Saturday, March 23

I Did Not Receive the Light (I was De-Lighted, & Delighted In Standing My Ground). Also, Disappointment, Using Must Haves and Can't Stands 3/23/13

       Are you enjoying your weekend?  An unusual experience was had by the innkeeper today.  A trip to San Francisco, observing people practicing their faith was the occasion.  A person I know invited me.

       Emotionally drained, I am.  At the event, six people approached me ---ten times--- encouraging me to light up, and I'm not talking about a cigar.  Each time, quietly and with a warm smile, I declined. I can say my "no" as gently as my yes.

       First to entreat me was the head honcho, although she was a woman. Maybe I should call her the head honcha.  A power emanated from this Japanese woman as she approached me.  This faith is Japanese based.

       Confidently, she asked me, if I wanted to
"receive light."  Her manner demonstrating she assumed I'd join in.  Calmly, I said, "No thank you."  Her perplexed and surprised expression remains tattooed on my mind.

       From the back of this  room, I observed what was happening.  I did this while reading a book on gratitude they had in the back of their room.  What I read was saddening.  It stressed that people have to work hard, to arrive at a spiritual awakening.

        I disagree.

       My experience is that a spiritual awakening happens when we do the opposite, when we let go.  It is not a result of our efforts.  When we realize we can't make sense or rhythm to life by our power alone, that's when God intervenes.

       This is when "Letting Go and Letting God" pays off, realizing our spiritual bankruptcy----our poverty, our inability to accomplish anything----apart from our relationship from God, His love and power.

       While immersed in the book, a handsome, blond-haired fellow, Steve, saddled next to met.  He was on a poster plastered on the window that faced the street, Holloway.  I was now sitting next to a minor celebrity.

       Several times he asked if I wanted to participate.  Each time, my answer was the same.  His warmth and kindness was appreciated, however.

       Steve inquired about my faith.  While warmly smiling, I spoke about my relationship with a loving, patient, gentle, nurturing God---one I've known for for more than three decades.  My comments were respected; it was clear I piqued his curiosity.  He dug at my spiritual roots, wanting to know more about my source for hope, strength and joy.

       In turn, I asked if he could explain what I was reading.  Clearly, calmly he responded.  I disagreed.  He eventually went on to another person who showed up, willing to receive "the light."
       After Steve left, Julia approached, she a cute brunette with curly hair, wearing a green intricately woven asymmetrical shawl.  In this open room,  everyone saw the attempts that others made, wanting to help me receive the light.  She addressed me while Steve chanted in Japanese, on behalf of someone who was getting lit up by him.  All this spiritual action took place in a room on the second floor of a building located at the busy intersection of 19th Ave. and Holloway.

       "Do you want to receive light?" Julia asked while smiling.

       "I'm observing what is going on, thank you."

       She moved on.  Others, prompted by convictions, tried enlightening me.  It felt odd, being the object of spiritual competition, as to who could light me up.  I was de-lighted, or unlit. But exercising my autonomy, not yielding to pressure, had me delighted.

       The last attempt, by a person who was told my name, appealed to my cultural roots.  He spoke to me in Spanish, with a Puerto Rican accent.  He wasn't successful either.

        The person who brought me, tried inducing me to receive light, three times.  Talk about being controlling----it's almost as if they thought I didn't have a choice. I'm so glad I don't accommodate others, compromising my values, simply to please others.  (You can read the second half of this entry for more about antitdotes to passivity/compliance.)

        Today, I didn't care to be codependent.  My time in San Francisco had me unparticipatable, to coin a word. But it was an enlightening experience.

My Gratitudes for Tonight: 
1.  I'm thankful for a simple but profound faith that meets my needs and provides the joy, forgiveness, power and transcendent serenity and sanity I need.
2.  I'm glad I don't budge, when prodded by others.  I don't compromise my values in order to please people I don't know.
3.  I faced disappointment today.

    The person who took me to the spiritual event and I were supposed to have lunch afterwards. He's someone I've only known the past three weeks.  After we returned to Alameda and two minutes away from the restaurant where we were to eat, this person informed me he was too tired to have lunch.

     Oh well.

     I'm grateful when others tell you who they are, as this fellow did.  I value consistency, dependability and reliability.  This person let me know I need to stand for these values when relating with him.

     If he wants us to do something with me in the future, I won't.  My aforementioned needs aren't met when relating with him. I also require order and ease, not confusion and frustration.  I'm so glad I know my must haves and can't stands when relating with others. They allow me to know when my values are crossed.

4.  Several times this person I was with today tried making decisions for me.

    He even wanted the number to my mechanic.  I was uncomfortable.  I don't like assumptive decisions made that involve me.  I make my own decisions. I value autonomy.

    I was paradoxically vigilant yet relaxed when with this person.  I responded, and did not react, when challenged on many fronts. And for that, I have an Attitude of Gratitude.

How About You? 
a. What is an unusual experience you have had, recently?
b. How do you handle disappointment?

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Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.