Retrograde: “Begin With the End in Mind”

In honor of half the galaxy being in retrograde, today is a day for questions. I’ve been chewing on two in particular, and I invite you to munch on them with me.

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Thanks, Dave – always good for a laugh 🙂

Question Number 1: What is the difference between an enlightened sense or state of nonattachment, sociopathic detachment, being emotionally unavailable, and/or a clearcut state of indifference? How do you know which one you’re in – whether you’ve developed a healthy mastery of your emotions, or simply spaced out to avoid reality and all the uncomfortable, “negative” emotions that can bring?  (I’ll add a PS – from my perspective, there is no such thing as a negative emotion – that’s a label, a judgment call – and as I write this, it’s hitting me how true that is – “positive” and “negative” are just more of those labels we claim not to use anymore, while throwing them out left and right. But I digress. Back on topic: Emotions happen. It’s what we choose to do with an emotion that becomes the issue… I realize I may not be wording this clearly enough to avoid misunderstandings, but it makes sense from this lawn chair.)

And Question Number Two: Retrograde is always a good opportunity to reevaluate our lives – how we’re living them, who and what is in them, and who and what isn’t. As a long-term fan of M. Scott Peck, I like to come back to the idea of “begin with the end in mind” – my end, your end. Does the way I live today lead down a path I’ll be able to look back on from the edge of this world and say, Hey, yeah, great job, I really LIVED my purpose, my personal mission, my values, my beliefs. Or does it do slightly less than that? For that matter – do I even know what my personal mission, my values, my beliefs, are? Have I taken the time and made the effort to figure that out, all by myself, just for me? Or am I still living the reflected values and belief systems of those around me, perhaps the ones to which I was born, without considering if they truly reflect who I am and what I think on the inside?

What about the people in our lives? Do we have close, personal relationships, perhaps with many, perhaps with few – the number isn’t important – but the quality is. We all need community,

Rowan Jason trees Piggs Landing MO River 078

The greatest of these is love

large or small. If you’re pretty sure that, if you were to die tomorrow, 99.9% of your human connections, if and when they found out (mostly by accident, a polysyllabic Facebook post or a newspaper paragraph), would react with “Oh, isn’t that a shame. Such a nice soul. I knew him when…” – and then go about their lives as if nothing had happened, because, frankly, in their personal worlds, nothing did – well, ask yourself – is that the community you want? Don’t you think you deserve more? Don’t you think they do? Family isn’t a to-do list. And friends shouldn’t just be about sales and rankings and ratings and scores.

Call me old-fashioned. Anyone who knows me even a little bit will tell you I’ll take that as a compliment. Maybe it’s time to change things, get a little more in up close and personal, cultivate old or new relationships with people you actually connect with, maybe even occasionally see face to face. And I don’t just mean the ones at the office, lovely and supporting as that environment can sometimes be. (In the interest of fairness and loyalty, I’ll share that over the events of the last few weeks, my strongest emotional support has come from my colleagues – and I can’t tell you what it has meant. Recognition where recognition is due! And thanks, team. More than you know. <3)

Coming back to my questions: Please don’t answer them here – this is far too personal a question for such a public forum. But I challenge you – and myself – to answer them to yourselves.  Questions like these are meant for answering on our own time, in our own way. About 3AM might be good. But please, do answer them. They’re important. We spend far too much time rushing through life on someone else’s timetable, at someone else’s beck and call, on retainer to someone else’s priorities – when the truth is, our lives are passing us. Right now. Minute by minute. Yes, we have all the time and energy we need to do everything we want and need to do – IF we use it accordingly, if we use it responsibly.

If we truly lived our lives with the end in mind, how would that change our world right now? This week? This month? How could you be more true to yourself, and in so doing, be more true to others? How could you be more here – more present – more right here in the middle of you? How can I do that?

I won’t answer these questions here – but I will be answering them, again, and again, and again. Each time, hopefully, drawing a little closer to my center, to my core – and in so doing, drawing closer to yours.

Thank you for listening, thank you for chewing, thank you for sharing this front porch moment. And maybe, just maybe, someday we’ll see each other heart to heart and face to face as well. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change? And remember: Only YOU know the truth about where you are at any given moment – smack in the middle of life, or running for the hills with your blinders on and your tail between your legs. What’ll it be, folks? It’s your call.

Happy Retrograde… I’ll see ya on the other side.

Rowan Jason trees Piggs Landing MO River 004

The road less traveled

(C) 2016 Mary Batson,
All rights reserved, including the one to live from MY center, and not yours.
(Even though, in the end, they turn out to be the very same thing.)


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