Keep starting over

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Research by Carol Dweck at Stanford University says that it is better if we develop a “growth mindset”  which sees challenges and mistakes as opportunities to grow and does not give up when things go wrong. A learning organization is one that is prepared to make mistakes. And, as someone said to me yesterday, even the challenge of a person’s mood can be an occasion to learn:

If I had a message to my contemporaries it is surely this: Be anything you like…. but at all costs avoid one thing: success . . .

If you are too obsessed with success, you will forget to live.

If you have learned only how to be a success,

your life has probably been wasted

Thomas Merton

photo: cc-by-2.5

On change, choice, life and death

paths

Two paths diverge in a wood….

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love,
If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,
At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice…

Pablo Neruda from Dying Slowly

Heaven is not in the future

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Until you can forgive and include all of the parts, every part belonging, every part forgiven, even the tragic parts now seen as necessary lessons, you cannot come “home.”  

When you succeed at your real life task, or what I like to call “the task within the task,” then wherever God leads you, it doesn’t really matter.  Home is not a geographic place.  It is a place where everything belongs, and everything can be held, and everything is another lesson and another gift. “Hell” would be whenever life has come to a halt, where there is no rejoining, but all is exclusion, blaming, and denying.  We no longer need to believe in hell as a doctrine or a geographic place.  We see it in this world almost every day.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa (c. 335–394) – one of the Eastern fathers of the church, and one of my favorites – defined sin as “the refusal to keep growing.”  The saint and the true elder grow from everything, even and especially their failures.

Fr Richard Rohr ofm,  from the webcast The Odyssey:The Further Journey