Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years Resolution

New years is seen as a beginning point for change. Sometimes it is a re-commitment to a healthier life style.

I made the resolution:
1. To Cherish the Rose.
2. To distance myself from the Ivy.

To cherish the rose means to count my blessings. In embracing my children and grandchildren and those that are in my inner circle. This includes friends that have encouraged me over the years and showing them how much they are appreciated.  Embracing life in general whether good or bad times , taking the entire rose soft petals , fragrance or even the thorns as all a part of life.

To distance myself from the Ivy means not to become strangled by those that require constant attention and time. We all need time for ourselves and many will be over demanding to the point of strangling us like a vine that grows in places we do not want them. There is another aspect of itching , discomfort or even poison to the Ivy. An Ivy has no flower or fruit or enjoyment.

We can not always avoid the Ivy , we can keep our distance.



Caution and Cowardice

We often associate bravery with the lion. Usually brave and strong are linked together. Yet there is a character we find in the famed story of the wizard of OZ that seems out of place - the cowardly lion. The cowardly lion looks like a lion however cringes at the first sign of adversity.

Then we learn about being wise and cautious before leaping into a situation. When we are perceived as being overly cautious it can be viewed as cowardice.

So how do we remain as a lion and not appear cowardly when exercising caution.

First realize that all battles , yes ALL BATTLES are not ours. Take your personal vendettas, anger all those feelings and put them aside - it is not your battle. 2 Corinthians 20 Says the battle is not yours but Gods. There is also another metaphor used in the charge of the last brigade,  "Ours is not to reason why , ours is just to do or die. "

We are sometimes faced with acting out of duty and not personal feelings. When this is the case duty should always prevail. It is also the lesson in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna points out that duty prevails even over feelings for family. That puts a twist in the old thought of family first. No , family is not first when it comes to right or wrong. Family can sometimes hinder our relationship with God.

Mark 3:31-35 Then Jesus' mother and brothers came. They stood outside and sent a person in to tell Jesus to come out. Many people were sitting around Jesus. They said to him, "Your mother and brothers are waiting for you outside." Jesus asked, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" Then Jesus looked at those people sitting around him. He said, "These people are my mother and my brothers! My true brother and sister and mother are those people that do the things God wants."

We can see it is often taken even further when we take on a personal battle. ALL BATTLES are Gods, not my will but thine. The Hindus have taken this one step further and to realize this is one of the lessons in enlightenment . God in Hinduism is living in each of us acting out our lives. In Christianity the enlightened Christian says the same thing, Galatians 2:20 it is not me who lives but the Christ in me.
The enlightened Hindu realizes also that God lives out our lives. Our identity is merely a mask we wear and perhaps may just easily pick up another mask. In Buddhism to be become nothing is an enlightened state. In essence we find that nothingness is to put aside the mask and show our true self.

The cowardly lion is the one who forgets that he or she is a lion. The overly cautious person is one that is merely lacking experience in the life of faith. It is not a weakness to be over cautious, it is merely a matter of practice and experience.

Pride often is evoked to overcome cowardice , where this ego response may seem to work, it only causes more ripples. The best way to overcome a battle is to not own it at all. The lion that seeks to devour you , would love to see the person with the mask enter the ring rather than the lion which is Christ.

Whether you are in the position of a soldier or a general everyone has a duty to perform - cowardice only comes when we forget we are lions.

Peace ,