Sitting For Ideas

Can you imagine finding a quiet comfortable place to sit, then closing your eyes and peacefully waiting for marvelous ideas to arrive inside your mind? Ideas that would improve your life, offer you specific direction and help you to navigate the world.

There is such a place and it’s inside of every one of us.

One of my favorite mentors is Napoleon Hill. I’ve written about him before and probably mentioned that, when he was a cub reporter, he was given the opportunity to interview Andrew Carnegie, who was one of the wealthiest men in the world.

Carnegie took a liking to Napoleon and extended to him introductions to many of the most successful people in business, finance, and the scientific world. Napoleon would spend his next ten years assembling their best ideas and placing them in his book, Think Big and Grow Rich, which is still one of the top ten best-selling self-help books ever published.

Elmer Gates was one of Napoleon’s interviews. Elmer was a prolific inventor and at the turn of the 20th Century owned the largest private laboratory in the world. Napoleon was curious to know where all his ideas came from. When he arrived at Elmer’s office, the secretary asked him to take a seat and told him it might be a while, because Mr. Gates was ‘sitting for ideas’.

Eventually Elmer came out to meet Napoleon and invited him into his office and explained about his delay. He told Napoleon that when confronted with a problem or seeking a solution for a workable invention, he would ‘sit for ideas’. By this he meant that he would enter a darkened room which had only a desk, a chair, a pencil, a pad, and a flashlight. Without distractions, he would sit and wait for ideas, and when something came to him, he would write it down, then go back to sitting until the next idea came. Elmer told Napoleon that this was how he was able to discover answers and solutions that had evaded his busy waking mind.

Given Elmer Gates enormous success it makes me wonder what I can gain from this strategy.

I’m not immediately drawn to the darkened room approach, and you may not be either, but I feel there is something of significant value here.

Perhaps it is that, releasing distractions, creating a peaceful open environment, and embracing an attitude of expectation are key components to success.

I have little doubt that each of us would be well served by distancing ourselves, for even short periods of time, from life’s distractions. Shifting our environment, whether that is a darkened room, a long hot shower, a walk in nature or a meditation period, would give us time and space that could be greatly beneficial.

For me, there are many mornings when I wake up filled with thoughts and ideas. So many, that I have to begin writing them down the moment they come to me. That’s why there are pads all over my house, so that none of my ideas escape. I refer to this process as my overnight download.

I don’t know where the ideas come from. I could speculate, but what feels important to me is their arrival, not their source.

Elmer Gates is not the only person to take advantage of seeing beyond the observable world. Michelangelo said that every block of stone has a masterpiece inside of it and that the job of the sculptor is to let it out.

I believe that in order to find the masterpiece living inside of each of us we need to open ourselves to a truth. A truth that we are a part of the divine, whole and holy. A truth that every answer exists within us, and it is our task to set it free. Believing this and expecting to discover our answers is the gateway to all ideas becoming real.

Heart on Fire

What sets your heart on fire? If you stopped right now and made a list, how many things would be on it?

Maybe you have a list already, one that’s blazing inside of you. I’d love to hear about it. I find that when someone shares the dreams that light them up, it inspires me. I catch a part of their glow and feel brighter and there is a desire in me to reach beyond where I am. To reach higher and wider than I have before.

I am constantly watching and waiting in expectation for ideas that will give new dimension to my world.

I came across one recently. I listened to an audiobook by Marie Forleo, titled Everything Is Figureoutable. She is a wonderfully dynamic person who has an incredibly simple and effective strategy for solving life situations. I strongly encourage anyone interested, to check out the link I’ve provided about her at the bottom of this post.

Here’s one of the ideas she suggested. It a simple exercise but if you allow it, it has profound ramifications.

You write down this statement and then complete it with your own personal answer, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…”.

I think this is so important that I’ve decided to do the exercise once a month. It appeals to me not only because it is fun, but because it encourages me to explore grand possibilities. Each time I do it, I open to a sense of adventure and excitement and write down my biggest dreams.

