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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 8/12/2012 -- Falling Upward  (Read 2594 times)
Alan
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« on: August 12, 2012, 04:40:12 AM »

August 12, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
    The greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally
    unsolvable. They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
        ~ Carl Jung

Whether we find our True Self depends in large part on the moments of
time we are each allotted, and the moments of freedom that we each
receive and choose during that time. Life is indeed “momentous,”
created by accumulated moments in which the deeper “I” is slowly
revealed, if we are ready to see it. Holding our inner blueprint, which
is a good description of our soul, and returning it humbly to the world
and to God by love and service is indeed of ultimate concern.

Each thing and every person must act out its nature fully, at whatever
cost. It is our life’s purpose, and the deepest meaning of “natural
law.” We are here to give back fully and freely what was first given
to us—but now writ personally—by us! It is probably the most
courageous and free act we will ever perform—and it takes both halves
of our life to do it fully! The first half of life is discovering the
script, and the second half is actually writing it and owning it.


Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 10:34:06 AM »

August 13, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
The task of the first half of life is to create a proper container for
one’s life and to answer the first essential questions: “What makes
me significant?”, “How can I support myself?”, and “Who will go
with me?” As Mary Oliver puts it, “. . . what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” (“The Summer Day”). The
container is not an end in itself, but exists for the sake of your
deeper and fullest life, which you largely do not know about yourself!
Far too many people just keep doing repair work on the container itself
and never “throw their nets into the deep” (John 21:6 [1]) to bring in
the huge catch that awaits them.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21:6&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Problematically, the first task invests so much of our blood, sweat,
eggs and sperm, tears and years that we often cannot imagine there is a
second task, or that anything more could be expected of us. “The old
wineskins are good enough” (Luke 5:39 [2]), we say, even though according
to Jesus they often cannot hold the new wine. According to Jesus, if we
do not get some new wineskins, “the wine and the wineskins will both
be lost” (Luke 5:37 [3]).

Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 09:16:20 AM »

August 14, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
In order to construct our life’s container we all need some help from
“the perennial tradition” that has held up over time. We cannot each
start at zero, entirely on our own. Life is far too short, and there are
plenty of mistakes we do not need to make—and some that we need to
make. We are parts of social and family ecosystems that are rightly
structured to keep us from falling, but also, more importantly, to show
us how to fall and also how to learn from that very falling.

We are not helping our children by always preventing them from what
might be necessary falling, because we learn how to recover from falling
by falling! It is precisely by falling off the bike many times that you
eventually learn what the balance feels like. Those who have never
allowed themselves to fall are actually off balance, while not realizing
it at all. That is why they are so hard to live with. Please think about
that for a while.

Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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ncjohn
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 06:04:54 PM »

We are not helping our children by always preventing them from what
might be necessary falling, because we learn how to recover from falling
by falling!


It's funny because I knew this very well when my children were young and I could carefully allow them to make mistakes that wouldn't seriously injure them. As adults now though, I have had to sit back and watch a very difficult one with very far-reaching ramifications for an entire extended family, knowing that I can't short-circuit the process but that we're all going to endure great pain because of it. However much I may know I have to do so it is very hard to stay back and bite my tongue, especially knowing that it wouldn't make any further difference.  Cry
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 05:51:21 AM »

August 15, 2007


Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
When we are not able to do the task of the first half of life well, we
go back and try to do it again—and then often overdo it! This pattern
is usually an inconsistent mix of old-fashioned styles and symbols with
very contemporary ideologies: of consumerism, technology, militarism,
and individualism. These tend to be our blind spots, which make us not
true conservatives at all. In fact, today’s neoconservatives are
usually intense devotees of modern progress and upward mobility in the
system.

Most of us cannot go back on this old path, not because it was bad, but
precisely because we already did it, and learned from it. Unfortunately,
we have an entire generation of educators, bishops, and political
leaders who are still building their personal towers of success, and
therefore have little ability to elder the young or challenge the
beginners. They are still beginners themselves. This does not bode well
for the future of any church or society.

Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 09:30:21 AM »

We are not helping our children by always preventing them from what
might be necessary falling, because we learn how to recover from falling
by falling!


