Monday, February 22, 2010

One never knows 'till one tries

As I move into middle age, I find that the more I begin to understand myself and the more I am patient and gentle and loving towards myself, the more likely I am to be able to stand up for myself. Our society tends to so encourage us to push ourselves! Succeed, win, strive, acheive! Our society demostrates who it is in its television - now largely reality television , news, ads and sports. In each, the goal is to say one person or one thing is the best and is better than another person or thing or team or way of being.

When I was a small child I was told by vocational counsellors and doctors that I would never be good at hand-eye coordination. Anything that required my hands to work with my eyes was, I was told, going to be an activity at which I could expect to fail.

Then one day I was in a pottery studio and gave pottery a try. My first pot was humble to be sure, but it was a success! And I found that, as with most things, the more I tried, the better I became at making pots from clay and water.

And so now, in my forties, I am wondering what else I have been told that I too quickly believed. I am also wondering what I have been telling myself that I have too quickly believed. Like the man in his teenage years, this man in his middle age is trying new things he thought he could not accomplish and lo and behold, I can do still more things I thought impossible.

I recently stood up to a bully and won the day. I was stunned! It made me feel strong in a way I had never felt strong before. It was no longer the school yard but sadly, bullies move out of school yards and into adulthood just like the skinny guys who got sand kicked in their face. And like the shadows in the darness of a room at night, once you stand up to a bully, he or she all of a sudden looks rediculously small and sad.

The pots I make remind me that we never know what we can accomplish in life until we stand up, throw our shoulders back and live honest, powerful lives around which God whirls in the winds and laughs in the thunders and loves in the generativity.

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