21. ~SOUNDINGS~: PART 4 – The Interventions 21st and Final Essay – A Matter of Balance

by Frank L. Jordan III

21. A Matter of Balance

Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Pang

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A Matter of Balance

~  ~  ~

Hell is real.

At least hell on Earth is real.

     This I know.

The severe depression that hijacked my brain chemistry

     and laid siege to my mind

          caused me to plummet into a numbness and isolation

          that can only be equated to a living hell.

But there is a way back from hell,

     a way back to the land of hope,

          peace, and joy.

~

It takes time, treatment, and tenacity—

     the three T’s of recovery.

~

Few cures are instantaneous,

     and even if they appear to be so

          there are still lingering effects that take time

          to be healed in their entirety.

It’s important to accept that wholeness

     isn’t experienced overnight.

But what can happen overnight is a turning point

     a hitting bottom, a saving hand up.

~

Always remember,

     no matter how desperate things get,

          no matter how dire the situation,

          life can turn on a dime.

Never underestimate that possibility,

     and never doubt it.

~

It’s just a matter of seeking treatment—

     the second T of recovery

          and trusting that it will be found.

That treatment can be talk therapy, medication,

     group support, art therapy, exercise,

          nutrition, prayer, meditation—

          or any combination of these things.

The important thing is to find the right treatment,

     to trust that it will make things better,

          and to know that God is the healing source

          behind any truly effective therapy.

~

I know this from personal experience.

~

I’ve felt the anguish of severe depression,

     of tumbling into a full-fledged emotional breakdown,

          of lying in bed at night in a tortured state,

          with nothing but a Bible clutched to my chest

               to serve as an anchor for my sanity.

And then to awaken the next morning to a turning point,

     knowing that somewhere in the night,

          life had turned on a dime.

~

That morning was a new start,

     a slow climb upwards,

          but a climb that brought renewed feelings

          of hope, peace, and joy.

It was also a climb that required me

     to leave aspects of my old life behind.

~

I survived that breakdown, that depressive episode,

     but my marriage did not.

My relationship with my children flourished

     during that time of healing,

          but my relationship with their mother deteriorated,

          and ended in divorce.

Some things should come to an end,

     in order for better things to follow.

~

Now, years later, I am remarried to a wonderful woman,

     and I am thriving in a way I have never thrived before.

I have looked for signs of God’s approval of this,

     and have found them written on my very heart.

I thank God that I had the tenacity to seek out wholeness,

     and to pursue my heart’s desire.

~

For tenacity truly is the third requirement—

     the third T of recovery

          which helps one to recover

          from any ailment or circumstance.

~

We must never, never, never give up.

In the midst of despair,

     hold on to that glimmer of hope,

          and you will discover God, who is Pure Love,

          holding on to you.

~

The reality of the three T’s of recovery

    can also be applied to the ills of society as well.

But when addressing these ills,

     a special significance should be placed on the balance

          between time, treatment, and tenacity.

~

We should all want to promote the causes

     that God holds dear,

          that he, that she wants to bring about in the universe,

          as it progresses towards a more and more

               authentic manifestation of God.

Many of these causes can be summed up in four words—

     put living beings first.

And the higher the life form a living being is,

     the more of a priority he or she is given.

~

We should especially strive with God

     to eliminate all human suffering,

          whether that suffering is from hunger, war, disease,

          natural disasters, accidents, disabilities, addictions,

               evil, isolation, and the withholding of civil rights—

               as well as all forms of abuse.

The elimination of these things

     is God’s cherished endeavor,

          and it should be ours as well.

But the will and desire to eradicate them

     cannot be forced on a person,

          or on a society as a whole.

And that’s where the balance comes in.

~

True sustained progress for the good of all in this world

     is brought about through an organic balance

          between an effective treatment of a societal ill,

          the time it takes for the members of a society

               to recognize and address that ill,

               and the measure of tenacity those members use

                    in bringing about a solution to that ill.

This matter of balance in bringing about positive change

     can be observed throughout human history,

          and can be witnessed today.

