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Archive for December 20th, 2007

Susan hits it on the head. Again.

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

susanluksthumb2.jpgMy beloved friend Susan D. Luks, who I’ve known now for longer than any but two of my non-family friends (probably 1966-67), sometimes reads this blog. She is an excellent writer and artist (and ColorWoman), and I’m honored to have her along for the journey.

I’m right now struggling with owning up to my responsibilities for the parts of my life which I reasonably should buck up and handle… and letting go of things that I maybe once thought fit in that category but really need to be let go of.

In one area of my life I’ve learned to do this using what is called the Serenity prayer. There are many versions of it, but it comes down to… I need to take action where I can, stop trying to control what I can’t, and do my best to tell the difference between the two.

Since I went to Africa four years ago, my own version has come down to “I’m not in charge.” It is particularly easy for me to do when I am dealing with other people. I’m clear I can’t change others and in most cases I truly am *not* in charge. I’m not in charge of weather, either, or fashion, or whether people sign up for classes I offer and would love to teach.

It’s harder when it involves my own self… attitude, action, what I eat or do not eat (given food allergies which seem to change by the day), getting enough sleep, scheduling classes, etc. Sometimes I over-fuss and over-focus. Sometimes I don’t focus when a little now would save much hassle later. It’s a lifelong learning process here, I expect.

In the path between taking full personal responsibility when warranted, and essential letting go when appropriate, there has been far too much struggle. That has manifest itself as worry.

Never mind that my favorite thing to say about worry is that “Worry is not action.” Worry feels like doing something but it has no effect at all. It seems to me if I am to spend effort, I might best spend it on things that reasonably might respond to that effort.

So on this blog I write about my life from day to day. Sometimes I write far too many words and do not have/take time to trim them to a better size.

Susan read a very long post recently, and distilled out the bits where I talked about my worrying. Susan has much serenity and it’s not because she started out life as serene. She has learned it… and I expect it was not simple for her to do. I aspire to half of what she has learned in this area, over the years.

Susan wrote in my comments about a translation of a poem by “Hafiz, who was writing in the 13th century over there in Persia, before you and I were even eggs…”

Find A Better Job

All your worry
Has proved such an
Find a better

Dang. For someone I rarely see in person… she sure hits it perfectly where I am living.

Thank you, Susan.

Photos: Susan wearing her own creations… she builds the fabric from which these beauties are created. Yes, she gave me permission to show you her images…