Ponder with Care

My long time bloggette buddy Julie nominated me a while back for the 3, 2, 1 Me Challenge.

The directions are as follows:

Please write a post about Ponder, and including two quotes on the subject, and nominate three other bloggers to blog about a word of your choosing.

I took a very long time to approach this challenge, which is not really my style. Yet I hesitated because I did not initially connect with the word ponder in terms of this assignment. Since it did not ” speak to me “, I filed it away, knowing I would return to it when the time was right. That time is now.

So what was my issue with the word ponder? My immediate reaction was that I used to ponder way too much and that my addiction to introspection was a trap. At some point I considered my intellect to be one of my superpowers. I relied on it way too heavily, to the point of minimizing other ” pursuits” like imagination and emotional expression. I was afraid of the power of sloppy vulnerability and felt safer in the mental realms of  rational ideas, logic, and analysis.

Eventually I came to the realization that messy, loose states of being were a gateway to living more authentically and not a sign of weakness. Fragility can have a sweet delicate quality that evokes awe. This is part of the spiritual path, plain and simple.

I chose the following quotes that include ponder within them. Let’s examine the first one:

A season of suffering is a small assignment when compared to the reward. Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it. Ponder it. And most of all, use it. Use it to the glory of God.  Max Lucado

 

This quote by Max Lucado is more poignant in this moment because I am enthralled in a season of suffering. So much loss, rejection, frustration, sadness, longing, and despair reside within me now. Call it Mars/Chiron conjunction in Pisces angst or garden variety melancholy.  I am not certain that more pondering is in order for me personally, but I do agree that using my darkness for good is on point. This quote directs one to live out loud in the moment, not to judge oneself for feeling less than “acceptable.” Regarding the reward, I find these types of gifts are usually uncovered further down the road, in a small town called Retrospect. Are you familiar with Retrospect? It has a few strip malls, a gas station, a dive bar, and one decent diner. I recommend the fries with gravy.

 

The other quote I chose gives different directives on how to ponder:

It is possibly not very helpful to our inner life to ponder a great deal on how the external world is reflected in our soul. By doing so, we do not get beyond a shadowy picture of the world of mental images in ourselves.  Rudolf Steiner

 

This quote by Rudolf Steiner reminds me of a recent lesson by Matt Kahn. Matt often warns his students about associating the outer world with one’s state of  consciousness. If we encounter someone who treats us poorly, refrain from reaching the conclusion that we must also be treating others this way. He teaches that mirroring in this way is unhealthy and not a relevant spiritual practice. It appears that Steiner is in agreement here, cautioning against using what is outside of us as a barometer for one’s spiritual health. I am unclear on what he does suggest as an alternative, but I find his statement helpful and worthy of consideration.

The challenge requests that I choose a new word for 3 other bloggers to use in their posts. The word I have chosen is fragile.  I am using my guidance to choose the participants, so here we go: Michael, Tania ,  and Ka .

If you are reading this and are feeling inspired, please feel free to take up the challenge. Just follow the instructions and link back to this post. Challenges can make the world go around and blog challenges do so in a fun way 🙂

 

LAST CALL: As an aside, have you read the 2 new December entries in my Divine Mission Possible Challenge? If not, you can check them out here. There is still time to write a post if you have not already done so.

The challenge ends with this year, on 12-31-18 so time IS of the essence.

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