July 23, 2018

Do You Hate Me?

"I'm with you until the end of time."  Matthew 28:20
The Flame
by Cheap Trick

Sometimes the things we mean to communicate and what we actually do are not the same. Our interactions with others may be muddied by our own personal feelings and by prior experiences with any given individual. Then there is the issue of relational 'history,' or the old habits making changes or deviations seem difficult if not impossible. So when we talk to our friends and loved ones, misunderstandings and disappointments are inevitable. Resentments may boil and we often feel sudden flashes of
intense emotion, hatred even.

A good hypothesis here may be that the one feeling the hatred towards another is  projecting his or her feelings or attributes onto that other person, maybe some guilt or over- aggressiveness; however the deepest truth here may be that the hurt and twisted   angry feelings are small when viewed from the lens of self hatred now being projected onto our partners, loved one or friend.

Our impulse, like that of a child
who has just been criticized about a small misdeed by a parent, is to become emotional, upset, angry, to take the superior position. So then we don't have to feel the regard of another, to 'protect' ourselves from feeling anything at all.

 The truth is, you may not be
as horrid as you think; maybe someone did do something upsetting--do you now hate me? I already feel awful disappointing you; rather than getting mad and criticizing me, can you tell me in a more positive way?

April 20, 2018


For the most part we are, in this western world,
well practiced at the art of "telling time." We observe time on a clock, days on a calendar; we make appointments with others and we expect others to respect our "time."
It seems we are a culture who prefers the completed to the process of completion, control over products not the process, and that affects each of us in various ways. We make to-do lists; we say our day was "productive". While there are those writers, poets and artists who come along to remind us about the timelessness of the world, they are the minority.

We buy gadgets to "save" time and electronic devices to communicate "better or faster." Ironically today, more and more, those very same gadgets for some people do indeed speed their time along. They are now responsible for the deaths of more and more persons. What time did we think we were to "save"? How sophisticated is that-- death by texting? Heart attacks, panic attacks from stress?

In contrast our ancient wisdom is not clock driven at all. The author(s) of the book of Ecclesiastes tells us that "God has placed timelessness in our hearts."  There is time for planting, for reaping; time for joy, for mourning; time for laughter and for weeping, the author reminds us. Interestingly, the pairs of experiences given are lists not easily "scheduled" or controlled; their duration may be unknown.
For how long do we love or mourn? When is our joy and laughter to stop? By experience we learn that these things have their own process, their own time.
There is no appointment calendar to contain such experiences. And yet these are the very things that bind us together as a human family. They are immediately recognizable the world over. Living them teaches us compassion, what it is to be human. From birth to death we learn what is most precious to us; in silence, we learn to listen.
Let us now attend to the timelessness of our hearts.