It's funny because I knew this very well when my children were young and I could carefully allow them to make mistakes that wouldn't seriously injure them. As adults now though, I have had to sit back and watch a very difficult one with very far-reaching ramifications for an entire extended family, knowing that I can't short-circuit the process but that we're all going to endure great pain because of it. However much I may know I have to do so it is very hard to stay back and bite my tongue, especially knowing that it wouldn't make any further difference.  Cry

My strategy of biting tongue seldom worked because the tongue was more powerful than the muscles that shut my mouth.  The only way I became socially acceptable, and I've been working on it my whole life and just now starting to feel it, is to find a way to relieve the pressure from the tongue.  I found that my mystical tongue is like the Bible says, but a rudder ... but is tied to every other muscle and receptor in the body by the central nervous system.  So the tongue does respond to my conscious command, but it gets a certain signal-to-noise ratio compared to what my subconscious would like to have being stated at that exact moment, which may be immediately following some sort of surprising, unexpected, or undesired, or otherwise stressful input the nervous system receives through its faculty members.

Moreover, the Bible says the tongue can be tamed by no man.  So I was screwed, unless I could become perfect, right?

Well, right?  Hmmm.... engineer in me says, "what's stopping me from being a better actor/liar/presenter?"

So the trick became not to train the tongue or the thought process (which was never broken in my case I don't believe -- I never gave up even in most confusing and anxious circumstances) but the behavior of the very substrate on which the subconscious itself was formed.  Prefoundation kind of stuff.  So I invented the mental technology given various coaches and very much recently our discussions about Richard, in order to plant and grow good seeds in the subconscious to the fact that they reach critical mass.  When that happens, gravity reverses.  The gravest of situations become curiosities.  The most nothing of things become all.  Social situations among people at least trying to respect each other, become auto-tuning.  That's when the fun begins.

This nerd who used to get punched in the arm every day in the gym class locker room by druggy Marty Pitts with his druggy friend at his side watching, Frank Miller, as they tried unsuccessfully to get me to cry, has dared to dream of and even taste of the antidote for anti-social nerdiness.  Tormented but would not cry.  Funny thing, technology.  Marty's dead now, and Frank is my facebook friend who jumps up and lectures about Jesus at random times in response to my posts. LOL on both counts!  I love responding to Frank's blather instead of defending against him like some do, I ask him questions to explain himself deeper ... and sometimes turns out that old fool actually has some insightful things to say.  Love my enemies, indeed!  Turning the other cheek?  Now he can give me his two cents anytime, right there in front of my family and friends!!!  ROFLMAO     .... he who laughs last didn't get the joke.

No, I'm not manic but with all the ellipses I'm reminding myself of "the" Barbara-Therese.  Sigh.  We've had some great posters here!

Meme:  Alan Parson's Project, I Robot album ... Don't Let it Show:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mY-zdEJkNU

Alan
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 10:43:54 AM »


Most of us cannot go back on this old path, not because it was bad, but
precisely because we already did it, and learned from it.


I don't know that I would go so far as to say "most". In my experience the "most" includes the small minority who are really stuck in that whole idolatry of "traditionalism" along with the overwhelming majority who seem to just occupy space at church from either cultural habits or to comply with their "Sunday obligation" but who have no real engagement of any type. I've actually met precious few who have actually learned and acted from what they learned in that "first half of life" experience.

Quote

Unfortunately, we have an entire generation of educators, bishops, and political
leaders who are still building their personal towers of success, and
therefore have little ability to elder the young or challenge the
beginners. They are still beginners themselves. This does not bode well
for the future of any church or society.


Amen
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2012, 06:15:50 AM »

August 16, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
Invariably when something upsets you, and you have a strong emotional
reaction out of proportion to the moment, your shadow self has just been
exposed. Watch for any overreactions or over-denials. When you notice
them, notice also that the cock has just crowed (Mark 14:72 [1])! The reason
that a mature or saintly person can be so peaceful, so accepting of self
and others, is that there is not much hidden shadow left. (There is
always and forever a little more. No exceptions. Shadow work never
stops.)

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+14:72&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

One of the great surprises of the two halves of life is that humans come
to full consciousness precisely by shadowboxing, facing their own
mistakes and failings. People who have had no inner struggles are
invariably both superficial and uninteresting. We tend to endure them
more than communicate with them, because they have little to
communicate. Shadow work is almost another name for falling upward. Lady
Julian of Norwich put it best of all: “First there is the fall, and
then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God!” I am
celebrating that mercy on the 50th anniversary of my first vows today. I
have surely fallen many times and my only real recovery has come from
God's unconditional acceptance and forgiveness—and from like-hearted
friends, like you!

Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2012, 09:02:51 AM »

I suppose you guys have noticed that the "mixture of good and bad" thread is shadow work.  However, I tend to believe that shadow work will not really erase our rulebook nor the emotional reactions we have to things.  Instead, perhaps there is a maturity level of knowing that when we do react, that we will forgive, we will get over it, and that the reaction is a temporary state.  We've lived the cycle enough times to know "this too will pass".  What I am saying is that we can truly reconcile with ourselves and with everyone who ever hurt us, at least do so internally, but the rulebook doesn't go away.  The rulebook is an artifact, and still has a function.

For example, on the "mixture" thread, I knew as soon as I wrote "Rader is evil" that I was living an illusion.  It was Anthony De Mello who wrote "If you have any negative feelings toward anyone, you are living in an illusion".  I wrote down what I honestly saw as truth for the moment.  I was blind to Rader's humanity, and I am still working on it.
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 09:35:14 AM »

I suppose you guys have noticed that the "mixture of good and bad" thread is shadow work.  However, I tend to believe that shadow work will not really erase our rulebook nor the emotional reactions we have to things.  Instead, perhaps there is a maturity level of knowing that when we do react, that we will forgive, we will get over it, and that the reaction is a temporary state.  We've lived the cycle enough times to know "this too will pass".  What I am saying is that we can truly reconcile with ourselves and with everyone who ever hurt us, at least do so internally, but the rulebook doesn't go away.  The rulebook is an artifact, and still has a function.

The shadow work still continues, but it takes on a form so profound and sublime that it no longer feels like drudgery, clean-up, and fixing, but instead enthusiasm, living, and auto-healing.

But ....      it IS possible to get enough of the shadow work done that for all conscious intents and purposes the shadow issues never again take control of autonomic reactions in such as way as to give a "tell" about our reaction.

Please let me plant a seed in your mind.  Do NOT sell yourself, or the power of faith, short.  It's almost as if you are obsessed with reminding yourself and repeating to me that you are helpless forever to these impulses that will never go away.  Well, that's just plain Low Expectations.  One that permeates society, but still a glass ceiling.  We would have no true saints or mystics if human beings were inherently limited in the way Jesus saw to it that we weren't.

Look, I know what I'm talking about because unlike every actually "productive person" I have had no basic responsibilities other than working on and experiencing my spiritual journey.  I've looked at all forms of sanity and craziness... hallucinations on both my part and that of others ... training kids to handle their mother with dignity when she is severely psychotic and I'm not there.  Listened to scientists, doctors, philosophers, preachers and teachers of all colors and models.  Just yesterday I estimated that since July 11, 2001, the day I consider the official beginning of my conscious spiritual journey, I have focused over 50,000 hours dedicated to my spiritual, emotional, mental, and last but very importantly, social well being.  So it isn't that I just happened to get lucky and God waved a magic wand and said, "you are healed."  On the contrary, it was more like on June 8, 2001 He said, "you will never heal unless I first shatter you to unrecognizable quantum bits ... that will give you maximum flexibility when you rebuild," so Father Carr kicked off my Dark Night process, and history took its course.  If you want patience, God will give you trials.  If you want sanity, God will give you insanity.  It is in overcoming these obstacles that we face them -- our shadow work -- not in denying them or resigning ourselves to them.  If you want freedom from the burden of judgment, God will give you plenty of situations that will challenge your ability not to judge them.

I say this not to brag or to be defensive, but to be offensive to that big obstacle you keep throwing up that essentially says, "I will never truly experience [the gift of His ultimate] peace because at any time my serenity might be perturbed by an autonomic nervous system reaction to something I can't help but judge or condemn -- always been that way, always will be."  From my view, this is a prison of your own mind.  At first I was going to say "of your own making" but really it's the false self that has been socialized in an unfortunate way like 99% of us are.  Sure, many great people go to their death believing they will never taste what I'm tasting right now and trying to tell you about.  But Jesus said that few will come in the narrow gate.  Is it too hard to believe that this person, me, who spent 50,000 hours on spiritual studies and exercises, after a lucrative business career, and much activity in politics both civil and in Church, has been blessed?  Or to have won the spiritual lottery -- if it's just a matter of luck?  Somebody has to win, eh?  Why not me?  I'm not afraid to be the first one to raise my hand, when I know I have an answer.

