glass of water

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Everyone has heard the question, “Is the glass half-full or half-empty?” Common wisdom claims those who answer “half-full” are optimists and those who answer “half-empty” are pessimists. Perhaps the truth is that the glass is actually both half-full and half-empty.  The idea for today’s blog came to me as I sat waiting for church to start this morning. In our adult formation class before church we had just studied several chapters in Chittister’s (1992), The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century.  One paragraph kept running through my mind (p. 113) in which Chittister wrote about rabbis teaching  that we should all “have two pockets….In one should be the message, “I am dust and ashes,” and in the other we should have written, “For me the universe was made.'”

Again, here is something that says to me, “Stop. Think. You are not one or the other. You are both.” In recovery terms it means that we are constantly trying to recognize when our ego-self gets in the way of our letting God’s Will run our lives so that we can stay in recovery and grow spiritually. We are constantly challenged to let go of our self-centered thinking and acting. On the other hand, we are also challenged to learn to forgive ourselves and to love ourselves.  We need those “two pockets” the rabbis taught about so we can remember we are  “dust and ashes” as well as recipients of the universe.

Rohr (2009, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, p.34) wrote that the” Dalai Lama says …,’A change of heart is always a change of mind.’ You could say the reverse as well—a change of mind is also a change of heart. Eventually they both must change for us to see properly.” In recovery we need to change our mind and our hearts to see that we are both “full and empty”— emptying  our self-will  and filling with God’s grace and love.  It is not until we “get over ourselves” that we can  comprehend God’s grace and love and  accept it. For me, this is the best way to be both “half-empty” and “half-full.”

Please comment  and share your thoughts about being  both full and empty at the same time. May God bless and keep you.