So, if you took a few minutes, what would you write down? What do you think would be cool to experience in your life?

I find it works best if you release all the normal limitations we place on our dreams. Just go for it and write down everything you feel like putting out into the universe.

My answers are outlandish now. At first, they were somewhat contained, but I asked myself, ‘why are you restricting yourself’? So, take it from me, let go and write everything that comes to you.

Would it help if I gave you a few of my answers?

If you said ‘no’ then skip to the next paragraph, but if you said ‘yes’, keep reading. Wouldn’t it be cool if…I could share my thoughts, dreams and revelations with people across the world, wouldn’t it be cool…if I could fly, if I could visit Bali, if I could talk with anyone I wanted (now or from any time), if I could see like a hawk, if I could walk the Appalachian Trail, if I could sponsor children to a better life, if I could create amazing art, if I could write something that would brighten someone’s life, if I could dream every night in color, if I could see the aurora borealis from my backyard.

The list of things I can dream is endless and they are not all beyond my reach. That’s part of the benefit and joy of doing this. They trigger something in me that feels real and that creates joy inside me.

So, what do you want to experience in your life?

Here’s something to keep in mind as ideas come to you. Write them down without hesitation. Save the second guessing and analysis for later. This is a brainstorming exercise, so just let go and get carried away.

In case you are wondering, the answer is ‘yes’, some of the ideas I write down inspire me so much that they become real. I invest time, money, and attention in them. I don’t allow myself to get caught up in any kind of restrictive logical thinking which prevents action. I set that thinking aside and instead of asking myself ‘how CAN I do this’, I ask myself, how WILL I do this? The word ‘can’ often stops me, but the word ‘will’ offers me power and I use it to create solutions and bring my ideas to life.

So, wouldn’t it be cool if…

Here’s the link to learn more about Marie Forleo.

http://www.marieforleo.com/2016/05/everything-is-figureoutable/

One Formula for Life

Are you ever overwhelmed by life? Do you have too many responsibilities and obligations? Is there more to do than you have time for?

If you fall into this category like I do, I’d like to invite you to join me in an exploration and an opening into some remarkable space. I promise it won’t take more than a few minutes.

Recently I felt like I was wearing an overcoat filled with weights, like the one’s navy divers use to explore the sea bottom. No matter what I did, I couldn’t struggle my way out of it. This increased my frustration and decreased my ability to enjoy life.

For those of you who have been reading my posts for a while you might guess what I did next. It’s what I always do when my thinking mind cannot fathom how to solve a problem I am having.

I talked with Lia.

For those who are new here, Lia stands for Love In Action and is a part of how I see god. She has a divine feminine voice and speaks with me any time I ask. She listens and never interrupts. She waits until I exhaust myself. And when I am done and ask what she thinks, she answers me. Sometimes her answer comes in the form of a question. One that leads me to recognizing my own truth. Other times, she offers suggestions or ideas for me to consider. Always she speaks in a loving way.

If you would like to talk with her, open your heart and ask her to come be with you. If you wish to speak to a different part of god, one that feels more right to you, please do that instead.

Since she and I had a conversation about all of this, I thought I’d share it with you.

Here’s what she had to say.

Take a walk. Change your scenery. Absorb what nature offers you. She’s invigorating.

Eat something you find delicious. Allow yourself joy as you take in sustenance. Give thanks for all those who helped it travel to you.

Embrace happiness. Remember it comes in all sizes and take it inside of you. Let it make you smile.

Take a hot shower. Allow your cares to wash away and the heat to soothe you.

Be thankful. This means being filled with thanks to your very brim. Write down what you are grateful for. Savor them, no matter how big or small.

Live in your heart. Be attentive to life. Focus on your feelings and follow them. Treasure them.

Open to hearing. To the sounds of the world and those echoing inside of you. There is wisdom in each of them. Wisdom and beauty.

