Expect the unexpected and don’t take things personally. That’s a core tenet of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, a favorite book. (Homework #1: get it on Amazon or at your local bookstore immediately!)
I am working on not taking things personally. I’ve observed that when we say “Why me?” it makes things a hundred times worse. My counter-thought is “Why not me?” I have amazing and honest people in my life, enough to know we all suffer the unimaginable. As I heard Nora Ephron say, “Who needs fiction?” (Reality can be unbelievable!) When unexpected inconvenience comes along, my personal question is actually not “Why me?”; it is just “Why?” I’ve been trying really hard lately to see through the lens of opportunity.
Why, if this felt right and well-intentioned, and might I be so bold as to say inspired, then why this hiccup, this unexpected obstacle in the road? Was this not meant to be? I struggle with these questions. And more: Why am I getting this curveball? (Wait, am I taking this personally?) I am not sure there are answers, except to expect the unexpected in this imperfect world we live in.
The curveball is not about me. However, I must still respond and make adjustments for it. I often begin by swearing, freaking out and “acting bipolar,” as my children say, and then I try to regroup. Eventually I find the opportunity to find some forgiveness (for my own sanity; I am no martyr). I remind myself that I’ve thrown a few wild balls in my time. Some on purpose.
Here’s my unexpected: I think I need to take this website down for a day or two. Regroup; get the technical inner workings cleaned up, and start afresh.
There’s good news though.
There are a lot of you interested in this commitment to cultivating some peace. That’s a gift to ourselves as individuals and as a community. We all need community. I know I do.
The reality is that we might not start “on time.” Hopefully the first “inspiration” will start this Wednesday, but it may be later in the week. To know me is to know I am always just a tad late. And the good news is that Lent is actually 47 days (Who knew?) So, technically speaking, we have a few extra days to get to “40 days of peace.”
A favorite Gil Bowen sermon (of Kenilworth Union fame) was all about waiting three days when something less than perfect happens and you’re left feeling irate, depressed, hopeless. Give yourself those three days and then reconsider the predicament. (It’s an Easter story!) This also helps settle the overreaction. Go figure, I have about three days to figure this out. So, if I’m late, or the website is down for a day or two, fear not. Breathe, and practice patience. I will be working on the same.
A couple other suggestions:
First, find a friend who will do this with you (have patience if the sign up is down). Community is key for me, and a partner in the journey makes all the difference. And second, enjoy the music I’ve linked below. It’s good energy. Share it with someone you think might need it.
Thanks for your patience while I deal with unexpected technological interference.