Saturday, July 14, 2007

Lists

The last few days I have woken up with lists running through my head. Why lists? Why not poetry or even prose? We live by lists. Do this. Do that. You are not successful if you don’t get things done. What defines “things”? What defines “success”?

Slowly this morning my list shifted away from ‘to do’s’ and toward ‘must do’s’. Watching a beautiful sunset. Listening to my dog breathe. Breathing myself. Stopping to smell the roses. Moving my body freely not always with intention or purpose. Listening to God. Prayer. Constant, ongoing, everlasting prayer in the way I live—the way I simply be.

Emerging. Moving outward. Why do we hide? Why do we hold back? Sunrise Sister posed the question “Why do we always cry at the happy moments?” Tears are a release of emotion. We hold too much inside and our hearts are created to live not hold back. Tears are sacred and beautiful. They are meant to be used. They wash away sorrow and make room for peace, joy and happiness.

To pursue happiness, we find ways to allow space and make room for it to find us. And so, we write our lists and mark them off—not to be successful in the worldly sense—not to show how much we have accomplished, but to make space for joy and living.

Sure there is still joy in completion of a task, a pat on the back, a line through a job well done, but for what am I making space? Hopefully, not more lists! So, I ponder this question today: What do I really have to do? Simply speaking, the list is quite short.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27

So, what’s on your list today?

image from here

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great post!!! I too woke up with a mental list....a roladex of tasks......being on call for the weekend, I left the house, patient hospital list in hand, pager on hip, grocery list in purse......hoping I had everything!!! After making rounds, I came to the office to cross more tasks off the list, charts, labs, messages and then checked your blog.....what a great entry met me....caused me to get off the tread mill, take a breath and revise the list....I'm going to change my list to just listening and being with only the required doing.....I will truely listen today...to peoples's concerns, I'm going to stop and really listen to my family, I'm going to take some time to sit outside, listen to the birds and then I'm going to stop and listen for the still small voice....and yes if the pager goes off I'll listen to that too but I think with a different heart!!! Thanks for the post!!! Love, TinMan #1

marti said...

I like the idea of a list of must do's instead of the mundane list of things that have to be done. Thanks for the reminder!

Tess said...

My friend calls the 'must-do' items strawberries. As in love yourself by giving yourself a strawberry, whatever it might be.
And for me with my propensity to grab greedily, the simultaneous sensuality and restraint of savouring just one 'strawberry' at a time to the full is life-affirming.

Gabrielle said...

"Making space" seems to be a constant battle for me, whether it's accomplishing things on the list, or just trying to simplify our lifestyle in general ways. I really like your "short list", Lucy!

lucy said...

i LOVE the responses to this "list". blessings to all!!!! love, lucy>>..

Soutenus said...

I was actually composing a list - & then I took a break to check in on you!
How wild!
I have been asking myself, "What does my life speak?" It was overwhelming so I started a list . . .
So cool to again find we are on somewhat the same wavelength!

Blessings!
Soutenus

lucy said...

nice to hear from you, soutenus!

chimayo bound said...

How interesting . . .
At the supper table three nights ago, we had a discussion about crying.

"Why do you say you're happy when you are crying?" my son asked. "I've never once, in my entire life, cried when I was happy."

How sad, I thought. And I mourned for what I know to be true about him. That he has a hold on his emotions--for fear that if he lets them loose he will appear weak--that is like a vise grip.

We talked about it. In true motherly fashion, I instructed him to let go--to let his emotions flow outward. I hope he listened.

But, more likely at sixteen, he dismissed my words as silly. I hope he comes back to them someday, and lets go . . .