Daily Step – Don’t dwell.

“So come to the pond,
or the river of your imagination,
or the harbor of your longing,
and put your lips to the world.

And live
your life.”

I tend to have a hard time letting go of the past. I often linger on old stressors. I often, unconsciously of course, stop the story line right where the darkness is just beginning to fade to light… just in case the light proves fleeting.

But what am I missing by doing that? What am I missing by not embracing the light and letting the past drift away?

Yesterday afternoon, my oldest and I took our new dog Riley for a walk. I had been the one carrying the leash every time we walked him thus far. A couple times, we put two leashes on him so the boys could fake walk him, but I never quite gave them complete control. I was a little afraid Riley might be too fast and too strong for them.

But yesterday, I gave in and let my oldest hold the leash. 

He walked Riley easily all the way around the block. I only had to observe. Occasionally, I had to grab the leash and reroute Riley from yards, and, of course, clean up after him which my oldest found incredibly amusing. But for the most part – my oldest was in charge.

As I watched him walk his dog around the block, I noticed the smile lighting up my oldest’s face, and my first thought was: “Man, I missed that smile.”

Though it never truly faded away, his smile was absent a lot last year. And now, it’s slowly coming back and I am struck once again about how it lights up his whole face.

Ignatian Spirituality focuses a great deal on reflection. In fact, St. Ignatius’ men were called to reflect twice daily on where they saw God and where it was more difficult to see God.

But they were not asked to dwell… to linger on past hurts and challenges… to let them define their days.

Instead, they pulled what lessons they needed from the past and moved forward towards seeing God anew.

“The present is what your life is
And you are capable 
of choosing what that will be.”

I don’t know about you, but if this is true then I choose joy. 

I choose a smile on the lips of a kid walking his dog in the fading light of the sun.

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