Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's So Funny About Peace, Love, And Understanding



I pray. A lot. I'm like the character in Steel Magnolia's who "prays because the elastic in her panties is shot." I pray about big things, little things, begging prayers, thankful prayers, forgive me prayers, forgive them prayers, help me forgive them and not want to shoot them prayers, the works. But the hardest prayer in some ways is the one I see engraved on plaques, stitched on samplers, a prayer that seems to be pretty simple, but isn't. The St. Francis prayer. You know the one, the one about seeking to console instead of being consoled, about doing for others those things you want for yourself. When I'm being honest with myself (once a month, every third Wednesday), I know that this is more than a nicety that you can give out on a bookmark. I know this is the most important thing we can do, no matter what, if any, religion we follow.

I, like everyone else, get into the occasional fight or tiff with people I love. No surprise there. I used to think this was the end of the world, as phobic about confrontation as if someone had stuck a rattlesnake around my neck. But it isn't. Even so, very few of us like to fight with those we love. It's so hard, though, because we become so very entrenched in our positions that we lose any hope of bridging the gap of understanding. Usually when someone is upset, the default reaction is to become defensive or attempt to minimize the problem. This makes the upset person become more strident in an attempt to convey the seriousness of the problem which makes the listener become more defensive. And so on. If both people can come together a bit, a lot of the cycle would be broken. I don't really know why I wrote this today; my guess is that someone out in the world needs to hear it. Or like Anne Lammott wrote in an essay once, that she writes things she would like to hear. So I think about the St. Francis prayer, that sweet saint of animals. It's simple, but not easy. To do for others what we so desperately desire for ourselves is perhaps the ultimate prayer.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'll put you through hell, but at the end of it all we'll be champions." Bear Bryant

Cocktail Hour
Has anyone seen Synecdoche, New York? My friend Priscilla says that there will be a giant sucking sound that is your life going bye-bye for those long two hours of the movie. But I've also heard some good things about it so I ask you, dear readers, to give a recommendation if you've seen it.

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maryann dissed me, so I slapped her upside the head with a wine bottle.--RC Cola (I was cheating a little on the side.)

Tim said...

Hey Michelle,
You really hit the mark on this one. Praying for others instead of yourself is one of the hardest things to do and truly mean. Thank goodness there are still a few very blessed, very giving persons around to show us humility and remind us that things like the Golden Rule really do have meaning in today's world.

Charles Gramlich said...

I pray that prayer myself and I find myself too often failing to hold it. Way too often.

the walking man said...

I read this about an hour after you first posted it. I was doing the same thing at about the time you hit the post button.

I miss you.

Dave said...

Wow! This is the best picture of you yet!

I nominate it for the Profile Picture!

As Fred Flintstone would say: "Yabba-Dabba-Do!"

the walking man said...

I mentioned you because...well you know

jodi said...

Dearest Michelle, I pray for everything in the usual way. I have to remember to pray for grace for myself to do that whole golden rule thing. I love Ann L. and her honest logic. I used to militant about expressing my opinion in arguements, but now I just agree to disagree. So much easier! xoxo PS had a fabulous hook up with our girl, Stacey. She is well! (Thank God) xoxo

Anonymous said...

I want those shoes!

chris said...

The sad thing about this is ! If you are not willing to kill ,it will never happen.

There will always be someone trying to take advantage of someone else.

Heff said...

Argh !!! You quoted Bear Bryant !!!

Must. Vomit. Now.....

Lana Gramlich said...

I'd wanted to see Synecdoche, New York, but hadn't. Thanks for the tip on that, though.

Years ago, after a major, spiritual revelation, I gave myself almost entirely to the service, aid & upliftment of others. It led to a painful lesson about being used & resented. I also learned that you can stand by long-time "friends" in their hours of need & they can still turn their back on you the moment you need to bend their ear. It was my fault, ultimately. I had an expectation. Expectations have proven to be a bad thing.

Now the only help or aid I offer is anonymous. It's the only way to do any good w/o others trying to drag you down. Unfortunately personal interaction was mcuh more effective, but it's just too high risk.

Lana Gramlich said...

Er..."much," not "mcuh."