I’m sure my last statement just made some of you a little uncomfortable.  Some of my old friends are beginning to worry that Jerry may be getting a bit to distant from his spiritual roots.

Sorry if I offended someone.  I’ll be good.

As you can see, I am pretty slap-happy today.  I’m tired… I spent the whole weekend working my ass off.


19
Apr 10

Hidden Surprise

Hi there, welcome back.

It’s a good day to be on our journey.

One thing I love about this life journey we travel, are the surprises.  If you are open and on the look-out, you’ll see things others miss.

Side Note: Have you ever seen a photograph of something simple and ordinary that was transformed into a work of beauty.  The eye of the photo artist saw something that we did not see.

They took the picture and with a little cropping away of the portions that distract, they captured the center-point of beauty.  And we, the casual on looker, now enjoy the beauty only because the cluttered distractions are removed.

I want to be one who finds amazing things in what seems to be an ordinary day.  First of all, we have to realize that no day is ordinary and secondly that there actually exists the extraordinary amidst the clutter of life.

Today is a good day.  It’s not that I feel particularly good or happy.  I just happen to see a jewel in the clutter.

A friend of mine was in South Carolina all last week attending the funeral of her Aunt Georgia.  It was a time of celebrating a life well lived and reconnecting with extended family.

In the usual chit chat of talking about the funeral and reconnecting with the family I was shown the program of the funeral and the life of Mrs. Georgia.  The program had the typical things but it was there I found my jewel.

The family included sections I had never seen before in a funeral program.  The sections were…  Mrs. Georgia’s Memorable Phrases, Her Passions, and Her Lessons for Life.

I love homespun wisdom.  The profound is in the simple.

Sadly, homespun wisdom is being lost.  We live in a day and time of being bombarded with hype and glitz.  All the media phrases are focus group tested, polished perfect and spun with exacting precision.

But then you have someone like Mrs. Georgia who crossed my path via a funeral program.  Little did she know that one of her simple phrases of life would catch my eye and validate my desired approach to life.

Apparently she would say this phrase to her kids when they were considering life options.

“Go on until your road ends”

- Mrs. Georgia Etta Jones Wharton (1926-2010)

Simple, succinct and right on.  In six words there is a powerful message for each of us.

“Go” – be active, don’t sit on side of the road watching life go by

“Your road” – each of us has their own road to travel

“Ends” – our roads may be different length

I would hate to think that at my death I had more road to travel.  I want to travel light and travel well.

On my road today I found a jewel.  It has been a good day of traveling.

See you Thursday.


29
Mar 10

Truth or Truths

I don’t know about you but I get pretty frustrated with the media and politics (Don’t worry I’m not getting all political on you.  We have enough political talk without me jumping into the mix).  What frustrates me is that you don’t know what to believe.

Truth is sacrificed on the alter of facts. 

The sad reality is that this is the nature of the world we live in.  From the beginning of time people have taken facts to paint a distorted picture.  We have all done it to some degree.

It is sort of like a kaleidoscope… fragments of facts jumbled together to distort reality. 

You may be wondering what got Jerry all riled up.  You’re probably thinking that I must have just finished listening to the evening news.  Nope.  I’m not writing about this because I’m frustrated but stirred. 

I was stirred by a comment left by Kathy about something I wrote a couple of blogs back.  For full context you might want to review my blog “Searching or Discovery”.

 Excerpt from Kathy’s Comment:

I get grabbed by something that is true and then I belong to it. Change inside of me happens almost automatically. Why do you think it happens that way? Do you think that is the way it is with all truth–scientific truth–or discovering in historical facts? or is it just with spiritual truth?

Over the next couple of blogs I will try to share my thoughts.  Let me be the first to say that I by no means believe that I have the answers to Kathy’s questions… but it doesn’t stop me from having an opinion. 

I believe there is Truth and there are truths.  Truths are facts about things that exist.   

But Truth, that is a different matter.  Ah, Truth… beautiful Truth.  In a world of distortion and complexity there is splendid simple Truth. 

Important Point:    Simple does not mean easy. 

Truth does not rest on the surface of life where you can easily grasp or understand it in full context.  We sense it and see evidence of it.  Truth is something deeper, broader, and higher… all around and permeating everything.

That’s why people like and gravitate to truths; they can take hold of them and control their use by carelessly tossing them around to make a point.  Settling for only truths are the cowards’ way. 

Truth… you cannot distort or control.  It is just hidden in the clutter of truths, but it’s fully intact waiting for us.

There are two characteristics of Truth (I am sure there’s a lot more but these are a good starting point) that I will poke on.  Truth informs and transforms.  I really liked what Kathy said when she wrote, “Change inside of me happens almost automatically.”

That is what our journey is all about.  Discovery. 

See you on Thursday.


18
Mar 10

Searching or Discovery

Good to see you again.  Or if it’s your first visit… welcome.

I thought it would be good to stop a moment and make sure I am going in the right direction on this journey of mine.  And most importantly make sure I continue to be clear on WHY I am on this journey.

I am on a journey of discovery and not destination (see blog # 4 “The Voice).  I am not searching to try to find something, but I am out to see what I can discover.

Side Note: Just so you know, I can read your thoughts.  After reading the sentence above you just tiled your head and said, “Huh?  There he goes getting all weird on us again.”

Stick with me; it will make more sense in a bit.  At least I hope it does because I would like to know what I’m talking about also.

“Searching” to me denotes looking for something.  There is intent, expectation, desire, or need driving the activity.  And honestly, we all have times in our lives where we are on a journey searching for something.

Side Note Again: This metaphorical walk that some of you have decided to join me on may be a journey of searching for you.  And that is absolutely fine.

That’s the beauty of all this.  Two people walking side by side can be on two different journeys.  Cool huh.

I personally am on a journey of “Discovery”.  I am compelled to explore.  I have no expectations but I do have expectancy.  It is a journey into the unknown.

“You cannot have discovery unless you have the unknown. “

- Penelope Stokes

Let me explain it another way.  As I have already shared, I am a devoted Christ follower (Don’t worry my dear non-Christ following friends, I’m not getting preachy).  I see my Spiritual journey as one of discovery… amazing discovery.

I hear this call from beyond to continually pursue Truth.  These Spiritual truths seem just beyond my grasp.  I sort of see them and can almost touch them.  They begin to emerge through the fog of intellect but quickly retreat into the shadows (kinda like a Divine hologram).

Spiritual truths have an interesting paradox.  I have discovered that you…

  • Can never possess them – they posses you.
  • Cannot master them – they master you.

The discovery process means that I have to diligently pursue these truths.

In essence, I chase them until they catch me.

That’s the joy and beauty of discovery.  Sometimes what you discover may have been there all the time.

What an exciting adventure.  I can’t wait to see what we find.

Au revoir.