Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blurb from Still Point

I found the following on the web site of the Still Point Retreat Center:
Tim Thomas, played by actor Will Smith in the movie Seven Pounds, is a grief-stricken, guilt-driven young man who is unable to forgive himself for his part in the death of 7 innocent people, one of whom was his beloved wife. Tim decides to atone for what to him is an insurmountable burden of sorrow and guilt. He looks for 7 people whose lives will be radically changed for the better by giving parts of himself to them. It is imperative to Tim, however, that these recipients be truly deserving of his precious gifts. We also give bits of ourselves away. All too often we don’t really notice the quality of the people to whom we give because we don’t really know our own worth. Like Tim, we feel that we are less, that we deserve less and so, we settle for less. Each of us is unique and incredibly beautiful deep within. Imagine if we valued ourselves and gave of ourselves knowing the precious gifts that we are! The suffering brought on by settling for less would end. We would begin to draw on inner strength and wisdom in navigating relationships that are mutually enriching and beneficial. Guilt and grief, self-doubt and loathing are difficult feelings to ‘be’ with. Yet we can learn to be OK with ourselves just as we are and release the images of who and what we ‘should’ be that often drive us. We can learn to value ourselves and release judgment. Unlike Tim, let’s opt for life-affirming actions beginning with forgiving and honoring ourselves in all our uniqueness and humanness. We are incredible gifts to the world! Let’s hope we each come to realize our true beauty and worth and enter relationships with that awareness. There are only winners in such a scenario.
Are they implying that we too should only share our gifts with people who are worthy? The idea resonates with me. I feel that I have not been discerning enough in the past about to whom I offer friendship. And yet it is also not consistent with my values, the values I saw expressed in Blood Brothers, the values that say we must love everyone.

This has long been a dilemma for me. I believe in the Quaker principle of that of God in everyone, and yet some people seem to me to be much higher quality people than others. There are some people I look to as role models, and some I definitely would not consider role models, except maybe as a model of what not to be.

The quote resonates with me both because of the idea of discerning quality in other people, and because of the idea of coming to see how precious one's own gifts are. At this time of my life, I feel I'm in a sort of limbo -- I am impaired by lack of health, I don't like my job, I don't live near my family. This situation has made me feel disconnected from my sense of the value of what I have to offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment