11 March 2009

Champagne Rx

Most people mean well.

I don't know if this is true but it's what I hear. Often. "Life is too hard if you think people are out to get you," They say, as if the only two possible perspectives are one of those two extremes: everybody is out to get me or most people mean well.

I migrate toward the place in the middle: people's intentions are a complete and utter mystery to me--as individuals and certainly as the horde that "most people" implies. We can't see each others' hearts. Your actions are visible but who knows what's in your heart?

But based on my personal experience I am confident that most Americans (I still haven't lived anywhere else) are afraid. [I blogged on Fear in January 2007...Nothing to Fear but Fear.) We're definitely afraid at one time or another and there's strong evidence we're afraid most of the time.

What We Fear

speaking too soon
saying too much
looking foolish
offending someone
being killed
being robbed
being hurt
ruining our chances
losing our way
wasting time
wasting money
passing up an opportunity
getting sick
being alone
dying alone
being poor
being the last to know
making a mistake
being left behind
smelling bad
losing a job
flunking out
being tricked
being humiliated

Counterbalances to Fear

champagne prayer laughter sleep knowledge meditation
hanging out with 2-6 year-old people who haven't been indoctrinated
Mardi Gras music strawberry daiquiri buttermilk pie
satin sheets hugs sunlight

to name a few.

We allowed George Bush to run amuck for 8 years. Did we "mean well"?

"Hard" is finding myself in the middle of a social mess, in which everybody present "means well".

It boggles my brain. A slice of buttermilk pie and a glass of champagne restores me and I remember: "I have no idea about anybody's Intentions. It is what It is."

Neither "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" nor the little Zen book I just finished mentions champagne or buttermilk pie but both acknowledge the good of learning to "roll with it", whatever it is. To see things, look at them just as they are, accept that, good or bad, whatever it is, it is a part of the Big Story. We don't judge it or ignore it or disguise it.

Just a nod and a glass of champagne and "Well, there that is."

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