weareallpilgrims

Camino de Santiago

Month: May, 2017

Recognizing our true worth

20140924-Castro-Fromi-32 Pano-final

“When you have realized your true worth, you will be able to judge your faults sanely . . . and the faults of your neighbor will remain in shadow.” Dominican Saint Vincent

One of my favorite activities these days is to spend time thinking and pondering things that I probably did not do much of when I was working. It can be one of the “perks” of retirement. Terri and I certainly got to do this “in spades” walking the Camino de Santiago. LOTS OF TIME to do a lot of “thinking and pondering”. I dare say that thinking for long periods of time uninterrupted is a precious commodity these days. The world is a constant barrage of “stuff” coming at us and stimulating us with variety, novelty, action and movement. We are focusing our attention for only a few seconds at a time it seems before we are off to something else. It takes real effort, I am finding, to stop the madness and get off this train so we can “think and ponder” more deeply on things.

Take for example the quote at the top of this blog article. I recently took the time to actively ponder and let it sink in deeper into my mind and heart. Here are some of my thoughts I would like to share with your from my “ponderings”.

  • Recognizing our “true worth” to me means more than the worth of my accomplishments, it is about solid grounding of how much I am loved. This was something my parents gave me as a beautiful gift and we hopefully have done for our children and now for our grandchildren. For I believe this is the key to living a peace-filled life. To know you are loved. It all begins at this point. It is the greatest gift we can give to our children and grandchildren.
  • The second thought I had was how vital to our health (physical and spiritual) it is “to be able to judge our faults sanely“. As this quote points out, seeing the shortcomings of others begins with seeing our own limitations clearly. If we do not have that solid grounding of how much we are loved – “our true worth” within us it is very hard to see our faults, we become “blind” to them, and then we end up using our “hammer  of judgement” on others for their faults.  This is does help us to “be the best version of ourselves”.

I will close this blog article today with a quote that I believe I used in the past as well but it just seems to fit so perfectly with these “ponderings”:

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing themselves.” Leo Tolstoy

I pray you all feel how deeply your loved and communicate that as well to those you love!

Blessings and all good,

John

Photograph of the Week

Let It Flow

This image was taken during a recent Spring hike to the most amazing waterfall of the North Fork of the Sauk river. The power of the water flowing down these falls was simply awe-inspiring. Here is a link to one of the videos I took of the falls.

North Fork Sauk

The reason for the title of this image came about when I was thinking about what this blog article and the importance of have a solid foundation of how we are loved and letting that perspective lead us to the gracefulness in accepting criticism and tact in giving it. To unblock those areas of our lives that are holding us back – to let the best of us flow out.

 

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Sheep and Shepherds

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During our visit to Scotland and Ireland we got to up close and personal, so to speak, with sheep and shepherds. While we were in Ireland we got to walk through areas where they grazed freely and in Scotland we got meet a shepherd and had a wonderful demonstration of sheep dog herding. The image at the top of the at the top of this blog article is from a wonderful area we got to go in Ireland called, Glencolmcille, very remote and unchanged by time.

I really enjoyed the close up experience as it is certainly not something I experienced growing up in a city all my life. I recently learned an interesting fact about sheep, that almost made me laugh.

I read that they are not very powerful, hence unable to defend themselves effectively. Moreover, they are not very good at recognizing localities, which explains why they can so easily go astray. When lost, the sheep panics. It falls to the ground and bleats loudly in hopes that it will attract the shepherd.

Just a couple of thoughts came to my mind when I read that,

  • Sheep are smarter than men, it would seem, when it comes to getting lost and asking for help (we always think we know where at) and,
  • Sheep sure do need a good shepherd to help them survive

It is not the first observation though that I want to cover in this blog today. It is the second one. How important it is to have “good shepherds” in our lives for us to grow and survive and also how important it is to be a “good shepherd” for those in our lives that need us.

Taking care of our two grandchildren, two days a week, I certainly can identify with the sheep and good shepherd analogy. Some days when our precious little, Kay, (who has just turned 3 years old), has one of her “meltdowns”, it makes me think of the sheep that is lost and falls to the ground and bleats loudly for her “shepherd”. Oh, how important it is to be there for her to help her to use “her words”  to tell us what she is feeling. To help her “find herself again”. This is what “good shepherds” do for their sheep.

As I see it, there are a lot of folks out there (myself included by the way) that need “good shepherds” to help them find their way when they are lost and need a hand. We are all called to be those “good shepherds” for others. Let’s all take our responsibility seriously to be “good shepherds”!!

Blessing and all good,

John

Photograph of the Week

Endless Fields of Beauty

Going to the Skagit each Spring to enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of the tulips never seems to disappoint. This year was not exception.