what? where am i?

good afternoon. I got myself stuck in Montreal for the day because the K-Car sprung an oil leak. I just called the garage and they say they fixed it, so I’ll be popping on down there as soon as my oatmeal‘s done. I’m at Nick and Claire’s place, and the garage isn’t all that far, just a bus trip away.

I think this is a serious incentive for me to look for a NEW CAR.

Man. when are all the crazy things going to stop happening? when I stop living a crazy life, I guess.

oh well… sometimes things just happen that way and you can’t do much about them, except learn from them so that they don’t happen the next time.

peace out!

busy day

hello. today’s a busy day! I’m working at home this morning, developing websites. (woohoo!) after lunch, I’ll head off to Thetford Mines for a meeting with the regional coordinator for the CAP program (which I’m working on); I might also stop by to say hello to some people in Thetford Mines, if there’s time. Later tonight I’ll be off to Montreal, as Ruhi book 6 starts this weekend!

wow. and I haven’t gone crazy yet? I must be adjusting to this lifestyle. as usual, I just have to be careful that I don’t suffer a nervous breakdown.

I think it helps to express the things I feel, you know. It lets off steam. If I didn’t admit it when I was feeling bad, I’d still feel bad. If I just put it out there in the open like that, then at least it’s out of me, it’s just this normal feeling that people feel and it’s not this thing I keep hidden inside me that stresses me out even though I don’t want to say it stresses me out. It’s a feeling, people feel them all the time.

sometimes you can’t help but feel sad. and what I need to know right now, what I need to learn and really accept, is that feeling sad is all right, and so is feeling angry, and feeling scared, and feeling annoyed, and feeling in love, and feeling whatever else. they’re just feelings. they pass, and feeling them and talking about them helps them pass easier.

not often you see a guy talking about these things huh?

oh by the way, in case you’re wondering, I’m downloading someone’s website with FTP, and it’s taking a while. that’s why I’m sitting here typing this. otherwise I would be working on something terribly important. I guess that’s a pretty poor excuse. oh well. I’d rejoin something terribly sarcastic but I am typing this for polite company 😉

ruhi and cabs

well that was a nice weekend. I took some time to hang around and get some work done on various personal projects of mine, sent email, called people up, and so on and so forth. it feels good to get stuff done. I took the liberty of calling up one of the prospective participants in the upcoming Ruhi book 2 circle in Victoriaville and working with her to establish a schedule for it. Also, I read through the introduction of the book — entitled “To the collaborators” — and took down notes on how to present particular sections, possible questions to ask, activities that could be included in the learning process, and so forth. There’s going to be an interesting few months coming up. The Bahá’ís of two communities — Victoriaville and Drummondville — have asked me to facilitate Ruhi book 2 (Arising to Serve), so I might have to make quite a few trips. I’m going to think about it and see how it’ll work logistically. I wonder if we could merge the two circles into one. We’ll see. Either way, it’s quite exciting to be giving this book; I’ve already taken it, um, three times, so it should be nice to offer it to others 😉

oh, and the cabs part? well, my car’s temporary license plate ran out,so I had to take a cab to work today. oh what fun it is to ride in a four-door Chevrolet.

rimshot

step forward

A while ago, in october, I posted here about a problem I have with bottling up my feelings. I’ve been thinking about that again and I feel like sharing some stuff here, just to get it out. When I had the accident with my car just before the new year, the only injury I had — apart from a cut lip — was to my pride. I was sitting high and mighty on my accident-free driving record for a long time, and all of a sudden, I got knocked off. And it wasn’t just my pride, either. To be blunt, I was disappointed because all of a sudden, I wasn’t perfect. Somehow I have this thing inside me that says, “Be perfect, or else you’re not worth anything.” I know that nobody can be perfect. Ask anyone and they’ll admit that no one can ever hope to be perfect. So how logical is it to be disappointed in oneself for not being perfect? And likewise, how logical is it to criticize someone else for not being perfect? I think the two go together, because I see both behaviours within me. I often have judgemental feelings about others (thankfully, I mostly avoid expressing them), and about myself. I judge everybody and hang them too. Even now, I’m judging myself. See how pervasive it is? Wow.

How do I accept my imperfections? How can it be okay to be any less than what you’re expected to be? And who’s expecting me to be anything anyway? I only have to report to God. And God loves me, no matter how imperfect I am. God loves addicts, robbers, traitors and killers, why not me? It doesn’t matter how far I’ve fallen short of His standard. He created me because He loves me and He will always love me. God loves all of humanity unconditionally. Why do I say this? Because that’s what He told me.

“O SON OF MAN! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words)

Even the paragraph I just wrote is an incomplete argument. But God loves me anyway. 😉 If you really want to know more, send me feedback and let’s talk.

This is the blessing that’s bestowed upon pioneers. As soon as one test is on the wane, a new one comes to take its place. In fact, the proof that God loves me is that He sends me so many tests. If He were to spare me all of the tests and tribulations, how would I ever get off my butt and become a better person?

