5.09.2012

The Art of Passionately Lightening Up

This month's Synchroblog topic is Lighten Up: The Art of Laughter, Joy, and Letting Go, and it hits home with me! I love that the Synchroblog coordinators chose the phrase "the art of" as part of their title, because I think that is exactly what is called for here: an artistic approach!

Humor and entertainment, or alcohol, or time with friends, or any of the other ways we each choose to "lighten up" can be healthy or can be a distraction from doing the things we each need to do and from facing the things we each need to face in order to have a satisfying life. "Healthy" ways of lightening up help us to more effectively see the big picture and to make the big and little choices we each need to make to pursue what we will each wish we had pursued when we get to the end of our lives. "Unhealthy" ways of lightening up cause us to forget (or never see to begin with) the way things really are and what we really want, and cause us to passively choose to neglect the things we could do to pursue the life we each really want. I will leave the negative side of that for a post that is supposed to be serious, and focus the rest of this post on how wonderful life can be if we lighten up without ignoring the things that matter!

When we fall newly in love, life is instantly brighter. The visions we had for our future and the ways we wanted to see ourselves are clearer and we have huge hope of them being realized fully. Then, as we move deeper into intimacy and make our commitments and consummate our relationship, we learn the art of lightening up in the clearest instance of any of our lives: we learn how to be lovers that don't pursue just our own orgasm, but pursue mutual orgasm. And there is no formula for that! It is an art of intensity where the goal is most easily achieved when we are fully present and fully alive but not obsessively focused on either lover's actual climax.

Life is like THAT. We are most full of joy and most fulfilled and most useful when we are focused outside of ourselves and not quite on those goals, and when we are fully present in the moment.

So there is no formula to living well! It is indeed an ART. But as we live it out, we learn how to be passionate, and how to lighten up. We learn how to know what is true and right and to live them out fully, and we DO lighten up as we do that, because we learn that it is not all about me and it is not all about my goals, and it is not even all about my experience of life.

Real joy is not something I pursue head-on, but is something that catches me unaware when I was practicing the art of living as best as I could.

Idolatry is something that calls me to focus on an end I am determined to achieve, through the means that I inwardly believe will get me to that end.

God is the One Who calls me to RIDE.

And I cannot lighten up, because I am too intense to do that. But God teases me and cajoles me into seeing reality as God sees it and as God wants me to see it, and then God surprises me with my own being's response to that reality!

Reality is GOOD, and I was made to climax regularly!

Leaving aside the metaphor of God as the Lover (which I first saw in scripture, with a whole book of the Bible dedicated to the metaphor, by the way!) and life as love-making, our faith is meant to be experienced in the reality of the moment, and not as a cocoon to protect us from real life.  God wants to give us each the tools to enjoy fully the experience of REALITY as we walk it out in each moment, and to train us to be adults who walk it out in intimate communication with the Triune God.  God's own presence to us and for us and through us is the sweetest and deepest experience of life, and -- for many of those who practice it for years -- becomes a much richer and more ecstatic experience than anything merely sexual could ever be.  The metaphor breaks down as inadequate, not as profane nor as exaggeration!

So -- if you will relax into the passionate pursuit of the things that really matter, on the track of the real world you live in, with the Triune God as your perfect coach -- you WILL lighten up, and you will speed up, and you will slow down, and you will experience fully the life YOU were made to experience!

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Here’s the link list for this month’s synchroblog.  Have fun reading through the list!

1 Comments:

At Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 8:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger Liz said...

Maria - these are very wise words! thanks so much for sharing. You're perspective is always helpful in giving me new insight! I especially loved this: "Real joy is not something I pursue head-on, but is something that catches me unaware when I am practicing the art of living as best as I can."

 

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