These days Facebook delivers daily inspirational quotes and well, too much pastel, watered-down attempts at spiritual guidance. But every now and then –in the most unexpected place—I’ll come across an idea or a story or a line of dialog that just “Wham!” sticks like a good AA slogan.
One of my favorites came from my first sponsor. And it comes back to me again and again. It was passed from her Mother Superior—yeah, she was going to be a nun but instead recovery happened. But the great line is this—and it still applies to me:
“Feelings can’t hit a moving target.”
So when I get going and my to-do lists are tripping over each other I remember that and take a minute (no more than a minute!) to see what it is I am trying to not feel.
Another one I have on an index card comes from a great novel: “The Mermaid’s Chair”. The main character in that book is an artist-writer, seeking her creativity and on an island retreat she begins an affair with a monk. Yes, a monk! And what her therapist says to her, as she pours out her grief and shame:
“We fall in love with something we are missing or seeking in our self.”
Yes, ponder that one for several minutes. Look around at past and present relationships and see if that fits. It’s not a terrible thing really—if we stay conscious. In the book the woman needed to face her spiritual life so what’s better than a monk—a professional spiritual seeker.
That one has been true for me. I fell in love with men more ambitious than me—when I could not face my own ambition, and men who were more intellectual than me --when I couldn’t yet own that I am a thinker and writer, and always, always I love men who are more calm, collected and relaxed than me. (Yes back to that moving target thing.) What I had to learn though was to not punish those men for being who they are and what I chose them for.
And here’s another goody that I found in an old file yesterday:
“When ever you try to control someone else you are really trying to make yourself feel safe.”
Hmmmm…that one needs to be on a Post-it over my desk this week.
Any favorite unexpected wisdom you want to share?