It can especially be viewed in the realm of politics,

     because, let’s face it,

          it’s within the realm of politics

          that so many of the ills of society are addressed.

~

The political process should be a balanced endeavor

     between those who want freedoms, the means to live,

          and justice for everyone—as soon as possible—

          and those who oppose that the sharing

               of these things by the ones who hold them

               in abundance be made mandatory—

                    usually made so by taxes, regulations, or laws.

The political process should be a balanced undertaking

     between those who want a redistribution of wealth

          by the government through programs,

          and those who feel the acquisition of the means to live

               should be made primarily through private enterprise,

               personal ambition, competition, and self-reliance.

It is a process that should be a balanced effort

     between those who want to grant welfare to people in need

          through government entitlements,

          and those who feel that such assistance

               should be more a matter of personal responsibility—

               often in the form of private charities.

~

The endeavor for balanced progress—

     one that is of special interest to God—

          should be a cooperative effort

          between political groups,

               between political parties.

But in many cases it turns into an all-out political war.

~

Groups form into factions, ideologies become solidified,

     and very little gets done in the way of actual progress.

For cooperation with each other,

     like collaboration with God,

          is the way that progress moves forward in peace.

The roles of us and them

     have to be organically broken down

          to become simply we

          we the people,

               we the living beings of Earth,

               and hopefully someday, beyond our Earth.

~

One way of accomplishing this is to withdraw

     from the political process long enough

          to view the political spectrum from the outside.

Doing this can help one see

     that those embracing radical ideologies,

          persons or groups on the left as well as the right,

          are trying to enact their agendas—

               whether through change

               or the resistance to change—

                    in ways that are harmful to people,

                    lower life forms, places, or things.

The best way to bring about life-affirming progress

     is found closest to the center of the political spectrum—

          a moderate, cooperative, collaborative approach

          to lasting, effective change.

~

And the key to all positive, enduring change is balance.

~

There also must be a balance in life

     between the spiritual and the material.

Just as the spiritual cannot be neglected,

     the material aspects of our lives

          cannot be neglected either.

This was a common mistake made

     by some of our ancestors

          when they attempted to purge themselves

          of their desires for material things,

               even their sexual desires for another’s body—

               all in the name of God,

                    and God’s Kingdom.

~

But it didn’t work back then,

     and it doesn’t work to this day.

~

We are a combination of spirit and matter.

And we can never sacrifice one to the other,

     and remain on the road to happiness.

We are made to enjoy material things

     as well as spiritual realities.

But enjoying them doesn’t mean hoarding them,

     so we must cultivate a desire to share what we have—

          materially as well as spiritually—

          with those less fortunate than ourselves,

               and also with those as fortunate

               or even more fortunate than we are.

~

It is this giving attitude of heart and mind,

     an attitude after God’s own Heart and Mind,

          that best furthers the presence of God in the world,

          that best brings about the manifestation

               of  Pure Love, of Divine Wisdom,

               into the universe.

It is through my attempt to embrace

     this kind of giving attitude

          that I have eagerly and openly shared

          this philosophy of derivism with you,

               and have elaborated on the exalted way

               that I have knocked on God’s door,

                    sent out my questions and yearnings,

                    and reported back to you these impressions,

                         like echoes from the depths of time.

~

But these soundings are not the whole story.

~

They can’t be, for I am only one person,

     and there are over seven billion of us—

          all with our own questions and yearnings sent,

          all with our own impressions to receive.

~

So go for it!

~

Open your heart and mind a little more each day,

     listen to what God is whispering in your ear,

          and gaze upon what he, what she has to reveal to you.

~

And when you receive your own answers,

     like any receiver being tuned to an allusive frequency,

          pray that your heart and mind are pure

          in receiving them.

For when it comes to apprehending spiritual matters,

     two things ring true …

~

One’s soundings,

     anyone’s soundings,

          are only as sound as the heart and mind

          of the one sending them out—

               of the sounder.

~

And the soundest hearts and minds

     are the ones bathed in love.

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