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Day 349 - Discernment...

“Maybe the whole deal is about discernment. Discerning whether you are coming together or falling apart and letting that knowledge guide you.” My mom.


Yes, mom, that. I can totally see that the whole of my life has been tearing it down or building it up. Seems like I am always in some nebulous state of construction...what has been lacking is some sort of acceptance for whatever state I am - wishing I was in the building phase when I am in demo mode, or vice versa and some discernment about why I am where I am.


Perhaps the best discernment is the knowledge that we are always coming together and falling apart and our only real job is to find a way to love that process.


As I sit here in the dark writing, drinking coffee, I can see it, accept it and even appreciate it. I can sit in quiet bemusement...at all the cracks, missteps, accomplishments, gains, losses. They can all be jumbled together in the jagged path of my mind’s meanderings. It all makes sense sitting here in my bed, writing at 4 am. Because it is happening somewhere else in time. Not right here, nothing is falling apart and nothing is coming together. I can believe in the delusional silence of morning breaking that all is well in this moment.


But then the people and beings I live with begin to wake up and with them comes the chaos of living with others and being a cog in their agenda. They want things from me and I them. They do not do what they are supposed to and and frequently fail to do what they should. And before 8 am...I am lost in the shuffle of parenting and housekeeping - my ability to discern what is truly falling apart and what is coming together is muddled.


The day wears on and I get further mired in the muck...with work issues, client’s pain and grief, friend’s needs and gifts, and my own incessant internal chatter crowds out the understanding that I still hang in that precarious balance of falling apart and coming together. That has not changed...it has only gotten obscured...by events, agenda, desires, meetings, things to do. The constant backdrop to all of this is that throughout the day, in large and small ways, it is all falling apart and coming together.


Discernment focuses my mind on which one is happening and what I have found is that often I can’t tell. So frequently I am in a place where I believe that one thing is happening, “Oh, yes! It is all coming together!” Only to quickly be shown that “Nope, that was a falling apart moment...”


Discernment can get me to a momentary answer. But it can never save me from the constant state of change that exists in all our lives, all the time. And I can then return to the blissful state of being ok with it all whenever I can see that when I am in a falling apart moment, coming together is just around the corner. When I am in a coming together moment, I know that it is likely to all fall apart any second. I can take comfort in the certainty of knowing that it is all up for grabs, all the time. Life’s never ending process of holding on and letting go, the perennial lesson.


Discernment is great but it doesn’t keep me anywhere solid. Because nothing is solid except change. Change is what I can rely on every single time. If I like it, it will change and if I don’t like it, it will change. Discernment allows me to get deeper underneath our mind’s need to hold onto the things we like or find pleasurable and resist the things that are hard or painful. Discernment shows me that it is all happening all the time and the best and most gifted use is to just love it all, no matter if it is gut wrenchingly painful or ecstatically wonderful. It will change without my permission, consent or knowledge if I am not paying attention or even if I am.

Perhaps our best and most loving action is to care less about what is happening and more about how it is happening...we are getting the lessons we need to grow in the direction of our most true and amazing purpose...sometimes that requires it all to fall apart and other times for it to all come together. And in that tender, hard place the whole of life happens for us as well as to us. We are not victims so much as we are warriors, forever having to accept the lessons that come our way, to break us, heal us and hopefully make us wholer humans along the way.




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