Life Lesson #4

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9 thoughts on “Life Lesson #4

  1. Janet Mills

    I’m fond of saying that, “I’m wild about Wilde,” and that is the title of my Pinterest board dedicated to him. I adore his plays in which he brought to light what everyone was thinking, but no one dared to say out loud in those late-Victorian buttoned-up stiff-upper-lip days. What made me love him more was “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” in which he bared his own soul and all of his fallibilities to the world. Wilde used words to surprise us, delight us, scorch us, but above all, to make us think about ourselves and the ways we interact with others. This particular piece surprised me even more. As a student of Ecopsychology, I am keenly aware that I am happiest when I am doing whatever it is that keeps me in the eternal “now”, whether I’m dancing, writing, creating art, gardening or simply observing with utter amazement as life unfolds itself before my eyes. During those moments, time has no meaning, yet they are the most precious moments of all. Thank you, Anne, for this rare gift.

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    1. marthastephens

      To forget time in certain moments, as Janet is saying, feels wonderful, I quite agree.
      Anne, I like your pretty graphic surrounding this statement, and on the whole, I appreciate what Wilde is saying, though I expect some would say that there are times when we should NOT be happy but aggrieved at the suffering around us.

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      1. Janet Mills

        Respectfully, my comments did not imply that I live with my life with my head in the clouds, unaware of the suffering all around me. I am blessed to have a loving family, but we are no strangers to suffering. My mother was mentally ill since early childhood due to sexual abuse in her childhood home. There have been multiple suicides in my immediate family of origin–not my mother. My husband and I have been in recovery from alcohol addiction since 1985, and we regularly attend meetings to offer our strength and hope to those who still suffer. My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2011, and underwent chemo, unsuccessful surgery and radiation therapy. His CT scan a year ago showed no active cancer. But I have watched him decline this past year. He is scheduled for a much-overdue CT scan on Tuesday. Frankly, I am terrified.
        However, if I have learned anything in AA, it is that (1) I am useless to anyone if I do not maintain my relationship with God, as I understand Him, (2) that I must humbly ask Him on a daily basis to remove my shortcomings, (3) that I must be there whenever and wherever I see suffering, and finally, (4) yes, this moment is all any of us have. And I am so very grateful for the clear eyes and heart to see the beauty in the world around me, and all the many blessings that I have been given.
        Oscar Wilde paid a terrible price for his fame and notoriety. He called his life, “…a long and lovely suicide.” But I have done my best to turn my life around. Wilde also said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” I have been in the gutter, figuratively, if not literally. When I can, I look up at the stars. It reminds me of my miniscule significance in the grand scheme of the cosmos, and how very little I really know.

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      2. marthastephens

        Janet — gosh, I do see and understand — as best I can, being one who has had trials in life, to be sure, but not the deep and basic kind you describe. I do see that one MUST find beauty and solace wherever one can — moments of happiness. I very much hope you find many such moments, and perhaps decent news about your husband’s scan. I find it exhausting to wait for reports on those medical tests for myself or family. Dangerous tests, we always feel, I think. Healthy one minute — and then a phone call . . . .
        It’s reasonable to fear that, I feel, and MORE than reasonable in the case of serious illness like your husband’s.
        I’ve been in Al-Anon for some years. Like you, I feel that most of the time it offers wonderful support. Just to let go and talk things out with others who know exactly what you mean.

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      3. amonikabyanyuvva Post author

        Balance is what we all aim for I suppose. I love the phrase ‘moderation in all things’ – it sounds the dullest adage and yet it contains a nugget of essential wisdom to my mind. Thanks for reply Martha. Great to connect

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      1. Janet Mills

        My heartfelt thanks to you, Anne, and to you, Martha. Sometimes I feel as though I have been dealt a bad hand. But listening to others’ stories in meetings, or whenever a chance encounter leads to another person sharing with me their own trials my heart opens and my perspective widens. I always treat strangers with kindness because I cannot know the load they carry. I love Lennon’s and McCartney’s lyric, “…and in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” 🙂

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