Sunday, March 26, 2006

From the Outside Looking In

Sometimes it is a lot easier to see someone's accomplishments when viewed from the outside looking in. We are a lot harder on ourselves than others are on us. We just don't realize that. Lately, though, she has been practicing how to quiet her head and try to see herself as someone else might see her.

That is very difficult. There is nothing easy about it. Besides the fact that her mind automatically wants to click to the past or the future, it is sometimes painful to have to look at herself in such harsh light. She is her own worst critic, of course.

Most of what she has learned from this practice is that while she wants to portray herself as hard, distant, cold and uncaring, that is nothing more than a defense mechanism to protect her heart. When she is honest with herself, or allows her spirit to be honest with her brain, she finds that she is not cold and uncaring and really not even all that angry, and it is much more restful to find she is really at peace with the person she has become than to constantly fight demons that should have been harnessed years ago. She finds she is quite happy to lose the battle in order to win the war.

She has been engrossed in the book "Gilead" by Marilynne Robinson, for days now, reading and rereading, savoring, and today she read the following passage: "Broughton says he has more ideas about heaven every day. He said, 'Mainly I just think about the splendors of the world and multiply by two. I'd multiply by ten or twelve if I had the energy. But two is much more than sufficient for my purposes.' So he's just sitting there multiplying the feel of the wind times two, multiplying the smell of the grass times two."

If we can learn to calculate our heaven, then we have won the war, she thinks.

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