Lettuce in my teeth and Nuggets of gold
Gail, is a good friend, who is on a journey that we are all on. She is just more aware of it than most I believe. We were talking when she was here this week about something that she wrote. She is a very good writer, insightful and in reality has a positive attitude towards life, though, like most of us on our inner journey, she may trip over a nugget of gold that may seem otherwise.
I won’t quote her because I believe it is very personal, but her experience is archetypical. It was a small quote but it contained a lot. It did not say who she was, but it was something that got her attention. Self-knowledge and the grace that it has its roots in is not always pleasant. Why is that? Because it can upset the ego in such a way that it may feel unsure of itself. Sort of like you are out all day, thinking you have presented yourself well to others, then come home and find that you have a piece of lettuce in your front teeth and everyone you talked to that day did not bother to say anything. It can be funny, or something that upsets, it depends on one’s perspective.
Nuggets of self-knowledge are like that. We can learn something about ourselves through prayer, or writing, or something someone says about us, and then shock comes to the surface and it becomes bigger than it actually is. If shared with a friend, this terrible self-revelation, they may smile and say “Oh I have known that about you for years.” So then the thought comes up: “Really!” Yet the friend thinks nothing of it. Sort of like finding out that others have seen lettuce in your front teeth all day and did not bother to say anything about it.
The deeper we go in, the more fragments we will find. For instance, the compulsive side of our gifts. We can one day find out that what was thought to be selfless may, in fact, have a certain level of self-serving to it….or a lot. The sure path to humility is a revelation that hits hard and suddenly, but again is taken in stride. Once we understand that pure motives are most likely impossible, it is then we can let go of being overly preoccupied with ourselves and seek to allow graces healing to go deeper into our souls.
Each person, if listened to deeply, is soon known to be a deep, complex, contradictory mystery filled with beauty and yes other things not so beautiful. Sort of like beauty and the beast. I believe that we each are on a road of self-discovery, which is what humility is all about. The ability to see into ourselves and to embrace it and not allow it to dominate our focus is the key that will allow us to continue.
Stay out of your way
If you want to trip;
just look at your feet,
think about walking
clumsy you will become,
as self-knowledge comes up
just make it part of your dance,
don’t get in your own way.