Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Every Blessing..."

“Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.”

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

Well, I’ve reached my monthly goal, so I don’t need to write today or tomorrow.   That’s the small picture.  The big picture is I got some unexpected free time today and while there are many ways I can use it, I am choosing to write.  Why?
·      It’s part of my purpose.
·      I need the practice.
·      It’s fun.
·      It makes me feel peaceful.
·      It’s a privilege to do so.
·      I like watching what happens.  Even I don’t know what the results will be. 
·      It’s nice to do more than is expected of me.
·      I just like doing it.

So maybe I won’t even publish this blog.  Or maybe I will.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m just going to write until I’m done.  This really is fun.  By the end of the calendar year, if all goes according to plan, I will have written 300 blogs.  I’m not saying that to brag.  I’m saying that because it’s true.  I’m also saying it because I’m amazed.  I’ve never produced this much work in my life, with the exception perhaps of the 600 or so resumes I’ve written.  But this is different because I was doing the resumes as part of my job or because I was being paid.  Neither is the case here. 
The reason I write is love. 
·      I love the writing.   Sometimes when I read one of my blogs, I feel happy and amazed that I did that.  I also feel encouraged because my work is encouraging.
·      I love how it is changing me.  Writing gives me courage I didn’t know I had.  This sounds silly, but I was afraid to be courageous.  I knew being courageous would change me.  Now, I’m afraid not to be, because I don’t want to be the same person I was.
·      I love the feeling that I’m using my time constructively.  I know there are other things I could be doing, but when I look back, I will be glad I did this.  I like the idea of being able to look back on this time and feel good about myself.

So, although the day is warm and beautiful, I’m happy to sit alone inside and do this work. My ultimate goal is to do this every day and make a good living at it.  But I can’t just talk about “someday.”   Today is that “someday.”  Today may be the only day, the only chance, I get.  So I have to use today wisely.  If I don’t I delay the blessings that are meant for me by doing my work.  If I delay my blessings for too long, I might become like the crystal merchant in The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, who talks and dreams about going to Mecca, but knows that he will never actually go.  Talking to the shepherd boy, the merchant says,
You’ve been a real blessing to me.  Today I understand something I didn’t see before:  every blessing ignored becomes a curse.  I don’t want anything else in life, but you are forcing me to look at wealth and the horizons I have never known.  Now that I have seen them, and now that I have seen how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived.  Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish and I don’t want to do so.”

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”  What a powerful and frightening insight.  I cannot ignore the blessings of my gifts and of all I’ve been given.  I have to write.  I have to study.  Otherwise, my mind will become a curse to me.  It will constantly remind me that I am not reaching my potential and it will not forgive me.  I think this is the reason I have often felt bad about my lack of self-discipline in school.  My studies became a curse and my grades often showed it.  Worse than my grades was the knowledge that I could have done better. 
What other blessings am I ignoring? 
Am taking care of my body? 
Am I being loving to those around me? 
Am I reading the books I have? 
Am I doing my best at my job? 
Is my environment clean and organized? 
Am I being cautious with my money?
Am I doing my best at each moment?
Am I being grateful for all the blessings I’ve been given?

“Every blessing ignored becomes a curse.”  What a powerful insight.  And I wouldn’t have even seen it if I hadn’t taken this time to write.  What could have been a curse became a blessing, because I got in my Purpose, because I decided to Get Started and to Keep Going. 
What, dear reader, is your blessing?  Please.  Don’t ignore it.  Get Started and Keep Going.  Make the world a better place.  Make your world a better place.  Go.