Maybe you could consider this limitation on your peace as your "wall."  I used to play the song "The Wall" by Kansas every time I was about to go to an exam.  Here is a link to a version:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBMsulQMqm8


Christ says "do not judge," but alas that is impossible so we say, "well nobody's perfect I'm just glad God loves me."  Why did Jesus say that?  So we could give Him a litany of excuses not to live up to it?  He said that, it seems to me, to keep us from giving up while still short of a serious goal.  We want peace; we want to no judge -- but we still do.  If we say, "well I have no more energy to climb the mountain anymore so I'm happy with how I am now," then I am perfectly fine with that.  But if you say, "because I'm a human being this is the end of the line.  Above this is only for deity and certain select saints," then we have failed to allow Jesus's true majesty into our hearts.

Alan
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 07:03:35 AM »

August 17, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
In the second half of the spiritual life, you are not making choices as
much as you are being guided, taught, and led—which leads to
“choiceless choices”: these are the things you cannot not do because
of what you have become; things you do not need to do because they are
just not yours to do; and things you absolutely must do because they are
your destiny and your deepest desire. Your driving motives are no longer
money, success, or the approval of others. You have found your sacred
dance.

Now your only specialness is in being absolutely ordinary and even
“choiceless,” beyond the strong opinions, needs, preferences, and
demands of your first half of life. You do not need your “visions”
anymore; you are happily participating in God’s vision for you. . . .
Our dreams of our early years have morphed into Someone Else’s dream
for us.


Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 07:05:38 AM »

August 17, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
In the second half of the spiritual life, you are not making choices as
much as you are being guided, taught, and led—which leads to
“choiceless choices”: these are the things you cannot not do because
of what you have become; things you do not need to do because they are
just not yours to do; and things you absolutely must do because they are
your destiny and your deepest desire. Your driving motives are no longer
money, success, or the approval of others. You have found your sacred
dance.

Now your only specialness is in being absolutely ordinary and even
“choiceless,” beyond the strong opinions, needs, preferences, and
demands of your first half of life. You do not need your “visions”
anymore; you are happily participating in God’s vision for you. . . .
Our dreams of our early years have morphed into Someone Else’s dream
for us.


Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!

 Smiley  Smiley  Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 05:14:21 AM »

August 18, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

FALLING UPWARD

   
Remember this: no one can keep you from the second half of life except
yourself. Nothing can inhibit your second journey except your own lack
of courage, patience, and imagination. Your second journey is all yours
to walk or to avoid. My conviction is that some falling apart of the
first journey is necessary for this to happen, so do not waste a moment
of time lamenting poor parenting, lost jobs, failed relationships,
physical handicaps, gender identity, economic poverty, or even the
tragedy of any kind of abuse. Pain is part of the deal. If you don’t
walk into the second half of your own life, it is you who do not want
it. God will always give you exactly what you truly want and desire. So
make sure you desire, desire deeply, desire yourself, desire God, and
desire everything good, true, and beautiful.

Prayer:
God’s grace is sufficient for the journey!
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2012, 12:21:39 PM »


I say this not to brag or to be defensive, but to be offensive to that big obstacle you keep throwing up that essentially says, "I will never truly experience [the gift of His ultimate] peace because at any time my serenity might be perturbed by an autonomic nervous system reaction to something I can't help but judge or condemn -- always been that way, always will be."  From my view, this is a prison of your own mind.  At first I was going to say "of your own making" but really it's the false self that has been socialized in an unfortunate way like 99% of us are.  Sure, many great people go to their death believing they will never taste what I'm tasting right now and trying to tell you about.  But Jesus said that few will come in the narrow gate.  Is it too hard to believe that this person, me, who spent 50,000 hours on spiritual studies and exercises, after a lucrative business career, and much activity in politics both civil and in Church, has been blessed?  Or to have won the spiritual lottery -- if it's just a matter of luck?  Somebody has to win, eh?  Why not me?  I'm not afraid to be the first one to raise my hand, when I know I have an answer.

