Summers’ Last Hope

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“Why is summer mist romantic and autumn mist just sad?” ~ Dodie Smith

Many of us resign ourselves that the unofficial last day of summer falls on Labor Day.  Autumn isn’t really here yet of course.  But schools have started, pools have closed, vacations and leisure days have drifted into memory.  To me this is a time-in-between.  It is a liminal experience like twilight.  If we only allow ourselves to appreciate the transition, there might appear a new appreciation of the warmth and lusciousness we experienced while anticipating the brisk splendor to come.

The days are getting shorter and the nights longer.  It is a kind of descending. I suppose that is why a dear friend asked the other day that I not write about the end of summer yet. He reminded me that the Autumnal Equinox was still many days away.  His love of summer is well known to all of us.  But with it comes a loathing of winter.  He dreads what is coming almost to the degree that he sometimes misses Fall all together. Perhaps it is the darkness he fears as if it were the cliff edge of destruction. It represents the losses and grief he has experienced in his life.  He has had enough of both.

I told my friend there is good reason to savor the transition time of what I call Summers’ Last Hopes.  Summer will always return.  And among its’ hopes is that by letting go of the adventures of this season, we will be able to celebrate the arrival of the next. By doing so we can acknowledge who we are, and embrace who we are becoming. We are not alone.  God is with us every step of the way.

Be my trusted guide, Lord
and walk with me from the summer into fall,
walk me through the season’s change
and the season changing in my soul.


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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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The Journey of Becoming

“Action is the abundance of the heart.” ~ Maurice Blondel

Our very existence is a testimony to transcendence.  We are becoming.  From our first moment of life to our last breath, we are becoming.  From our first skinned knee through health challenges of old age we are becoming.  From our first taste of chocolate to the savoring of fine wine, we are becoming.  We are finding our way home in all of our actions, all of our choices and all of our wanderings.

This life journey of becoming may seem to be filled with pitfalls and mistakes with only punctuations of brilliance and joy.  But in fact, it is a joyful and brilliant trip with some times of pain and difficulty.

The challenge of understanding this truth is offered up so that we might find the infinite in every moment.  Then we will not only endure and survive but will be enabled to rise above. This transcendence will remind us that what we do matters.

Our actions will come from an abundance of the heart. They will become more deliberate and considered while knee-jerk reactions fade away.  They will be directed by a power higher than ourselves.

Banner photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration, and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

Transforming Cheerfulness

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“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” ~ Helen Keller

People who have been transformed by some significant experience can be so inspiring.  I wonder why they can also annoy us. We have all been around someone who has made an alter call, been on a spiritual adventure or who has found new life in recovery from addiction.  We have encountered those ignited by a self-help course, heard a speech that was life changing or just returned from a retreat.

They want so much to tell us their story and bring us with them on the new-found path.  But they also can transmit a kind of overwhelming morality and seriousness which can make us want to get away from them as soon as possible.  We want what they have found but hesitate in the face of their cheerfulness.  Perhaps it’s because we are afraid to change.

It is easier to accept the challenge of change when we recognize it as a gift.  When received as a gift, change will necessarily lead us to cheerful action.  Helen Keller’s directive to ‘be of good cheer’ is incredibly important.  They call us to do good in the world with a cheerful spirit.

The indomitable Helen Keller.

Cheerful people leave a lasting impact. The joy, mirth and laughter that follow a cheerful soul bring gifts of optimism and a sort of sunrise to the spirit of others. We have a choice. We can be determined to be cheerful or we can be restrained, unremarkable and boring.

When we are unselfish, generous without expectation of paybacks, and welcoming of strangers, people will begin to believe in the truth of our own transformation.  When we treat those who can’t fight back with mercy, love those who don’t love us and forgive those who have harmed us, our new character will shine.

Something beautiful will happen.  The cheerful person with opened arms will soon find them filled with those who have been waiting for our embrace.

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Robert Kenneth Jones is an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse.

In a career spanning over four decades, his work helping people recover from childhood abuse and addiction has earned him the respect of his peers.

His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration and meditation.

Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin

Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast

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Guided by Another Easter

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Easter shakes us up.

It asks us to let go and let God. Easter reminds us that our lives are not our own. We clearly discover that we are not in charge. God seems to have another idea for us. It is an idea which has little to do with our own plans.

Couldn’t most all of us confirm that we never planned to be exactly who we are and where we are today?

Our passions and dreams are only diminished by the alluring attraction of wealth, power or even by the need for security. When we compromise, put off or set aside the fire in our bellies, the chances are good that it might be reduced to a flickering memory of what-might-have-been.

And so, we trudge ahead, doing what we are expected to do. The terrible consequence is a life lived only on the surface. We arrive at our destination and find there is nobody there to cheer for us. We take nothing with us and finish as a weary traveler. Then we simply disappear into the background.

This is God’s better idea. As Gods exceptional and beloved child, each of us is given special gifts and special powers unique unto ourselves. Every gift and power ignite that little fire which burns as our passion. When we pay attention to this fire it becomes bliss. We are directed by its light through darkness, rain and life storms.

When true to our course, following our bliss and honoring God’s gifts we become enabled to live fully. We become instruments of God’s dream. We arrive at our destination in the embrace of a loving community. We bring all of the accumulated love with us. We are never forgotten.

Easter is a time for renewal and new beginnings. We have a chance to affirm our gifts and to re-ignite our special powers. Easter sets us free. Easter renews us. Easter brings us home.

“When I look through God’s eyes at my lost self and discover God’s joy at my coming home, then my life may become less anguished and more trusting.” ~ Henri Nouwen

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About the Author
In a career spanning over four decades, Robert Kenneth Jones has been an innovator in the treatment of addiction and childhood abuse. His blog, An Elephant for Breakfast, testifies to the power of the human spirit to overcome the worst of life’s difficulties. We encourage you to visit and share this rich source of healing, inspiration, and meditation.

Links
Contact Bob Jones on Linkedin
Bob Jones’ blog An Elephant for Breakfast