Reap joy. Hold every moment that calls to you. Laugh, cry, sing, hug, give.

Connect. Love those around you. Bring them into your world. Share your dreams and listen to theirs. Harmonize.

Release. Give yourself permission to let go of anything that feels oppressive or that weighs you down. Allow yourself freedom.

Be expectant. Let yourself be drawn forward. Watch for what you know is yours and embrace it.

Love from your heart. Expand into the world from your generous, open, gorgeous, loving heart.

When Lia finished sharing with me, I realized the overcoat I was wearing was gone. I felt lighter, not enough to float away, but enough to be carried along by the winds of change she’d created. I hope they carry you too

What Writing My Own Obit Taught Me

Have you ever wondered about the marvelous truths that could be revealed by one simple act of writing? In this case, I’m talking about writing your own obituary notice.

Okay, let me explain.

I know this may sound a little crazy and you needn’t be concerned because, in order to write your own obit, you have to be alive, so all is well. What I want to share with you is that this can be an incredible celebratory experience, quite the contrary to what you might be imagining.

I’ll start at the beginning.

Several years ago, I attended a workshop at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Our class was given a number of challenging writing assignments. Writing your own obit was not one of them, but the material we covered generated a spark that led me to consider the idea.

I didn’t do it right away. It felt too threatening somehow, so I filed it for later consideration. But like so many things in life that beg for attention, it wouldn’t sit still. So, after a few weeks of trying to ignore it, I gave in.

Because of what I discovered, I’m very glad that I did.

Many things became clearer to me about my life. The first one is that many obits focus on how a person died rather than how they lived. It isn’t as important to me how I leave this world, but I care deeply about how I live while I am here, and I would want others to know something about me. Writing gave me a chance to do a life review and choose some meaningful events and I had an absolutely wonderful time sorting through my memories and soaking up the joy.

Several obits I encountered concentrated on lengthy lists of milestones and life achievements. I wondered; did this truly give value to the person’s life?

What I decided to write about were all the moments of celebration that occurred during my life. The events that gave my life deep meaning and connected me with others. I realized I had lots of my own milestones and a host of noteworthy accomplishments, but they all paled in comparison with the simple moments of sharing with the people I held dearest.

Another aspect of most obits is the listing of relatives who either passed away before the person or who survived them. They are often shown in chronological order and seem, at least to me, somewhat perfunctory. What I decided was to list everyone who brought heart-felt meaning into my life. I wanted to acknowledge them and tell them how much they meant to me. Listing everyone was an intensely beautiful experience for me and I glowed for weeks thinking about so many things we’d shared.

This self-assigned task also provided me with another shift in focus. I noticed a tendency to consider that a life could be defined by a list of the things a person accumulates during their earthly existence. A house, cars, artwork, seasonal property, bank and brokerage accounts, jewelry, titles, memberships. When I started thinking about this, I gravitated to the exceptional opportunities I encountered in my life that led me to deep spiritual connections with others. It became an adventure in cherishing experiences and releasing my attachment to things.

I also realized that the purpose of the money I earned or was given was that it allowed me to trade it for the value of worldly experiences, especially when others were involved. Others who at first were acquaintances, then friends, then kin to me (those I loved the most).

I found this writing exercise to be life changing because it allowed me to alter my perspective and see life as one continual celebration of events.

I wonder, if you chose to accept this assignment, if you would find that true as well.

Profound Puddles in Your Life

Tell me, have you fallen lately? I don’t mean this literally. I mean, have you taken a step that you thought would lead you forward, only to find you missed your goal completely, and maybe landed in one of life’s puddles.

When I was in Junior High School, I went out for the tennis team. It was going to be a stretch for me to make the squad, but I thought it might be good for me. Well, that’s not entirely true. My parents thought it would be good for me.

When I got there, seven other guys were waiting for the coach to arrive. We lined up and were assigned to four courts and told to volley with a partner. The coach watched us for a while, then asked us to gather around for his decision.

I’d made the team, he told me. I was pretty enthusiastic about it, that is until I discovered everybody who showed up made the team.

Over the next couple of practices, we all played against each other to establish our ranking. The top ranked player was number one of course. When our names were posted I scanned down the list. There I was, I’d been assigned as player number eight. Well, nowhere to go but up, I thought.

Every day after school we’d head out to the courts for practice and matches. When the weather was great, everything went along nicely. But often the courts would be full of puddles from our frequent rain showers, and we’d be forced to push the water off them, using long poles with wide flat rubber heads. They were supposed to clear the surface. They didn’t and we would have to do our best to play around the more obstinate puddles.

I don’t know if you’ve ever played tennis on a court with puddles, so I’ll give you some insight. When a fast-moving tennis ball hits a puddle, it skids wildly. There is no predicting which direction it will travel and it’s a rare thing to be able to return the ball back over the net. Not only that, striking a soggy tennis ball is like hitting a grapefruit.

Fortunately, practices were short those days.

As a side note, I eventually moved up to number six, but never played against kids from other schools, since only the top four played official matches. Actually, this was okay with me.

Over the course of my life, I’ve discovered that the tennis court is not the only place that has puddles.

The puddles I’m talking about now are those that potentially await us all. The death of someone close to us, an intense physical challenge, a financial set back, a string of endless arguments, the loss of a job, an accident, or the end of an important relationship.

They don’t happen every day, but you never really know when they’ll appear. Some days I feel surrounded by them. And some of them are quite deep.

Maybe you’ve stepped in a few yourself.

So, what do we do when confronted by life’s challenging puddles?

We have a lot of choices. We can swear at them and blame everyone and everything around us. I do this occasionally, even though I know it isn’t helpful. In those weak moments, I try to give myself some slack. I try to stand as far away from my circumstances as I can and be an observer, hoping the distance gives me better perspective. If I am kind to myself, I can see more clearly and often find some value within the experience.

Other times, I am able to adapt to the puddles I fall into. It’s not that I enjoy them, but I don’t resist them as much, which makes it a lot easier on me. I try to accept that difficulties happen to everyone and that there is almost always a pathway out. I try to shift my thinking away from my anger or resentment and toward solutions and growth. It doesn’t always work, but it’s a lot better than remaining in the puddle.

On my best days, I go inside myself. I rest for a while and slow down. I remind myself that everything that happens in my life is there to serve me in some fashion if I’ll only take the time to look closely and listen to my heart. Finding the beautiful message opens my world and allows me to release any unhelpful thoughts.

When I do this, I don’t mind running along and jumping in the puddles.

A Case for Not Living in the Now

So much is written and talked about regarding living in the present moment…the ‘now’. I wonder, is this truly possible? Doesn’t the present moment move too fast for any of us to capture or contemplate?

I believe I get the idea folks are hinting at. It’s an idea where your attention is, as much as any of us are capable of, localized in the present moment you are living. It’s a way of releasing all our other thoughts, the ones that drag us back into the past or shove us forward into the future.

Living in the ‘now’ is thought to allow us to be mindful and conscious of our current existence, so that we don’t miss anything. And so that we find value and pleasure in each moment, not mourning its passing nor avoiding the next moment to come.

I recognize that, whether conscious of it or not, we are always living from one moment to the next. It doesn’t matter what your mind or your heart is doing, the flow of time continues to move.

I may be missing some very important distinction or point about all of this and perhaps what I have to say won’t hit your target, but I have a different view I’d like to share. It’s a case for not living in the ‘now’, at least not as described above.

In part, as with almost any idea, there is an underlying expectation about living in the ‘now’. There is a perceived right way and a wrong way to do it.

I find that whenever the paradigm of right and wrong exists, there can be judgment, scolding and shame involved. Whether these are turned inward or received from outside matters not. Their poison is as strong, regardless of its direction.

Have you felt this?

Maybe it hasn’t happened to you in connection with this particular concept, but has it happened with other ideas?

Although it’s unfortunate, I believe we all have experienced this. So, I’d like to remind you that you needn’t ever accept your own or someone else’s judgment, scolding or shame. None of these belong to you.

If you initially allow them in, please feel free to release them. They are only meant to tear you down, never to build you up. That’s one of the easiest ways to spot them. If they come at you and hurt you, let them go.

If living in the ‘now’ feels like spiritual dogma to you, by all means, let it pass you by.

If you’ve tried to be present, staying in the chronological ‘now’ and failed. Let it go. If your failure seeps into you and separates you from happiness and joy, give your ‘failure’ away.

If you feel that you can’t hold a present moment in your grasp or that meeting this expectation overwhelms you. Release it and let it go.

If you feel your inner wellness is becoming conditional on your success at remaining in the ‘now’, do yourself a favor and abandon this quest.

Value is shared and available no matter where you are or what direction you choose, past, present, or future. Sweetness and brilliance exist everywhere. No one moment is more meaningful than another.

I don’t believe it matters what moment you live in, as long as it means something to you. There are beautiful memories from the past to keep, to hold on to and to cherish.

There are wonderful dreams you may have for the future, ones that need cultivating in the present moment in order to blossom and bear fruit.

You have perfect free will, so whatever moment calls to you, choose it and live well.

Finding Things We Hide from Ourselves

Can we find what we can not see? And a deeper question, can we find what we will not see? By ‘will not see’, I mean what we won’t permit ourselves to acknowledge. We know something is there, but we willfully avoid looking at it.

It feels too threatening to us, so we shift our focus. After all, there are so many things that beg for our time and attention and it’s easy to tell ourselves we’ll get back to it when we have more time.

This happens to me quite frequently. It’s as if the hidden things want to see the light. They are insistent and return over and over until they wear me down and I feel forced to pay them heed.

One of my recurring themes is the idea of meeting others’ expectations of me. I need to be a bit more precise here. It’s not just about meeting others’ expectations of me; it goes further than that. It’s about meeting my ‘perception’ of others’ expectations.

This added challenge increases the difficulty for me, because I don’t really know what anyone else expects from me. I believe this is true, even if they tell me what they want, because they may not really know. The answer(s) may lie hidden and difficult to find.

It’s easy to see how unlikely it is for me to unravel this.

When I add my tendency to doubt myself, thinking I do not have the power or control to provide what they want, or my perception of what they want, it becomes harder still.

I also must confess that I take it one step further. I have another tendency, which is to overachieve. I not only want to meet my own and others’ expectations, but I also want to exceed them. This creates even more internal pressure. Far beyond what is reasonable or helpful. And it ultimately makes it more difficult to find the hidden meanings I’m searching for.

When I experience moments of clarity, I realize that overachieving is an attempt on my part to maintain or improve a vision of myself, whether necessary or not. It feels like I’m trying to prove my worth and that I am enough.

Before I began writing these posts, I decided that I would reveal what felt true for me, regardless of how it made me appear to whoever chose to read me. Honesty, within me and as expressed to you, is important to me. I want to be open, and I encourage you to do the same thing with yourself, in the hope that we can find some answers together.

So, the question that surfaces is, what to do next? Is there a remedy for uncovering what lies hidden from view within us?

I offer you this for your consideration.

Set aside your fear of the unknown. There is nothing inside you that is there to harm you. In fact, all hidden things are there to create light for your path forward.

Embrace a sense of trust, that you have an innate goodness. A goodness that can be directed first, toward yourself and second, toward others.

Ask for guidance from whoever or whatever you regard as sacred and divine. Ask for clarity and confidence in finding the hidden things. Ask for their meaning and purpose to be shown to you.

Open your heart and allow yourself freedom to choose to see what wants to be seen.

Release any need to control the outcome. Simply give yourself space for the worth of the hidden things to materialize in your life.

And, as much as is possible, believe that all your hidden things are there to serve you.

When they come, welcome them, and accept what they have to offer.

Sounds of Life

I’m curious about the sounds of life. We live in such an active world with so much noise and I wonder how often we give ourselves a chance to stand still and listen.

Listen and really hear.

Try it for a minute. I promise it will be worth it.

Close your eyes and release the visible world and slow your breathing so you can deeply listen to the sounds that surround you. How many can you name?

Are you surprised by the variety? Are there sounds you can’t identify?

Certainly, it matters where you are when you try this. We exist in so many different places, big cities, small towns, deserts, rain forests, seashores, all teaming with sounds.

A time long ago hearing and identifying sounds meant life or death. If you were being stalked by a hungry animal, you’d better have good hearing, if you wanted to survive.

In some places, this is as important now as it was long ago, even though the reasons may have changed.

Every so often I will stop what I am doing and try to still my mind. I’ll close my eyes and take in all the sounds I can. Sometimes there are too many for me to separate and I have to open my eyes back up to be able to name them.

I wonder about the sound words make. Folks might say the exact same word, but their inflection, tone, volume, and pronunciation are so different, that it seems it is not the same word at all.

I wonder, is it possible to know every word from every language on earth? How many words are there and why do they all exist? Is there such a variety because they all sound different?

Is it possible to know every sound that we humans are capable of making? And what of our fellow travelers on this earth and the sounds they make? All the creatures on land, in the water and above us in the sky?

What a catalogue that would be to record every sound.

And what of other entities, the trees, rocks, plants, and flowers? Do they have their own sounds and their own language?

I wonder, has every sound already been made or are new sounds created all the time? Is there a sound that was once made, but hasn’t happened in a long time, because what created it is no longer here? I wonder too will there be new sounds in the future?

What is this fascination of mine with sound and what might it have to do with you?

Here’s an idea to try.

Sounds create meaning and they give life depth and dimension.

I love so many sounds. The voices of those that touch my life, the honking of geese as they travel south for winter, the rush of the wind through the green pines, the ding of the food timer because I know something tasty is only a moment away, the infinite variety of music, hearing the heartbeat of a yet unborn child, the roaring of water cascading over a fall, the plaintive sigh of a train whistle, the beauty of laughter.

There are so many more.

My personal favorite though is the sound of my wife’s voice saying, “I love you”. And I have to admit, I love the sound of hearing her adorable wolf howl, when we’re outdoors staring at the full moon.

I encourage you to stop for a moment sometime today and open yourself to the world of sound. It is such a precious gift.

I Accept Me as I Am

Would you like today to be wonderful? Here’s one way for that to happen.

Say this to yourself, “I accept me as I am.”

I admit, it’s hard to do and you may believe there are many reasons this statement doesn’t feel true to you. I also know that no matter what, it’s worth doing anyway, because it can change your whole life.

It starts with seeing clearly that you are more than the things you associate with your life. You may believe that you are your weight, your age, your orientation or your relationships. You may think that you are your religion, your career, or your ambitions.

But consider this, you existed before any of these labels, and you are independent from them all. You are an essence, free and clear, beautiful, and radiant.

Others are sure to tell you who they think you are and will offer you requirements they feel must be met before you can be found to be acceptable. It is up to you to decide whether to allow this to happen.

Culture in general has numerous categories and boxes for you to be placed in. And once there, it can be very difficult to get out. We often tend to believe what we are told. We accept the words and decisions of others. We allow them to shape our lives, even to the point of determining whether we are acceptable in their eyes. This is too much power to give away.

Think for a moment.

What boxes do you fit in? Are you the one who chose or did someone else place you there?

