FINDING YOU

Over time, I’ve tried to educate readers regarding the folly of needing external validation; of trying to remake yourselves based on somebody else; or pattern your thoughts to align with those residing in weighty tomes. 

If I’m asked what my life’s philosophy is, I’d have to say “Nothing is as it appears.”  Much of what’s trendy in this life is illusion and we’d end up well ahead of the game if we took decisions based on nothing other than bucking popular trend, thought or fashion.  But we can do better.  God structured this existence to afford us every opportunity to make decisions based on much more reliable evidence than simple cynicism or blind opposition.  If only we’re attuned when God presents that evidence, we’d almost never go wrong.

Best-selling books (even by sincere authors) are often con games in hard cover.  You can’t be remade based on others’ actions because you haven’t lived the life that drove those actions. 

Take John F. Kennedy. Neither you nor I will ever be he.  We didn’t grow up pampered Senator’s sons with enough political clout for us to steal the White House in America’s most controversial 20th century “election”.  I don’t know about you but women like Marilyn Monroe don’t flock to me when I wink at them.  Trust me, I’ve tried.  There’s no point us devouring book after book about Kennedy’s success hoping to emulate it.  It’s downright stupid for us to quote from these books as if life lessons drip from every page.  These books are for seekers of historical record and are useful only insofar as they might help you avoid Kennedy’s mistakes.

JFK fans, relax.  No disrespect intended.  I use Kennedy only an example of why we mustn’t expect to be like anyone else however much we read.  We’re better off developing a healthy cynicism and techniques to demystify much of what’s in books, TV, radio and movies.

Let’s try to agree on some fundamentals:

·        We all came from the same “place” (God)

·        We’re here for a reason having nothing to do with God’s need to be worshipped.  God has no humanlike needs.

·        God’s existence (from whence we came) has no downside.  It’s pure, chaste and absolutely perfect.  It might be called “Heaven”

Nobody, not even Portia, travels for travel’s sake.  We travel for vacation, work or pleasure.  Whenever we travel, we return home with something added; something learned.  Only an imbecile (and that can’t be YOU, right) travels from a perfect world to an imperfect world unless something’s to be gained from the trip.

If you believe God endured the harassment of creating the universe just so he could send us to a minute part of it to worship Him/Her, I’ve a flat piece of property in Bog Walk to sell you (nice place; a river runs through it).  That’s not it.  We could’ve worshipped God (somewhat narcissistic) 24/7 while we were still with God.  Imperfection was what’s missing from God’s existence.  So God created this relative existence and sent little pieces of Himself/Herself here for each piece to learn from “experience”.  It’s experience of relativity that’s “here” but not “there”.  That “experience” is God’s lessons for us and, when we return to God, God’s acquisition.  Only then are we/God complete and can “be” Who We Really Are.

                             “When I find myself in times of trouble,
Mother Mary comes to me
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And, in my hour of darkness,
she is standing right in front of me
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be; let it be;
let it be; let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

Our cont(r)act with God is never broken.  That exchange of promises (covenant) Priests call The Ten Commandments remains eternally unbroken.  If we love God with all our hearts, God speaks to all of us in many ways. On every subject.  God has no taboos.

Some of my journey to this eternal truth often came at the feet of my sainted and much-sinned Grandfather.  One day in April 1982, I knew I’d picked the first race winner.  I reached the track late.  As I screeched to a halt in the car park, I heard “They’re off”.

Muttering under my breath words the Gleaner’s editor-in-chief would consider insufficiently child friendly, I listened to the radio commentary.  My “sure-thing” ran fourth.  The winner (a 99/1 outsider named De Brittania) I’d not have selected if I’d been permitted ten picks in the nine horse race. 

Relieved, I headed upstairs.  My grandfather blocked the North Lounge entrance grinning like the Cheshire Cat. “My son” he began with relish “You’ll never walk in my slippers!  This morning, at breakfast, Una [his spinster sister] had folded my Gleaner beside my plate as usual.  The front page headline was ‘England sends warships to the Falklands’.  Then, on the racing page, in the very first race, there it was:  Brittania Rules the Waves!

My grandfather was an expert on “rakes” and “dreams” for punting purposes.  I now know it was God who spoke to him that morning and showed him how to experience the joy of backing a 99/1 winner.

Trust in YOUR experiences.  Don’t be afraid of experience.  Develop your own style, beliefs, and attitudes.  Somebody else’s successes were achieved by his/her experiences driving his/her attitudes.  Illusion will constantly try to trick you into believing there’s magic salvation in a book; or through a Pastor (but only if you Tithe); or by imitation.  Stop; look; listen.  God has a special message for YOU.  In the end, each of us will return to God bringing the wisdom experience teaches.  All experiences, even bad ones, are educational.

                             “And when the broken hearted people
living in the world agree
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted,
there is still a chance that they will see
there will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be; let it be;
let it be; let it be.
Yeah there will be an answer, let it be.
” 

When Paul McCartney (with John Lennon) wrote Let it Be (one of the best ever written), he was thinking of his dear, departed mother as his inspiration.  Yet, somehow, he captured the essence of life’s purpose which is to allow this world to guide you to “Be”.  And we can’t “Be” someone else.   To “Be”, we must allow others to “Be”. So, don’t judge, lest ye be judged. Let it “Be”.

When pretentious leaders try to control your mind with Rules usually featuring the words “can’t” or “don’t” try flouting those rules just to see if the world ends when you do.  Oops, it’s still here.  Whaddaya know!

Don’t believe me that it’s all about YOUR experiences?  Take the Charlie Brown philosophy quiz (no googling now):

1.    Name the world’s five wealthiest people. 

2.    Name the last five Manning Cup MVPs.

3.    Name the last five Miss Jamaica winners.

4.    Name ten Nobel or Pulitzer Prize winners.

5.    Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor/actress. 

6.    Name the last ten Festival Song winners

How’d you do?

The point?  None of us remember yesterday’s headliners even when they’re best in their fields. Applause dies.  Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.  Accolades, certificates and titles are buried with their owners.

Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

(1)         List a few teachers who aided your journey through school;                           (2)         Name three friends who’ve helped you through difficult times;                     (3)         Name five people who’ve taught you something worthwhile.                            (4)        Name three people who’ve made you feel appreciated or special.                     (5)        Name five people whose company you enjoy.

Easier, right?  Difference makers in YOUR life aren’t those with the most credentials; the most money; or the most awards.  They’re those who care the most.  That’s YOUR wisdom gleaned from YOUR experience.  That’s Who You Really Are.

Peace and Love

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