Applausephoto © 2009 Peter Dutton | more info (via: Wylio)I’m generally an even-keel kind of guy – not too up, never too down. I like it that way, feel it keeps me sane (or at least some reasonable facsimile thereof).

That’s why when I do have “mood swings” (and honestly, I say that in the most generic and harmless way possible – living with two humans of the female persuasion, I know what “mood swings” can be – this is NOT that), I take notice. I take self-reflection seriously. I try to pinpoint what’s been pushing the flow a little further than normal to either side of the balance that’s normally maintained.

All of that as background to this: Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had downs and ups with more pendulum action than normal. The downturn – well, let’s just say it’s old history, old wounds, and my angst over it all was more about what was lost and how it can’t be regained than about the actual circumstances of the past. But the upswings – literally, there’s been applause.

For the past twelve to fifteen years, I’ve been on a journey spiritually. It’s pretty well documented online for both of you reading along. Ten years ago, for an online book discussion group, I picked up a copy of Brian McLaren’s New Kind of Christian (affiliate link) – a novelized discussion/relationship along the same topic/wavelength as my own journey. Over the years, I’ve followed McLaren and others for their wisdom in scoping out a new Christian paradigm. The latest tempest around Rob Bell’s Love Wins (affiliate link) brought back, in my mind, some of the tension of years past – for better or for worse.

A friend asked if I had the earlier NKOC, wanting to borrow and read and see where it would lead. I was thrilled for the opportunity to pass along what, for me, was such a life-changing and life-stretching book, and I downloaded the audiobook to “re-read” on my morning commutes. And twice this week, driving to work on my usual twenty-five mile thirty-minute route – I found myself clapping, applauding again the openness and joy I found in my first reading years ago.

One more upswing story: one morning last week, right before the downswing mentioned above (downs can be such punks, ruining the ups for the short term, can’t they), I was just overwhelmed by a clear sense of happiness, joy and where-I’m-supposed-to-be-ism. I’ve had a few of those, but I can count them on one hand. I’m in a good place, working on things I love with good people, sharing life with a lovely family and great friends. Right then, in that moment, I was overwhelmed. And if I had stopped what I was doing for more than the moment to just realize and appreciate – if I have stopped to let it fully sink in, I would’ve been a weepy mess right there in my cubicle at work.

Another round of applause, please.

[cross-posting to Rick:Caffeinated – social media blog – where life attitude is as important as anything else in social media, networking, jobsearching, etc]


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