That Person

Where do I need to stay when everything in me wants to flee?
Where do I need to leave when everything in me wants to stay?

I’ve been thinking about these questions from last week’s post and Tara Brach’s invitation to be a receptive presence to another. I recalled a conversation I had that I really wanted to get out of. Someone was talking a lot, and I wasn’t interested in what they were saying. It takes effort to listen to that person sometimes.

I also remember two conversations in which I was the one who talked a lot about what my friends might not be interested in. As soon as this came to my awareness, I quickly apologized for talking too much. I didn’t want to be “that person.”

Then I saw it: two places where I need to stay. I need to stay with the person who requires effort to be with, and I need to risk being “that person.” If it’s good to stay present and listen to another, it’s good for others to stay present to me. As I write that, I feel myself tense up.

Now I see the places from which I need to flee: judgment and pride. I judge another as boring or irritating. I pride myself in being neither.

What if I let that go? What if it’s okay to be bored or irritated? What if I let those feelings be there and see what else emerges as I remain present to myself and to the other person?

Fred and I were camping with our grandkids on the weekend. By 8:30 it was dark and too early to go to bed, so I asked Hadrian if he wanted to go for a walk around the campground. I was pleased that he said yes, and then I realized why he agreed.

“In Minecraft . . . ,” he said, as we began. I know little about this video game, nor do I want to. We walk and he talks, and I can’t follow what he’s saying. But I love being with him. Maybe that’s how my friends feel about me too.

Be completely humble and gentle;
be patient, bearing with one another in love.
–Ephesians 4:2 (NIV)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

I’ve been a vegan for six months now and finding places to eat out has been a challenge. I’m grateful for restaurants that serve a couple of things I can eat, but I love it when I can choose from anything on the menu. This week I tried out Virtuous Pie. They make their own plant-based cheese and their pizza is delicious. I also like the V-Cafe in New West and the Chickpea in Vancouver. Hadrian’s new favourite is Sun Bo Kong in East Van. I love their tag line: “Eat right–for the love of our animal friends and our beautiful planet.” I’d add: and for Hadrian’s children and grandchildren.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Brown Deer under Tree by Photo by Devon Rockola from Pexels. CCO Creative Commons
Dog and Cat by 紫流. Used with permission.
Image of pizza from Virtuous Pie.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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