Much Love Monday

That it is the paschal season for many, and hopefully, in my opinion, one of deeper reflection and introspection, has not kept me from looking outwards. What I mean to say by this is that ultimately, there are many ways by which one can come to that creative peace that has nothing to do with righteous indignation, but which allows compassion to flow forth, even in times of difficulty; there are many ways to feel our smallness and humility. And not all people who claim to be "believers" believe in the same God. I do not believe that we are to judge or to harm each other.
It has been a day of long conversations; this morning, we talked about everything from Roman battle techniques - a bridge was built in a day using swimming horses, rope, and rafts! - to reasons why much tradition has been lost in modern times, particularly in there being seemingly less large-scale work accomplished by a large number of people. But what I wish to remember the most is the conversation I had about change. I was saying how it is rather difficult when people do not allow each other to change. My friend said, it is harder when one doesn't allow oneself to change. If we are growing in life, we are bound to change. 
One of the things I have changed about myself is my relationship to my job. I used to have long, polemic discussions with myself about education, after doing hours of reading about changing methodologies and the history of learning. I felt like I did not fit in with the institution of higher learning I work for. But, I learned from a rather difficult class that although criticism is great for one's own knowledge of how and what to teach, the current environment is such that criticism must be kept to a minimum; rather, one ought to try to maximise whatever good can be found. I have formed my opinion about learning now, and what I consider the most effective approaches, but I have less of a need to communicate this. In other words, I am coming to accept in practice that the message is only received by the person who, of their own accord, was looking for such a message.
A simple way of saying this is that I am learning to let go - learning what is outside my domain, and learning that there are some battles I don't consider worth fighting. Ah! The adage, pick your battles...

I have also changed in the sense that I am more adamant about not wanting to go round remembering other people's weaknesses. It has helped that I am learning to express my woes in a calm way and not feel ashamed for naming them, because that has helped me release them. We all bear the responsibility for our thoughts and actions, and if other people want to act all strange, that is their decision, and there ultimately can't be anything threatening about that as they are the ones blocking themselves from their own happiness by acting coarsely. This weekend, after a wonderful couple treated us all to a wonderful lunch, someone at the table, eating that food, said, yes, giving is an act that is for your own good! Which I thought was a rather unthankful way of participating, and I felt embarrassed, but then I realised, that person is living out their own story.
So, the picture I chose for today's Much Love Monday is a piece of Turkmen jewelery, mostly because it is heart-shaped, but also because such jewelery represented rites of passage, the transition from one stage of life to another. And while I do not think I will ever be inclined to believe that any outward transitions, like going from being single to being married, are the substantial transitions, but, rather, the deepest ones occur when they are ready, despite outward events, I still like the idea of acknowledging change in an outward way. Not that I do this myself. Rather, I bear the symbols of my change in my thoughts - and that is the trick, not to slip back into old habits.
It is said that one of the greatest human challenges is memory: how to remember, hold on to, the right things, that will keep us from slipping into oblivion, forgetfulness. This idea comes to us from many ancient myths. Well, apart from remembering loved ones in one's heart, I think that an effort must be made to remember the course we wish to pursue in life, and to keep working on it, despite the setbacks which are bound to happen if we are honest with ourselves. We must also remember who we are, because there will be times when people will try to tell us we are other than who we strive to be. "Character building." I suppose that is what I am talking about here.
It is the most beautiful construction we can achieve, for if we do it properly, it will be beneficial to others around us, too, and that is a lovely thought.

 Elements: paper: pugly pixel
drawings, via pugly pixel: animus.

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