Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blessed are the dependent for they shall need others.

Infused with a fierce self-reliance I created a life built around independence. The unstated goal was to do for myself, or do with out. I’ll fix my own car, mend my own cloths, build my own house and cook my own meals, thank you very much. Creativity and ingenuity can go a long way in the effort to procure for your self (and for my nuclier family) what others need help doing. For so long I never questioned this motivation. The basic assumption that self sufficiency was logical played out it’s course. Help does come, like rain, gifts and blessings, and I can appreciate it, but very seldom will I ask. When I look closely at what isbehind all this it reveals two key things. An arrogance that I was all I really needed, and (the flip side of arrogance) a deep seated self-loathing. A belief that I was not, in fact, worthy to ask for help. Wouldn’t get what I needed if I had to rely on someone else. And that what ever needs I had were less important than the needs of others. So, in that context, it was logic. Ah, but God and life conspire eternally against the logic of men - and Irony weaves her webs. And a person such as I, hell bent on self-reliance, finds himself lacking for the essential ingredients of a richer life. To say what is lacking in a word that confounds the stubborn pride of my own abilities is to say the word “community.” When the years roll up on me like they are ,and I am growing weary of doing everything for myself, and I find myself wanting to know what it’s like to have people to call on, this is when I see the impoverishment of a life lived taking care of myself. A life, that, by nature of the time and energy involved in doing for yourself, leaves little time to do for others. Leaves others, as friendly and amenable as they are, to find community elsewhere. And this terrible truth is told you by the spiders in your isolation: when you don’t need anyone, guess what, no one needs you. Irony chuckles. The God’s grin in bemusement at your folly. Ok. So I am able, at least to see some things that have gone aims. And I am not dead yet. So I want to correct. But how? It isn’t easy to change a life time of habitual behavior. It isn’t easy to ask, when you are so inclined to a stubborn insistence to do it yourself. But I am learning that these years (my 40’s) are surprising. I am learning new things all the time. Things I never thought I would. Most of those things are of an externally visible sort. Golf, yoga, banjo, guitar. But I also know it is often the case that when things are happening in tangible ways externally, there is likely an internal mirroring of this activity. For example, When I find myself renovating an old house, often there is a corresponding internal renovation going on in my spiritual and deep psychic realm that is reflective of the external endeavors. So, if you will allow a leap here, let me see this renaissance of music and sport as the external manifestations of similar renaissance happenings taking place inside, the fruits of which may one day become a burgeoning life in community.

1 comment:

Linda Pendleton said...

Sometimes it is best to surrender and let others do for us, and maybe in doing so it helps the other person as much as it helps ourselves. Take for instance the mechanic at the local garage who is praying a customer will come along to help him pay his rent.

And hey, Randy, I am 66 and I am still learning about myself... LOL and about life. That's the journey we are all on. It's all about growth. :-)

I like your comment and association with renovating an old house and in a sense renovating yourself. It's like cleaning out the closet, dumping the garbage to make way for the new. :-)

Keep playing that guitar. Music is good for the soul.