Did someone else decide what you should weigh and whether you were too old or too young or who you can love? Did they demand how you should behave in this life and what you should believe? Did they choose your career or lay down your life path?

Are you comfortable with the choices that have shaped your life, or do you want to escape? Do you need a bit of a rampage in your life, so that you can kick some unhelpful things to the curb?

Maybe it’s time to take another look at your life and make some new decisions. Ones that suit you, that fit right, that you find acceptable.

Imagine that you could start all over again, who do you want to be in this life? Perhaps you desire more freedom, the ability to travel, to choose a new career or to explore your dreams.

When you associate outside labels with who you are, this can seem impossible. Something has to change.

Could it be that an answer is available to you by shifting your energy away from what others say and redirecting your focus to what you tell yourself? Perhaps that is where your journey begins.

For a moment trust yourself. Close your eyes and breathe easily and go within. Leave all the labels behind and step into the brilliant light. Once you are here, rest for a while. Give yourself a chance to feel renewed.

The real you is a heavenly essence. A beautiful ray of energy and a being of hope for all things. A channel to share love with the world.

This is the true you. You acknowledge this truth each time you make the statement, “I accept me as I am.”

Note: To make a comment, please click on the Post Name, then scroll to the bottom of the page, write your comment in the box and hit enter.

Did Jesus Apologize to the Moneychangers

Is there such a thing as righteous indignation? Are any of us allowed to express anger and take strong actions because we feel that it is justified? Do we get a pass for misbehaving?

I wonder about a lot of things, especially the ones that don’t make immediate sense to me.

Many people in this world know about Jesus, whether they are Christians who believe he is the son of God or others who feel he was a spiritual prophet who lived a very human existence.

There is a story in the Bible about when Jesus reacted with anger and overturned the moneychangers’ tables and cast them out of the temple. Each of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell this story. They all seem to agree that the actions Jesus took were justified. That he was cleansing the temple, the house of God.

But here’s what troubles me.

It is so out of character for him. He ate with people that others considered to be sinners, he healed folks who were thought to be unclean, and he spoke with many who were outcasts of society. He feed the poor and preached about love, not just for the lovable, but for all.

I have to ask myself, is this story in keeping with the heart of Jesus’s teachings?

Wouldn’t his love have extended even to the moneychangers? Wouldn’t he have sat with them and brought wisdom to them, teaching them, and leading them into the light? Certainly, he had the insight to see within them and know what words to say, so that they could understand how what they were doing was harmful.

I offer you a disclaimer.

I do not believe that the Bible records every event exactly as it happened. There are numerous discrepancies when comparing the accounts of the four gospels and beyond that, when comparing different Bible versions and the languages and translations.

It seems to me we are prompted to go within to find our own truth.

I believe in following the essence of Jesus. In my heart I believe he would have turned up the love. He would have led the animals out into the courtyard, then returned to sit with the moneychangers. He would have shown love and drawn love out of them, changing their hearts in the process.

There would have been no need to apologize for turning over their tables and scattering their coins on the floor because he would have taken a more loving approach.

Of course, it is up to you to decide what you feel happened and you may be wondering what does this have to do with you?

In my mind, quite a lot.

For me, I wonder if I am ever justified in my anger. Can I behave in any manner, without concern for my actions, because I feel I have been wronged? Is there any such thing as righteous indignation?

It seems like a sort of carte blanche, where we allow ourselves to do whatever we want, with no consideration for the effect on anyone else.

The thing is, there is always an effect from the actions we take.

And it matters.

So, what is the takeaway when considering this story?

As always, it is up to each of us to decide.

What feels most right to me is that leading from love, not anger, is the way to live in this world. Sacrificing my anger and embracing a loving approach offers me the chance to connect with others. It builds up instead of tears down. It closes the distance between us. It opens our hearts and fills us. Choosing love always feels like the right decision.

Note: To make a comment, please click on the Post Name, then scroll to the bottom of the page, write your comment in the box and hit enter.