reconciliation formula — & departure formula — sage Steven Kalas

http://www.lvrj.com/living/31247024.html

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All significant relationships have ups and downs. Conflicts. If you’re going to have lasting bonds with human beings — lovers, friends, mates, spouses, your parents, your children, extended family — then get this in your head: The human being with whom you’ll nurture this lasting bond is a sinner. So are you. Said more simply, amongst the many things you’ll do in a lifetime is hurt each other. Probably more than once.

If lasting bonds are what you seek, then you’ll have to have a way to navigate these injuries, to address them, reconcile them, and ultimately to forgive them.

So, how do we decide whether to do the work of reconciliation? Or when to just let the pain lie unattended? Or when to withdraw, even to terminate a relationship?

Here’s my own personal Reconciling Formula

It begins with the paradox of self-respect. On the one hand, I respect myself for doing the work of reconciliation when someone has hurt me. On the other hand, I (finally!) respect myself enough to set real limits with people who can’t/won’t/don’t stop hurting me.

Next is my desire, my energy for the work. That question is answered by the time, the history and the amount of investment I have in the relationship — what I think of its potential.

But the last criterion is huge. I make an assessment regarding the other person’s ability and willingness to tell the truth. To look at themselves. Because, while you can probably forge a kind of peace with anyone, reconciliation is another matter. It’s impossible to reconcile with someone who can’t look at themselves. Who won’t tell the truth.

I respect nothing in a person more than the uncommon courage of the willingness to look within. To tell the truth.

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a great Christmas once one reconciles beautifully   —

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBJLhOB8O0A

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM4WMiudGuo

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHzRNE5bYRI

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Getting over having been dumped by the one you want is a long, difficult process

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/20638679.html

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 “When you love someone, and they don’t choose you, it hurts.”

Oh, do you think?

Many people will tell you unrequited love is a grief more difficult than a loved one’s death. It’s like going to a funeral and trying to grieve the loss of someone who won’t stay in the casket. The “deceased” continues to walk, talk and, in the case of divorce that includes children, interact regularly with you. Night of the Living Ex. Invasion of the Soul Mate Snatchers.

His grief required the simultaneous juggling of pain, humiliation, pretending, going to work, running a single household and learning to be a divorced single parent. All at once. A difficult journey. Nothing short of heroic.

And now he has popped out on the other side without his love for the woman he promised to forever cherish. He looks like someone who has misplaced his car keys. Hmm, I always carry them right here in my pocket. Where could I have left them?

How do you fall out of love? I think it starves to death. Death by attrition. Death because divorce detonates like an asteroid colliding with Earth, resulting in a dust cloud blacking out the sun. Nothing vital can survive. Only, in the case of an asteroid, all plant life dies in about four weeks. A rejected lover only wishes love could be extinguished so fast.

The man describes it more simply. He says his grief was like having a sore throat for almost three years. “You know how, when you have a sore throat, you start every morning by swallowing to see if it still hurts?” he says. “Well, last Tuesday, I was backing my car out of the driveway and thinking about a call I had to make to my ex. I ‘swallowed,’ and suddenly I realized it didn’t hurt anymore.”

I’m glad for him. It’s not healthy to indefinitely extend an open heart into emptiness, and certainly it’s no fun.

Yet, the man’s victory begets one more movement of grief. A kind of reconnaissance. More accurately, the man’s celebration is the next movement of grief. They are one and the same. Not a return to tears and anguish, but a moment of pause and sobriety. A necessary acknowledgement of loss. Like hearing “Taps” played at a military funeral.

“Wow. She did it. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible,” he says. “She managed to convince me to extinguish the most beautiful and powerful thing I have ever done — which was love her.”

And now I think of da Vinci. What would it take to convince him to light a match to the “Mona Lisa”? How do you convince an artist to torch his masterpiece?

Maybe, in the end, it’s a combination of self-respect and liberation. Terribly sad, but terribly necessary. Maybe if you sufficiently ignore or patronize or revile da Vinci’s masterpiece, he will, as a function of self-respect, prefer its destruction to its dismissal. Maybe da Vinci decides it’s enough that he understands its beauty, its power, its importance. So he commits it to memory. He hangs the only necessary copy in his heart.

And maybe burning it is the only way to liberate himself to paint again.

Yeah, that’s it. Maybe he has one more masterpiece left. As yet unpainted.

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/19245729.html

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Choose your myth and live it with passion!”

It means that, in the end, we can’t know that we know absolute truth and absolute right. We can’t know that we know which direction to head. In the end we pick. We choose. We shape our vision of what is real and true, valuable and meaningful, and we start walking toward it. We don’t look back. We can’t.

Have you picked your myth yet? Silly question. Of course you have. A human being cannot not have a world view. I mean to ask whether you are conscious and intentional about the myth you are living.

I am.

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reconciling with our inner self   —

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/25662689.html

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The great comics don’t tell jokes; they tell the truth. They are social and cultural prophets in the biblical sense of that word. They stand outside the city gates, pointing fingers at modern life, and naming our absurdities.

His favorite and most oft-repeated truth? Human beings are ridiculous — contradicted, hypocritical, capricious, self-centered, self-deluded, not very bright, and generally, as a species, given to self-destruction.

Now, why is that funny as hell? How could a message so dire and cutting make me laugh so hard?

See, only the truth is funny. Think about it.

