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Life of Meaning

Thinking is Complicated

February 2, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it.” Daniel Kahneman

No doubt you are concerned about some issue (minor or major) in your life today. We are quite apt at finding something to worry or concern us.
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Are You Secretly Hiding Something You Don’t Like?

January 26, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

I am furious about everything. Joan Rivers

I’m taking an online writing class. One assignment was to write 300 words on “what makes you furious?”

I struggled for days because I am not the “furious” sort. Well, at least I thought I wasn’t until I dove into this assignment and suddenly a new truth about myself emerged. I wonder how many readers will identify?
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Intentionality: A Flashlight in the Fog

January 19, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

There’s no way to become great overnight, but in the marathon of success, it takes a lot of intention to see you through each day of the journey. Lewis Howes

In the last couple of years I have found myself reluctant to establish personal annual goals, as if my primary focus in life is to somehow attain a number of predetermined objectives. I just don’t think my personal life is hard-wired to live that way any longer.
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Managing the Tender Child Within

January 5, 2019 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. Henri Nouwen

I often refer to the source of my times of misery as activated by the Demon within me. Generally I am talking allegorically and not factually. (However, I do believe in evil forces with the intent of disenfranchising us from the love of God.) But mostly I speak figuratively when I talk about my Demon. But that is not about to prevent me from talking about that Demon today.
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Thinking from the Feeling Side

December 15, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“Only emotion endures.” Ezra Pound

According to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) there are two preferential and polar ways to make a decision: from thinking or from feeling. One is logical and analytical while the other is intuitive and core-values based. Neither is a better way to make a decision. Simply two different styles.

Now, in our American productivity-based culture “thinking” is often valued more than “feeling” as the best way to make decisions. Like Jack Webb (a long way back), “Just the facts ma’am.” But it was one of my advisors, Taryn Voget, who encouraged me to lean more toward the feeling side of my nature and not be so “clinical” about the way I manage my life.
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Bored or Becoming

November 10, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“…the paradox of the waiting that goes on in boredom is that the individual does not know what he was waiting for until he finds it, and that often he does not know that he is waiting…” Adam Philips

In our American way of thinking a person’s identity is predicated largely on his ability to be productive (and to be useful). One of the very first questions you are asked by a new acquaintance is, “So… what do you do?” It’s as if you are being asked, “So, what makes you a worthy human being?”
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Trust: The Rock of Relationships

November 4, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. Mona Sutphen

I am currently standing at the site of the installation of a new clean water well in the heart of rural Uganda. This well will provide water to a village community of more than 1000 people. The funds for this well were provided by a generous done to our non-profit, Wells of life. This donor trusts that we will deliver a well of this community.
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Uncertainty: The Key to Contentment

October 20, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“The capacity to tolerate uncertainty is a prerequisite… for all patterns of belief and triumph.” Irvin D. Yalom

As I grow older one of life’s most meaningful learnings is that, “the older I get the more stuff I know, but the less I know FOR SURE.” I was certain about a lot more at thirty years old than I am now as a approach seventy. Perhaps that is one reason young people are so successful: they exude great confidence in what they believe to be true of life and how it is to be lived.
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Rambling Thoughts from Crete

September 22, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Written Sometime in September 2018

“Because I am old enough to know the world cannot delight me, my expectation is not of the world but of myself: delight in the gift of life and be grateful.” Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything

The waves lap gently on the protected shores in front of the beachside restaurant at the elite hotel where I am staying on the island of Crete. We don’t normally travel elite, but this is where the travel agent booked us. I am not complaining. The entire hotel is magnificent as it sits on a hill above the Mediterranean (or is it Aegean) with the beach a mere two hundred yard walk from my room.

The point is, apart for the lobster at lunch, I remain the same lowly contemplative and curious self. I am reading Parker Palmer’s ever so thoughtful insights about aging in his latest book, On the Brink of Everything. Palmer is always worthy of a read.

For some reason the thought comes to my head that a life of meaning begins with acceptance of your lot in life. I believe in a God that has some say into everything that goes on. I do not understand how, but I accept it.

I also do not understand poverty and the disenfranchised in the program of God, but I do understand the value of suffering. Overcoming suffering may be of the greatest of all human endeavors—it makes us stronger and it endows us to be truly human.

I don’t get this aspect of Divinity, but there is a whole lot I don’t get. Yet it is not for me to know. I also believe in the value of not knowing which leads me to grandiose quests of learning and experimenting—like a visit to Crete and watching the waves gently lapping upon the seaside beach.

You ARE the Meaning of Life

September 16, 2018 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

“At the moment, I rest easy with the notion that I don’t need to ask or answer the question “Does my life have meaning?” All I need to do is keep living…”

 “… birds and trees… don’t worry about whether their lives have meaning. They simply be what they can be. Parker Palmer, On the Brink of Everything

A View from the Ferry

Here I am in Greece. Well, actually I’m on a ferry crossing the Mediterranean Sea from the island of Crete to Santorini. Reading Parker Palmer’s On the Brink of Everything, I find myself once again encouraged to ponder the meaning of life and this time coming to the conclusion that it is a futile question because the meaning of life is simply to live… simply.
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