Thursday, June 06, 2013

Prayer, Reading, Meditation And Writing

... make up my decision loop, not necessarily in that order. It wasn't always prayer, either. That's a very recent addition. I'm blogging this to share something I've found to work for me. Maybe it will work for you, I don't know.

The Problem: I've been going through a lot of turmoil lately. It's nothing to do with my family or friends, but it's had a profound impact on me just the same. What I took as a central purpose in life is now uncertain both as a purpose and as a possibility. My standard reaction to such things is anger and aggression, but that doesn't lead anywhere good, so I fight those.

Aside - Topic for Jacob the Syrian Hamster: Is it aggression to fight your own aggression? If so, do you need to be more aggressive that your original aggression to out-aggress the aggressiveness of your aggression?

Back to Rationality and My Solution:
  • Prayer. If you're going to get advice, get it from a Reliable Source.
  • Reading. Writing without knowledge is just jabbering on paper. It's the sort of thing you'd expect from Christianne Amanpour and could lead to a job at CNN or the NYT and no one wants that.
  • Meditation. This is also known as "talking at your windshield while you drive." It can also be done silently, but why you'd want to do that when you can look like a total psycho to other motorists is more than I can cypher out.
  • Writing. There is great power in English composition. It forces you to form your thoughts, clarify your arguments and convince yourself of your logic.
Boring Details: In the last year or so, I've discovered the joy of Adoration. Here's what that means.
Understood simply, Eucharistic Adoration is adoring or honouring the Eucharistic Presence of Christ. In a deeper sense, it involves "the contemplation of the Mystery of Christ truly present before us".

During Eucharistic Adoration, we "watch and wait", we remain "silent" in His Presence and open ourselves to His Graces which flow from the Eucharist ... By worshiping the Eucharistic Jesus, we become what God wants us to be! Like a magnet, The Lord draws us to Himself and gently transforms us.
I go to local church that has perpetual Adoration, say a Rosary and then just hang out with Christ. He's there, I'm there and we talk. As a scientist and logical thinker, I used to think this kind of thing was utter nonsense. I experienced a profound miracle a few years back that helped me get over my mighty brain and see that there's a lot more to the world than data, equations and reasoning.

So, as I was writing, I hang out with Jesus and we talk. I don't only go when I've got troubles, that would be rude. It would be like visiting a friend only when you needed to borrow money. The last time I went, however, this turmoil was central in my thoughts. What He told me was, "find another purpose." Yes, I know that's an obvious answer, but there's thinking it and feeling it and then there's knowing it. When He tells you something, you know it.

Several times on this blog, I've written about how I've used Brian Tracy's book Goals to create a decision structure for my life. It's worked well for me, but up until this last year or so, it's all been self-focused and self-driven. Weak in the prayer aspect of my recipe, it's worked, but not as well as it could. With the advent of Adoration attendance*, the recipe now has a Higher Purpose.

I'm going back through my goals and rewriting many of them now. I'm not sure where it's going to end up. Like Stephen King and his fiction, much of my writing just starts and then flows out of my head onto the screen, surprising me sometimes where it ends.

While I'm not finished with this round of goals reassessment, I'm much more at peace because I've started it. I'm not sure if this recipe will work for you, but it's done wonders for me over the years. It's working like a charm once again, dealing with this most recent existential crisis.

I hope this helps you. God bless.

* - It's a twofer! An alliteration and a clever Catholicism reference! #winning

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