Monty Python is only funny because it’s true that the strident cultural value of polished English decorum at all costs regularly invites people to act in ways that range from stuffy and emotionally dishonest to contradicted and absurd.

The comic strip “Dilbert” is only funny because we readily recognize the predominant misery and meaninglessness of the practices, expectations and leadership of the modern corporate workplace.

Dana Carvey’s famous “Saturday Night Live” character “The Church Lady” is only funny because, well, if you have ever spent much time in a Christian parish, you’ve met her. You know you have. The caricature isn’t even all that exaggerated. I’ve never set foot in a church that didn’t have at least one Church Lady. Some have entire organized teams.

Gallagher once said that “men would be better lovers if they would learn to cook, because then they would know that a stove has more settings than ‘off’ and ‘high.’ They would learn terms like ‘simmer,’ and ‘slow rolling boil.’ When making a quiche, they would mix the eggs slowly, deliberately, gently. They would keep it a quiche, and resist the temptation to whip the eggs and say ‘Oh hell, I’ll have scrambled eggs!’ “

And when the camera panned the audience, couples were quaking with laughter. Because Gallagher’s critique was undeniably true.

Do you remember a few years ago when comedian Chris Rock hosted the Academy Awards? Do you remember the bit that he filmed at a movie theater complex in Inglewood, Calif., a predominantly black neighborhood? He simply interviewed family after family, couple after couple, individuals, asking them to name this year’s films nominated for Best Picture. And over and over people couldn’t identify them. Because they hadn’t seen them.

And what Chris was asking me to examine was so true, I remember I could barely laugh at all. My breath sucked out of me. Oh. My. God.

I’ll miss George Carlin. I thought he was brilliant.

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http://www.lvrj.com/living/19053314.html

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‘WWJD’ inscription misses key part of Jesus’ message

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Perhaps you’ve seen it these past several years: “WWJD?” The letters ask the question, “What would Jesus do?” Most commonly I have seen “WWJD” on bracelets, but also on banners, bookmarks, posters and even tooled into leather Bible covers.

Predominantly in Evangelical Christian circles, WWJD has emerged as a dynamic symbol. Oh, certainly this new symbol does not have the time-honored power of other Christian symbols — the cross, bread, wine, water — but it has become for many an engaging symbol of the modern faithful. And, as a symbol, it communicates three things:

1. A WWJD bracelet is, in itself, a spiritual discipline. A reminder. It means to ground its wearer’s every thought and act in the ultimate measure (for Christians) of right and proper living: Jesus.

2. The bracelet embraces an identity. Namely, its wearer does not identify with his/her own ideas, desires, instincts or personal will. Rather, the wearer’s identity is grounded in the life, character and values of someone else: Jesus.

3. The bracelet is a strategy for evangelism; that is, calling others’ attention to both Jesus and Christianity as a desirable way of life. WWJD promotes the faith. Put crudely, it’s a marketing strategy.

Now, I tread gingerly, cautiously and respectfully into this discussion. I have no motive to disparage, nor to call motives into question. Absolutely not. If you own a WWJD bracelet, if you’ve admired people who wear them, if you’ve aspired to acquire and wear one — then good for you.

Nor do I enter this discussion because I’m actually a Christian evangelist undercover, merely disguised as a columnist. The only credentials you’ll ever need to be part of the Human Matters family is the ability to read and the willingness to think and feel. After that, your religion (or no-religion) is your business.

No. What has caught my eye is a question about the completeness and accuracy of the symbol itself. Strictly speaking, I worry that it is both theologically and psychologically misleading. In error. At least incomplete, sufficiently so as to be easily and widely misunderstood.

First, the psychology …

Psychology, as a whole, is a lot friendlier to religiosity than widely thought. Both Freudian and Jungian psychology, for example, are useful models for inquiring after the measure of healthy religion. Or unhealthy.

C.G. Jung especially was compelled by what he observed as the “religious instinct” — the drive inside every human heart for transformation and wholeness, the instinct to reach for some paradigm greater than self as the only real path for finding a whole self.

Yes, Jung agreed, inside every human heart is a personal archetype of the divine. Jews might call this the Imago Dei (the image of God). Jung, reflecting his own Western culture, called it the Christ archetype.

But Jung issued a stern warning: Thou shalt not ego-identify with the collective Christ archetype. That’s fancy psychoanalytic talk for “thou shalt remember thou is not God.”

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Next, the theology …

In baptism, God does not call folks to be Jesus. Neither has God called a Christian’s best celebrity impersonation of Jesus. God calls the inititate. The unique person. What Christians imitate in Jesus is not Jesus. They imitate the way Jesus was willing to be wholly and authentically Jesus, even at the cost of reputation, family and eventually his own life. Jesus does not come into the life of a Christian pilgrim to transform him/her into himself. No, he comes to transform people into themselves. Their whole and authentic selves.

Jesus doesn’t say, “Pick up my cross and follow me.” He doesn’t say, “Help me carry my cross and follow me.” He says, “Pick up your cross (the cross that is uniquely your own life) and follow me.”

What would Jesus do?   He would be himself. I’m going to design a bracelet that says WWSDRNIH-WWTTTROBWAAS — “What would Steven do right now if he was willing to take the risk of being wholly and authentically Steven?” Gonna have to be a very big bracelet or very small letters.

Probably won’t be a big seller in religious bookstores, either.

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32 Responses to reconciliation formula — & departure formula — sage Steven Kalas

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