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Integrity and persistence will bring you through

blogbacklitmountainsI was sitting at the breakfast table with JoAnn this morning, wondering what I was going to write about in my blog today -- feeling a bit pensive, too, about some challenges that have come up for us in recent weeks -- when JoAnn got up from her chair and put her arms around me. "I love you Papa Bear," she said. It's a term of endearment that we often use. I call her Momma Bear -- she calls me Papa Bear.

It was just a sweet little gesture of affection and love, but it touched me. And it made me think of something. If this blog is to have any real meaning, it will be because to whatever extent is possible to me I offer a current of comfort and assurance - enjoyment, too, hopefully -- to those who visit.

Are you facing a challenge in your life? A difficult circumstance? A troubled feeling? A feeling of futility, perhaps, or anger, or hopelessness, or loneliness --"quiet desperation," as Thoreau once expressed it? Whatever may be going on in your life, I'm here to say that integrity and persistence will bring you through.

I see integrity as the willingness to listen, really listen, to what the voice of truth in my own heart is saying in the moment, and follow that impulse no matter where it leads. Mind you, I have to be still enough to hear. Does it want me to change my mind on something? I will change my mind. Does it want me to return, in a moment of mental or emotional turmoil, to stillness? I will return.

Persistence? Persistence, of course, is the gift, or quality, present in every one of us, which makes it possible for us to be true to ourselves and our dream -- to our own integrity. Of course, persistence can be used wrongly, like anything else. Hitler, I suppose, was a persistent fellow. But we will not be true to ourselves and our true mission in this life without it.

There is a beautiful quote from the British poet, William Wordsworth that goes like this:

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that arises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home."

Is fear a burden? Is financial distress a burden? Is illness a burden, whether physical or mental? No matter what challenges face us -- these two great friends, integrity and persistence, will bring you through

What is called for by spirit in the moment may be a very simple thing - like putting an arm around our spouse. But little steps add up. We find increasingly, in the words of St. Catherine of Siena, "every step on the path to Heaven is Heaven."

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ingrid June 10, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Hi Chris,

This is my first visit to your site and already I greatly appreciate your clear and simple lessons of heartfelt living. I just subscribed and look forward to sharing new posts.

Blessings, Ingrid

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Christopher Foster June 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

Hi Ingrid. Thank you so much for your very kind words. I have a ways to go, but I am learning about being “clear and simple” from my wife, JoAnn. Where I get a bit flowery sometimes in trying to articulate a thought — or make a request — she is utterly simple and down to earth. I don’t know if it’s because she was brought up in Kansas or not, but — it works. Makes a good complement!

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