Friday, April 02, 2004

What do you love?

A few weeks ago when I was home sick, I watched some TV. Mostly I don't watch TV cause I don't have very much time and the TV in my house doesn't have cable so there's not much choice - a few local stations, the GVSU station and the religious station. I don't miss it that much because I've been conditioned in the past not to need TV. I grew up not watching it because my family didn't have one (by choice) for more than 10 years. I'm quite good at entertaining myself without one. (as you may have gathered from previous posts) When I have cable TV I go nuts about it - actually have to make myself DO things during the commercials and set time limits for my inner girl so that she doesn't sit on the couch watching TV and eating popcorn her whole life.
I'll sit here and spout to you how pointless most TV is - how evil of a time sucker it is and how much the media reeks with agenda etc.... but sit me down in front of one and I'm wide eyed and mesmerized.
So when I'm sick I watch TV some - it takes no brains or energy and it just is comforting sometimes to visit my old pals on Days and see who's demon posessed these days.
Well I flipped through the channels this one day and there was an older woman on the public TV channel - can't remember her name or what book she wrote but she was talking about doing what you love. I'd always heard that concept - as in, you should do what you love for a living and then you'll be happy. But that formula doesn't work entirely for everyone and she is the first person I've ever heard preach it in a more practical way. Her thing was not to say go get a job being a basket weaver if that's what you love, but she was saying if that's what you love, and you're not doing it then you're cheating yourself and the rest of us too.
She went on to explain that the gifts that we have, the things we love to do not only bless us but bless others too. If you can't do what you love for a living for practical reasons, then at least work it in somewhere. If you're finding you have no time to do anything that you love then there's something unhealthy about that.
So I liked that and I've been chewing on it ever since. The question for some then is "what do I love?" Most people in my life ARE doing things that they love and it shows. Jane re-discovered that she loves to knit. She knit me the best scarf and it's kept me warm all winter and it has bling blings on it and I LOVE IT! And KA loves to have parties and she and Janet threw me the best shower EVER and loved it and I and everyone else there was blessed by it. And I have art that my friends have made and I have poems that people have written and have eaten wonderful dinners people have cooked and enjoyed it. The ripple effects can't even be quantified.
If we don't know what we love then we need to take time to find things we love, which can be difficult for some. What turns me on? What makes me excited? What gives me joy when I do it? It means re arranging life enough to go on the adventure of discovering what it is we love.
So I began thinking about what I love and what I'm gifted at and how can that bless others and I came up with a lot. Even Tennis. I'm not that GREAT at it but I LIKE it. If you think about it - it requires two at least. And aren't we blessed when we do something we love with someone else who loves it and can't do it alone?
I'm good at playing the flute. I have a degree in it, I've studied hard and can play quite well. I did make a living at it for a while but for various reasons decided my priorities were different and it seemed I didn't love it anymore when I had to do it for money. Other people get very concerned when they hear I'm not playing much these days. It's like the cardinal sin to get a music degree and then not play in an orchestra or something. But I don't love it like I did... or I love other things slightly more. I get off on teaching someone about music and seeing the light bulbs go on in their head and seeing the joy they get from making music themselves. So I will teach again. But full time? I'm not sure.
I also receive huge rewards from processing with people. Spiritually connecting, nurturing if necessary. Helping people in their search for God is much more exciting than just about anything else I know. "Seek and ye shall find" is something I really believe. It's so exciting to see how creative the spirit can be and to be part of that discovery process.
So if I love these things and I DON'T do them, effectively I'm holding back gifts from others who might be blessed by the very thing I love.
How just like God to wire us in that way so that everyone benefits when we do what we're good at and what we love? These things become more than hobbies or interests or something we should try to make money by doing. It's true that we all have to earn money to make our way. If we do what we love and make enough money at it then great - if we can't, (or don't choose to) then by fitting it in what we love and are gifted at (usually those two things go together) - wherever we can, we're potentially giving joy and love and blessings to God, to ourselves and to those around us.
And that's just downright groovy if you ask me.


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