I like my closet

I like my closetSome days you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. We’ve all been there. The pressures of life weigh in on us so heavily that we lose the strength to face another day. This is especially true around the holidays— gifts to be bought and wrapped, meals to be prepared for the imminent arrival of guests & family. Added demands upon our already frantic lives.

Some of us, yea verily even extroverts, oft seek sanctuary in our closet, whether figuratively or literally. We retreat to a place of momentary safety, a hiding place, where no one can find us. We seek silence, solitude, serenity— commodities sorely lacking in our present pace of life. [Buddhism has a lot to teach us on this subject.] Large companies are scheduling team-building retreats for their managers and department heads; Christians have been going on spiritual retreats for years; Muslims fulfill one of their Five Pillars by making at least one journey to Mecca during their life-time.

There are at least two kinds of closets. The first kind is within us, holding things private, things which are best kept to ourselves. The other one holds us. It is a place for us to gain perspective and strength, to find solace for our soul. It may be a literal closet, or a place of safety—a friend’s home, a favorite bar, a winter hike through snow, a time of reflection, a rich conversation with a confidant over a wee dram of Glenmorangie. [Note: a roaring fire often aids in melting our resistance to search within.]

So as our lives continue to accelerate, make sure you go into your closet often, to your place of escape, to remind yourself who you really are. To be properly equipped to grapple with the daily barrage of activity and information that assaults us, we all need those times of retreat, wherein our focus must be on refurbishing our spirit, building our character, and finding rest for our soul. And may God bless and honor those who have created a closet for me. I’m ready to go in…, how about you?

Closing the door now,

Gary

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safety

     It is a commonly accepted fact that most of us need a place of safety; usually, our homes, or a vacation spot, or just a phone call with a trusted friend. It has been my personal experience that I need a place of safety, a person of safety, and an activity of safety.
My places of safety have varied over the years. First, my bedroom; then, my first car (a ’57 Volvo, PV544, in bright red), followed, surprisingly, by my mind. In recent years it has been the Galbraith Lakehouse in New Hampshire; now the Bravo Boathouse, or the Harraseeket Inn in Maine.
Safe people also come and go. They are people with whom we are totally at ease, with no fear of a broken confidence or betrayal, with a complete openness and trust to share everything. I will not name my people of safety here because they would be embarrassed, at first— then they would kill me.
Safe activities diverge greatly for each of us. For some, it is reading a good book in front of a cozy fire. For others, it is test driving a Jaguar at 125 mph down the Interstate. I used to feel completely safe clipped into a safety line at 13,500’ on the side of a rock face on a mountain. Not so much now.
If you do not have a safe place, person, or activity, you need to get one, or more, fast. They are your safety-net amidst the fires and storms of daily life. Who might be a safe person for you? Living without a deep relationship with at least one other human being is dangerous, especially to your soul. It could slowly isolate you to death.
Having a safe place is just as important. Be it a special place in your home, in your car, or just hiking across a wheat field, recently dusted with fresh snow, you need somewhere to hide yourself away to be with yourself—alone. And, maybe with your God; whether you want him there or not.
Finally, in what real-life activities do you feel most comfortable? Is it the book & fireplace, or the speeding Jaguar? Maybe somewhere in between? Bull riding comes to mind; so does hospital recuperation.

Be safe, my friend.

For what it’s worth,
Gary