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We get what we need in the moment.

From the Commentary on Adandonment:

Book 2, Chapter 1, section 1

Everything that others discover with great difficulty this soul finds in abandonment, and what they guard with care in order to be able to find it again, this soul receives at the moment there is occasion for it, and afterwards relinquishes so as to admit nothing but exactly what God desires it to have in order to live by Him alone.

We get what we need in the moment. We don’t need to hold on to it, to cling to desire, to hold on to expectations of any kind. What we get is what we need. If we are burdened with shortcomings, it is because we need these short-comings to teach us, to move past them. If we have talents, it is for some, perhaps unperceived, benefit to others. We should not get attached to these talents, or begin to fall in love with them. Then they hold us down, and limit us. Then we move into the realm of ego, not abandonment. We should also not fear our short-comings—we can get equally as attached to these, for ego-identification.

i heard a section of an interview on NPR yesterday: the interview was with a musician who writes songs for movies and has gotten a lot of accolades for his work. He said the biggest threat to his creativity was falling in love with his own work. By this, he said he meant that holding on to an idea (in his case, a musical idea), being attached to it overly, can kill the creativity.

Through abandonment, through letting go of attachments, expectation, desire, we receive what we need.

Not grasping, not holding tight – open palm, not closed, not holding on to – “guarding” is the word the text uses – the “positive” or the “negative” – staying neutral in our minds toward both.

This passage says to me that i need not worry that i will find the strength to conquer my jealousy: if i trust in the moment, and in what i receive in the moment, i will respond in the way that i need to. It may be that i receive strength to override my jealousy (my short-comings), or it may be that such strength is not there yet. Perhaps it takes practice and dedication, gotten through repeated bouts of jealousy. (Psychology asserts that we re-create the same situation for ourselves until we have resolved it…) my attitude should be, in keeping with the text, to welcome, without attachment or guarding, whatever comes to me, whether it be “pleasure” or “pain”.

i need not, therefore, need guard my own ego from humiliation–there is no humiliation in abandonment. What happens is what is supposed to happen.

Receive, relinquish…receive, relinquish…receive, relinquish…continue in this way moment by moment, expecting nothing, asking nothing, like breathing, in and out, receiving breath, relinquishing breath…taking in and letting go. Holding on to breath will, in the extreme, cause death. Not taking breath in will also cause death. we need to let go in order to receive. This constant exchange is what’s needed in order to stay attentive to the moment.

– h., a watchful sister.