Loyalty to Openness

I have often heard myself saying to people that I don’t like to change my mind. It is true.

Part of it is that I make decisions slowly. I choose carefully. At least, this is also what I tell myself. So, when I make a choice, that choice is done with the weight of consideration, deliberation, and care coming out of a patient direction.

The other part is that I’m stubborn. I tell people that I’m committed, that I’m committed to the move in martial terms, but it’s a soft way of saying that I’m stubborn. I think most humans are this way.

Most people are committed to their views of things. We are loyal to our own worlds, loyal to our own beliefs, committed to those things we’re comfortable with. Change is hard on us.

I could say this in spiritual and moral terms. The consistent practice of making up one’s mind leaves a person open to pride and closed to change. Making and maintaining your mind leaves you vulnerable to the same loyalty.

So, changing your mind, seeing a thing with fresh eyes with an openness to what’s truly there, may be the most powerful moral and spiritual act of your day. It’s a little like being loyal to openness and opposed to it’s enemy, it’s soul antonym.

That feels like generosity to me.

Prayer for the Week

Enable us to see the blank page, the full schedule, and the unseen day as gifts and friends.

Whether blue, white, gray, or yellow or some other color, brighten that background ahead until it becomes a wide invitation from You, our Creator of the best lives and the Maker of the most enduring truths about humanity.

See the page as we see it. See the day as we see it. Grant that we may see the hours ahead clearly.

Notice our fears, most of which we keep to ourselves. Give us grace.

Howard Thurman’s Stages of Maturity

by Martin Vorel

The immediate reaction of the child is clear and precise: varying forms of protest from the sustained whisper to the roaring scream (these two words are used together quite advisedly).  Sometimes it is a battle of nerves between the baby and the mother.

At this point the baby is having his initial encounter with spiritual discipline.  A pattern of life has been interrupted.  In the presence of an expanding time interval between wish and fulfillment the child is forced to make adjustment, to make room in the tight circle of his life for something new, different, and therefore threatening.  The baby begins to learn how to wait, how to postpone fulfillment.  He thus finds his way into community within the family circle.

 

…If the response of the parents or others continues to be available on demand, the conscious or unconscious intent being to keep the time interval at zero between wish and fulfillment, the baby begins to get a false conditioning about the world and his place in it.  For if he grows up expecting and regarding as his due that to wish is to have his wish fulfilled, then he is apt to become a permanent cripple.  There are many adults who for various reasons have escaped this essential discipline of their spirit.  True, in terms of physical and intellectual development they have continued to grow.  Their bodies and minds have moved through all the intervening stages to maturity, but they have remained essentially babies in what they expect of life.  They have a distorted conception of their own lives in particular and of life in general.