At one time in my life, I thought it was marvelous that I could tell how hydrated I was by the color of my urine. (Asparagus and beets equally intrigue me.) And, I remember having thought, “What a wonderful world it would be if I had a type of indicator for my mood.”
When dogs wag their tails, we know they are happy.
People don’t have tails.
I would like to (re-)introduce the idea of a spiritual-religious barometer – a guideposts or sign along the road of life, that can let you know your mood.
Jane, my beloved, almost always has a pile of things she needs to return to the library or a store. The pile is often in the car or near a door of our house. And, it’s just that a pile. It’s an inanimate object. (The best spiritual-religious barometers are things, rather than people.)
I can have three different reactions to the pile.
- There are time that I see the pile of things to return and feel annoyed.
- There are times I don’t even see the pile.
- There are moments I see the pile and think, “I am married to the most darling person on the planet – she just has an inability to return things on time.”
And, that’s how it is spiritual-religious barometer. There is nothing different in the pile. The only variable is me. I use the pile to inform me about my life.
Another example I know about myself is architecture. There are days I see ugly buildings and I want to drive my car into them to rid anyone from having to see these eye-sores and then there are days I drive past and just chuckle to myself that anyone would have built such a thing.
Can you think of one or two in your life that serve as a spiritual-religious barometer of your mood? Some inanimate object that on some days annoys and on others delights.
I have found two other spiritual-religious barometers that are not outside of me, but, rather, are part of my life: sighing and shouting.
Sighing. I’ve found that make a loud sigh when I’m frustrated. (I don’t know how I got to be 40 something before I noticed this.) But, with some training, I’ve learned to hear those exaggerated exhales and realize that when I emit them I must be in a slightly bad place.
Shouting. In the next article, I will talk about how we get angry or yell at each other when our heart is not close to theirs. Why do we shout when the person is right next to us? Why do we raise our voice? The answer — and it’s a beautiful one — is we shout because our hearts are so far from each other that we try to make up for that distance. I’ve adapted this philosophy in parenting and in my classroom. When I find my voice tensing with anger, I sometimes can realize that my heart is not open enough. And, on some occasions, I am then able to then open my heart more, as opposed to escalating the violence or the anger.
This week’s #wisdom_biscuit,
find and learn from your spiritual-religious barometers