Oct 10, 2009

It's All About Not Me

A few weeks back i posted a blatant brag about how much work I got done on a Sunday. I don't apologize for the brag - we should all do it more, quite frankly, more often than just job interviews and speed dating. But there is more to the story.

Re-reading the entry, what's striking is how all the work was in care of others. I spent the day working hard to care for the chickens, the cows, the renters, and my cold-footed wife and children. This is quite typical of this new life, a never-ending medley of caring for others.

Or maybe it's the medley of a man's life. Before this, I would spend up to 70 hours a week at the ACCES office to provide education for children in Africa, and to earn the paycheque for our family. Then come home to put the kids to bed, and hopefully do something nice for my wife. Twice-a-month yoga and once-a-week hockey were the only regular ME time.

Or maybe it's the medley of an adult's life. Fulfilling responsibilities, shedding some just to take on more. My wife runs Mama Renew, an entire business devoted to supporting women's journeys back to themselves, to finding balance and a bit of room for the woman inside them who isn't mother and worker and cleaner and something for everyone else. Probably the only surprise to the women in her groups is that many (most?) men feel the same way.

But this wasn't meant to be a lament. The truth is that I love it, and that I'm just as nurtured and nourished as those I'm serving. The Sept.27 brag was really a celebration. What I meant to say was that I spent the whole day working on tasks that meaningfully helped the many other beings and land to whom I have a responsibility, but also brought me deep Joy. I loved cutting that wood, building that roof, caring for those animals. It made me genuinely happy, spoke to my soul in a way that a men's retreat or night at the pool hall doesn't.
The place God calls us to be is where the world's deep hunger and our deep happiness meet.
I am at my best, in my right place, when I am using my powers and energy and passion to the benefit of others. It's not ego, and it's not duty, it's just the way my soul is aligned. My happiest times have been at a Guatemalan orphanage, an African village, helping ACCES to grow, and now helping our chickens and chick peas to grow. The manifestation of the world's deep hunger changes over time, but the deep happiness is always there.

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