There are questions in my mind, questions that echo now that I’ve watched the two versions of “Alice in Wonderland.” I have to admit that I prefer the newer Johnny Depp version with the White Queen and the enormous head of the Red Queen. Every time we play croquet in our backyard, it eventually turns into a red queen match with everyone hitting at once and racing around laughing. Last time, Brian hit my final shot in to beat the baby for second place. It’s a ruthless thing, croquet. The only more competitive thing in this house is…you’ve got it, Monopoly. The daughter and I cheat. We have to. Brian is brutal in rent property. Get everyone together for a game, and my goodness the laughter echoes for miles. It’s nearly time for another family dinner night. But, I digress. Here is the music we’re listening to at the moment: Lee Dewyze and Crystal Bowersox Falling slowly (Studio Version)
My questions then, based on Alice and her infernal lack of being “settled at home…..”
Are you bigger or smaller than you need to be? (Inference to fit into your reality?)
Do you have a bead on what you are inside as well as how you portray yourself?
I wonder, if the internal you came out for a day…what would you see differently?
Are you inside who you appear to be to the world? Why or why not?
Are you happy?
Are you enjoying this day?
Would you choose to go down the rabbit hole and learn about a whole new you?
The internal me is still a teenager in many ways, still seeking life as a future tense. In love with life down the rabbit hole, I am afraid, steeped in expectation and intensity that just doesn’t give up. One of the things that I see in people I talk with is a marked “one of these days” or future tense to when they reach life satisfaction. When the kids grow up, when I am out of debt, when vacation time comes. I am learning to live in the moment instead of the plan, and it’s helped me stay a little more grounded in being happy now, blended with the possibility of what is today and tomorrow, the value of learning from and letting go of yesterday.
I like my version of the world more than most. I sit here in my office with all it’s newness of layout and accoutrements, watching Squirrel at his feeder having chased Girl away ~ she in turn scattered the cardinal family out of the hanging bird feeder into the surrounding trees. Six ravens are strutting around the middle yard, picking worms or something out of the newly delivered compost for the yard work this weekend. A bunny is slowly hopping toward the house so it can eat the millet plants growing under the bird feeder. Yep, in the middle of town, I have my own private little forest. I could go through the day without seeing any of this, without taking time to notice the beauty of it all. But then, I would be missing on the symphony that makes up life.
Eat this cake, open the eyes to your soul, allow them to out grow reality.
This morning, I watched Alice in Wonderland with my little daughter, and it began the most adventurous sort of day. We crossed the big wide sea in our super sail boat under a raging storm (drove to Shelbyville in the rain), singing to the mermaids (Falling Slowly with Lee DeWyze and Crystal Bowersox) to capture a booty of goods for the whole village to stave off hunger (went grocery shopping), wielded a mighty ferocious beast (the grocery cart) and saved the fair Taryn from certain doom (she thought she was locked in the car when we got home.) Perspective is everything on how your day is progressing, my loves. Perspective says that possibility has room to work in your psyche.
Love life like a child…just don’t be immature.
The moment when you first wake up in the morning is the most wonderful of the twenty-four hours. No matter how weary or dreary you may feel, you possess the certainty that, during the day that lies before you, absolutely anything may happen. And the fact that it practically always doesn’t, matters not a jot. The possibility is always there. ~Monica Baldwin
Alice goes through all sorts of changes in the world based on a few words. “Eat this cake” says the advice written on a cake. She eats the cake and poof, she is to big for the rabbits house, arms and legs askew.
Think on this a moment in regard to problems in your life. Suddenly, Alice is a monster, not the little girl that the rabbit requested gloves from. Perspective is important. A problem can appear to be huge when in all reality, it’s not the end of the world. It’s not even frightening, once in the light.
The flowers talk and sing, and there is a hooka smoking Caterpillar with a dissipating purple cat. The red queen strives to be threatening, and is simply lonely. She wants slaves and servants to worship her, but she isn’t worth it ~ there is no love based in fear.
I will say that again. There is no love based in fear.
That is all inclusive, a rare absolute. If your life is based in fear, it is not based in love. But, you might argue, the bible says “fear God.” Not that kinda fear, sweets. Bible fear = reverence and awe. Not “he hit me again but he didn’t mean it,” or “if I leave her, I will lose everything.” The opposite of fear is where you find true servant-hood. Possibility has long been one of my favorite English words, right up there with “dulos” for all you non Greek speaking readers. Dulos is ancient Greek for servant of /slave of, in the sense that Paul was a slave of Christ Jesus.
I am a dulos. A willing servant; one who does not wish to free themselves. I live a life of service to and being in relationship with, under the guidance of the Divine. I am now, and forever more shall be a dulos. It is my core nature. It’s taken me a long, long time for that to be a truthful statement.
Who are you in service of? Granted, one can only have one master. For me, it is faith in Christ as a follower of the Way. Not real big on religion, I am afraid, but truly dedicated to the concepts of peace, grace and honor.
It’s rather chicken of us not to commit ourselves as dulos in this lifetime to that which we give our heart to. I am dulos to Brian, my beloved friend and husband. I wake up in the morning and he’s the first thing that crosses my mind, most notably becasue the alarm has gone off and it’s time for his sleepy butt to untangle us and get in the shower. Actually, everyday my first thoughts are formed of the desire to do anything that makes his life a better place to live. I care about his happiness, if he’s fulfilled as a person, a man, a golfer, a dad…all of it. I serve my marriage by being fully present in it; I don’t eat the cake or sip the tonic, but stay in step with my mate. I’ve learned not to let the Hollywood image of love be a comparison to the real life, grocery shopping, change the oil in the car sorta life. Real life service sees all the wiggly bits of the human personality and looks past it. When I look at Brian I see the man that I engage with, laugh myself silly with, talk to like a pitch and catch idea session….he’s the person that stimulates ideas and rounds out thoughts. See what being a dulos is like? Practicing the presence of peace, life and the freedom to just be authentic.
I asked that lovely man what he thought of the dulos service, or agape love defined as “love that seeks the others highest good.” He mirrored my own thoughts with a few added in…my favorite
“being married to you, I want to be a better person. Not just for you, but for me. I want you to know that you can depend on me, that I love you. I love you.” Just as I am, not thinner or smarter, or prettier. Just as I am, in all that I can be.
Dulos serve in love because they want to, not because they are forced by circumstance or created reality.They give a love that is, in its nature, complete. It doesn’t require anything back, although it is often the most rewarded. Love honestly, authentically. Never compromise love. Honor it, cherish it, feed it and let it guide you. Agape love seeks the other persons highest good.
Realistically, Brian and I could split apart and his world would become more simplistic and quiet. He chooses me, every day. His actions in faith and grace are convincing evidence that this is a blessed union. Eat this cake, together. Allow love to grow in a way that is both selfless and self sustaining. Allow it to overflow at the edges and be wholly yours. In the bible God told one prophet “Eat this book.” You gain life when you gain possibility, allow it to come into you allow it time to root and grow.
So, bringing this all around back to Alice and those questions, what ever would you do if a rabbit hole presented itself in your day? Would you miss it?
Are you so grown up that you’re missing out on the symphony of details in your life? The unimportant moments that are priceless?
Did you play today? Did you laugh? Make it count?
Are you wearing your human suit inside out, giving all the best parts of you to that person that you love?
Are you loving yourself? How can you give away what you do not have?
Every time I see Alice, I think of all the images and dreams that I have had in my life, and all of the time that I’ve spent in the past few months dreaming and becoming. I love being alive, being part of the mad hatters tea party, being the smiling cat on occasion.
Come on, join in.
Eat this cake.