I think we can be at peace with occasional lacks of peace.  And perhaps pacifism is not always a greater good anyway.  Look at Jesus in the temple with the money-changers.  Righteous blasting.  It serves a purpose.  Sure, he could have handled it differently, but that afterwards I think he was at peace with his outrage and violence.   

We get caught up in emotion, and sometimes we make really ignorant choices.  If you have found a way to bypass this, that is fantastic.  Is it a matter of self-discipline?  Do you never feel negatively toward anyone?

Quote
Christ says "do not judge," but alas that is impossible so we say, "well nobody's perfect I'm just glad God loves me."  Why did Jesus say that?  So we could give Him a litany of excuses not to live up to it?  He said that, it seems to me, to keep us from giving up while still short of a serious goal.  We want peace; we want to no judge -- but we still do.  If we say, "well I have no more energy to climb the mountain anymore so I'm happy with how I am now," then I am perfectly fine with that.  But if you say, "because I'm a human being this is the end of the line.  Above this is only for deity and certain select saints," then we have failed to allow Jesus's true majesty into our hearts.

Jesus judged, but he said not to judge.  That doesn't mean that we can't still uphold nonjudgment as an ideal, and even more important, to refrain from judging once we have realized we have done so.  Jesus judged (words with condemnation and negative emotion) pharisees, the guys in the temple, and plenty of others.  I think he forgave them later.

Were there saints or mystics who grew to a point that they never judged, never condemned, never felt negatively about themselves or others?  Not that I know of.  Please enlighten me. 

I think the bottom line, the Most Important Thing on the issue, is to remember to forgive.  In this, we are like-minded, and I really appreciate your emphasis on this.  Thanks Alan!

Don't ever think for a moment that I find any lack of depth in your wisdom.  You have worked hard.  Thanks for letting me walk with you.
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 01:06:50 PM »

I think we can be at peace with occasional lacks of peace.  And perhaps pacifism is not always a greater good anyway.  Look at Jesus in the temple with the money-changers.  Righteous blasting.  It serves a purpose.  Sure, he could have handled it differently, but that afterwards I think he was at peace with his outrage and violence.    

We get caught up in emotion, and sometimes we make really ignorant choices.  If you have found a way to bypass this, that is fantastic.  Is it a matter of self-discipline?  Do you never feel negatively toward anyone?

Yes, the term "pacifism" suggests to me that we may still be not quite in sync, but I think we're converging a bit.

There were some things that ticked Jesus off, and He wasn't ashamed to show it.  So either getting angry isn't a sin, or Jesus is a sinner.  Or, maybe Jesus wasn't feeling angry in the sense that it causes him to tense his muscles or whatever and feel like we do.  Maybe he was simply expressing a point in a way that he thought the people could understand.  Plus I think He wanted to document for all generations that anger and reacting in an angry fashion are not sinful.

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Jesus judged, but he said not to judge.  That doesn't mean that we can't still uphold nonjudgment as an ideal, and even more important, to refrain from judging once we have realized we have done so.  Jesus judged (words with condemnation and negative emotion) pharisees, the guys in the temple, and plenty of others.  I think he forgave them later.

I do not disagree.  I'm convinced when Jesus said, "do not judge," it was a mental exercise He wanted His people to undertake.  They needed to be able to face fantastic and sometimes horrible things and not lose their sh*t, so to speak.  It was like a mother animal teaching her children how to stalk.  Be cool, strike only when you can see the whites of their eyes.  So He told them these impossible things; these contradictions.  He wanted them to expand their minds, aka prepare new wineskins, for the truths that would follow once they are born of the spirit -- usually at much labor pain lasting as long as a lifetime.  So he would overstress their imaginations.

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Were there saints or mystics who grew to a point that they never judged, never condemned, never felt negatively about themselves or others?  Not that I know of.  Please enlighten me.  

I think the bottom line, the Most Important Thing on the issue, is to remember to forgive.  In this, we are like-minded, and I really appreciate your emphasis on this.  Thanks Alan!

Don't ever think for a moment that I find any lack of depth in your wisdom.  You have worked hard.  Thanks for letting me walk with you.

Thank you as well.  It's a bit of an exercise because I'm trying to open up.  I've been able to open up "over there" but "they" are more predictable than you.  Could this mean you are exercising independent thought and that's why it's taking me a while to get used to it?

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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