Monthly Archives: January 2015

#73 Find Your Walden

green-dotmysterious path “I have a great deal of company in my house;  especially in the mornings, when nobody calls… I am no more lonely than the loon in the pond that laughs so loud, or than Walden Pond itself.  What company has that lonely lake, I pray?  … I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a humble bee.  I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house. “In the midst of a gentle rain while these thoughts prevailed, I was suddenly sensible of such sweet and beneficent society in Nature, in the very pattering of the drops, and in every sound and sight around my house, an infinite and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighborhood insignificant, and I have never thought of them since. Every little pine needle expanded and swelled with sympathy and befriended me.  I was so distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred to me, even in scenes which we are accustomed to call wild and dreary, and also that the nearest of blood to me and humanness was not a person nor a villager, that I thought no place could ever be strange to me again.”   –Thoreau, from:  Walden, 1845.

  • Describe your most favorite, most soothing place out of doors. Write about a time when you found this place to give you comfort.

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# 71 Deciding To Let Go of Bitterness

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C 3 quarks/Dreamstime.com

C 3 quarks/Dreamstime.com

When you decide you no longer need the bitterness and resentment, you are ready to let go of it.  You are ready to forgive.  There are many ways. People decide to forgive when it just isn’t interesting any more.  Like an old movie that has been played over and over, it is time to put it back on your shelf and watch something new.  Recall number #59 by Mary Oliver.  Where she refers to sorrow, substitute bitterness and resentment. “When I was young, I was attracted to bitterness.  It seemed interesting.   It seemed an energy that would take me somewhere.  Now I am older, if not old, and I hate bitterness.  I see that it has no energy of its own, but uses mine, furtively.  I see that it is leaden, without breath, and repetitious, and unsolvable.”  People let go of old resentments by imagining them as snow flakes falling on the ocean, as sand castles on the shore, melting away with the incoming tide. People let go of bitterness and begin to forgive when they decide that they are tired of being controlled by other people and past events.  They want to stake out a claim on their own lives again.  They want to control how they feel, and what they think about it.  They decide that while they can’t change the past, they can change how they feel to day, and what they dwell on today. People decide to forgive because they are tired of seeing themselves as a person who is victimized, self-preoccupied, trapped, and embittered.  They prefer to see themselves as a person who is generous, tolerant, and nonjudgmental.  People who have forgiven those who betrayed them feel emotionally free, and they feel they have risen in stature as a human being. What method will you use to forgive those who hurt you, betrayed you, or disappointed you?

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