But back to imperfections. I often do things that I feel ashamed of — ashamed because I know I could do better, but I’m afraid to take that step, I don’t want to step outside of what’s comfortable for me. I’m surrounded by people who have problems, who hurt, who need love, friendship, fellowship, and encouragement. And how many times have I taken the step outside my own “safety bubble”, held out my hand, introduced myself, and shown that sort of love and fellowship? Not many. I can’t think of one off the top of my head. I feel bad about that, because I know I could and should do better. I so desperately want to be that kind of person, and I get frustrated because I’m scared to take that step, I’m scared of being rejected, I’m scared of looking like a fool. That fear burns me like a deathless fire, and I know the only way out of it is to ask God for assistance and jump in. I get so frustrated, because I’m afraid. I can’t accept that fear. I hate it.

Sometimes I do insensitive things, too. Sometimes, whether I’m wrapped up in my own thoughts, nervous, pressed for time, distracted, or trying to handle too many things at one time, I do rude things, like show up late for a meeting or an appointment, forget to do things I said I would do, say something harsh or inappropriate, or whatever. And that’s not the worst of it. I feel like I’ve broken people’s trust lately. That bothers me, again, because I know I could do better. I know if I put my mind to it I could make the effort to be sensitive and respectful. I get frustrated because it seems that I only think of myself sometimes, that I’m self-centred. That hurts, to realize how self-centred you are. Sure, there are times when I’m not so self-centred. Still, when I am, it discourages me. I feel like I should be doing so much better, like this other person here or that person there. There are so many people, Bahá’ís or not, who are such shining examples of selflessness… so inspiring, and yet frustrating, because they’re at point A, I’m at point B, and I deeply want to be where they are.

sigh. I guess it’s like trying to get 250 HP out of a 108 HP engine. I’m not a fatalist, I’m an optimist. So I do believe that eventually, with effort, faith, reflection and prayer I can get there. There must be some way to accept myself as I am and still work towards something better. We must always keep in mind two things: We should never be satisfied with our present spiritual condition, and God has created us noble and worthy of His favour. It’s hard to explain. Even though we should never be satisfied with ourselves, we should remember that God has endowed us with nobility, and He loves us no matter where we’re at. And even though we need to accept and love ourselves, we should realize that there is always a higher station, a higher level of purity and awareness, to which we can climb.

more later, probably. I hope all of you are having a good week. Oh, and while you’re at it, why not check out the photo album I uploaded to care2? There’s photos of the Bahá’í winter school, my visit to Ottawa, and pictures of my newborn niece Zea 🙂 go see!

lunch break update

hey, I’m at work, it’s my lunch break. Work is going pretty well; I’ve been travelling this week. Wednesday I returned my courtesy car to Drummondville (and got a friend lost in the process… ooops), and stopped into Warwick to visit someone for work; Thursday I went to St-Ferdinand, again for work — really nice town, and a light snow was falling, which made driving difficult, but it was beautiful; and today I went to Norbertville, yet again for work. I’m seeing quite a bit of the countryside. I like it, too. I say a prayer in each place I go to. You never know what can happen. 🙂

Oh yes, and I’m borrowing a car from one of the local Baha’is; it’s a K-Car! Sure, it’s not as sexy as the Saturn, and it’s certainly not as fuel-efficient as the courtesy car (which was a Hyundai Accent), nor as safe as either of these. But it drives well, it’s not falling apart, and it’s certainly got a charm all its own. Still, I’ll probably keep looking for something else. I’ve been suggested the Toyota Echo as a good, economical car (money-wise and gas-wise). Anybody have any thoughts on that? I would be driving with it quite a bit.

Ah, the future. All we can ever do is guess. More later. Lunch break’s over.

planning and dreaming

well, I’m feeling a mite better this morning. today I will get picked up by Craig & Geneviève and mosey on over to Drummondville for the reflection meeting there, which goes on until 15h00, then I’ll get back home, make myself a nice bowl of lentil soup with carrots and celery, and scheme as to how I’m gonna get my courtesy car back to its owners. jolly!

for a guy who never plans anything, this is quite a lot of planning. man. I look in the mirror nowadays and say “who’s that?”

I had a dream this morning. It was a beautiful sunny day. I remember being on a big stage in an even bigger park — like one of those stages they erect for music festivals, you know? and everyone was busy setting up and going here and there and so forth and I was helping out to the best of my ability. then suddenly, everybody got off the stage and the bleachers filled up — the bleachers were to the left of the stage, too, not facing the stage or anything — and there was no other crowd anywhere else. I was left alone on stage with a microphone, so I took initiative and started to MC. the crowd cheered. but then I started getting all this feedback, because the speakers out on the high towers in the grass were pointing towards the stage. everyone winced and I tried my best to avoid creating feedback, but it didn’t work very well. eventually I woke up. and I had had a good sleep!