75 Questions: Day 45

There are 75 days before the triumphant start of a new Gregorian calendar year. So, for the next 30 days (Monday – Sunday) the blog postings will ask you one question. That question may inspire you, it may perplex you, it may anger you, or it may tickle you.  It’s about the strength in you. The intent of the 75 questions is to probe, to prompt a reaction, to get you to stretch, to press beyond tradition or boundaries, to think broader, to break free, and then give a thoughtful answer to the one question of the day.

The overall intent of the 75 questions is to capture change. The questions are to be a catalyst for inner change that leaves you feeling more gifted, alive, powerful, intrigued, and authentic.

Oprah Quote                                                  Illustration: Jen Troyer from Oprah.com

When these amazing emotions are opened up within you (they already exist), you change and your world changes and the whole world changes with you.

Question 45: What is your calling?

What is Love?

Woody Allen makes a point here:

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

Whether you think Woody Allen’s comment is funny or not does not matter (I think it is privately humorous), the question here is what is love?

American relationship/marriage statistics are alarming (if you choose to focus on the divorce probability) unless you counterbalance those data numbers with heart memories. This is one reason I often refer to a book written by Julie Rainbow, Standing the Test of Time, that debunks the myth of divorced, dysfunctional Black families as she tells the story of Black couples who have been married fifty years or more and are still standing together.

I have other reasons for my knowing about love, my parents. My parents were married 53 years (until my Dad’s death in 2008) and his last words on this earth were to my Mom, saying “I love you.” Their eternal bond taught me something.

Adding another personal note, now that I have eulogized two brothers, one my twin, but both whom I loved deeply, I had to ask myself what am I learning about life through this experience?  I have been taught that love is a jewel that sparkles as brightly as you do. Well, I want to dazzle because that is the type of love that I want before I leave this earthly plane!

I have learned that “love” endures pain. It is an unquestioned face that relationships that mark years of longevity face pain. Even so, the pain of infidelity, disaster, trauma, or other disruptive issues do not destroy the core of love between two people who are devoted to each other.

I have learned that “love” smells different. Sometimes love stinks. But, like you learn to love your baby’s poop, love is the reason. Other times love smells like a fragrant rose, scented by time and passion. Love among two people may smell different from time to time, but each smell you learn to love.

I have learned that “love” ages. The longer you bottle love the more of an aged bouquet it has. Time and stillness together can create a bonus of a barrel of savory love.

What love is is individual. My impression of love is distinct from yours and you can bet yours is distinct from mine. When I was younger I equated love with lust, thus a divorce as soon as the hots cooled off. Now after taking years of celibacy instruction to heart, I have learned that even though love may lead to suffering, I’ll suffer any day for the aged, sweetness of love.

Live and Not Be Weary

If you are reading this post then you are alive. But, are you living? Better yet, have you checked your life pulse to see how you are living lately?

Well, it’s time to do so. Take some pause time today, preferably right now before something else pops up to distract you from this critical business at hand. I promise you that starting this “How You Are Living” inventory will only take a minute or two, but it may well be the most critical few minutes you will spend with yourself today.

Okay. Are you ready? Is the television, telephone, and computer off? Shut everything down for a few minutes and only have an open listening ear for the internal answer you will receive.

Next, do this:
1. Speak out loud a positive affirmation. If you are not already doing this, make it a multiple use habit to repeat your affirmation every day.

2. Speak out loud one thing that you are grateful for right now. There should be a plethora of things that come to your mind, but isolate just one for now.

CAUTION: If you are struggling with finding your gratitude point, it is little wonder that you are weary. Re-cast your focus immediately from the frenzied chaos that is blocking your inner peace and find something for which you are grateful. Do it now and then proclaim it out loud!

3. Give yourself some praise. I am sure you find it easy to praise someone else (and if not begin to work on offering more praise to others). Women especially may find it difficult to hug yourself with honest, intentional praise but you will find this easier to do with repetitive practice . Stop the ego-tripping and give yourself some praise. Whew! You feel better already.

4. Take a deep breath and stay with these moments of inner richness. Bask in the glow of positive hearing for a few more seconds and then slowly re-introduce yourself to the external life; you may find it easier to do so when you start by listening to soothing music or humming a nice tune to yourself. Then turn back to the computer and other daily necessities feeling stronger and refreshed.

Repeat these exercises evveryday. Soon the routine will become so habitual that you will not end a day without living.

I compliment you and honor the soul-rested you.
Live your life, who has time to be weary. You don’t!

Are You Awake?

Parents, especially on school days, ask their children are you awake? to rouse them early in the morning to get them up for school. The children should return the favor and ask the parent, Are YOU Awake?

Adults do so many rut things strictly out of habit, automatically doing the same thing without thought. That’s okay, right. But, what a probing question it is to ask yourself every morning, Are you awake?

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.” — Spanish Proverb

Wake up mind. Say: Mind, are you awake? Really, how awake is your mind? Are you alert, inquisitive, prepared, or are you sleepy and robotic when you start your morning?

Wake up your mind by going into quiet meditation, tagging mental exercises such as puzzles, making a task list, singing, or by physical action activities. Un-dull your senses, wake up mind.

Wake up body. Give your body a wake up call too. I had the chance to go out to Senior Citizen dance night at the mall near where I live. It was a joy to see elderly couples doing the swing or ballroom dances at their geriatric age.

Give your body an awakening jolt by being active. Dance, zumba, play bridge, lobby a few tennis balls, walk or job. Work up a sweat-wake up your body.

Wake up heart. Wake up your heart. Open yourself up to caring about yourself and others. Stimulate your emotional heart by saying loving words. Be positive, energetic, sincere as you awaken others to your peaceful heart.

Wake up life. Wake your senses. Live from all five-seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, and touching. Discover what a sensory world we live in and play each waking moment as a “present” pre-sent just for you.

Singer, philanthropist, activist – John Legend has remixed “Wake Up Everybody” to remind us all that the “world won’t get any better if we just wait and see…we gotta change it…just you and me.”

Wake Up Everybody
Wake up everybody. It’s time to start a new day.
Be alive, be present, be awake!