Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Speaking Conditionally

It's been a tough few weeks.

Change are afoot at work, and when you work together with your spouse, that stress over flows to the home.

Rental is unrented. 

But it could be... soon.

Kids react to flu shots (and apparently flip out over the sugar in Rice Krispies).

They should be fine.

The "holiday schedule" starts at Columbus Day and doesn't let up. 

Why would this be a surprise?

There have been a few moments in the last few weeks that have seared in my memory.  Some have everything to do with parenting.  Some have nothing to do with parenting. Some just struck me for some reason and made me pause.  Breathe.

But they all have to do with living in the conditional.  Not emotionally.  Verbally.

Conditional tense.  We all harken back to the very grammarious English teacher Ms. Britt in 8th grade with that damn preposition quiz.  You only had three chances. 

Or that (language) 201 where it became less "Me llamo Susanna", and all of a sudden, when learning a new language, you hear the nuisances that other Romance languages put to verbs. 

There are active verbs and passive verbs.  Conditional.  Subjunctive.  Past perfect.  Future perfect.  Things to this day still confound me and completely explain my 2 on the AP French exam.

Life.  We tend to spend way too much time in the woulds, coulds and shoulds. 

This is my very basic interpretation of living in the conditional. 

We chose words poorly, and in doing so, they lose their power.

Rather than exclaiming, I AM _________ or You ARE ________, we passivize everything. 

It struck me weeks ago when I saw a photo of a dear friend on Facebook.  It was a great photo.  Showed her light from inside out and just reflected her true spirit.  Comment after comment said "You look beautiful".

I paused.  I commented, "You are beautiful". 

She is.

To me, there's something powerfully different between the two.  

I am preaching to myself here, but why is it so very difficult to not caveat our own opinions when it comes to things that are so very real in our life.

"It can be frustrating when you... blah blah blah" is more easily stated by "It was angry when you...".

What tied it all together was a message last Sunday at church. 

It's giving season in the church apparently (I'm new to this, so correct me if I'm wrong).

The message was so much about what we COULD do as a community with x dollars.  How many homeless neighbors COULD see our shower ministry.  How our outreach WOULD grow.  How we
SHOULD be present with our time and talents.

(And now I was thinking about where to go to lunch after service)

And when the plate was passed, I heard the jingle of coins as a homeless member of our congregation counted out change to put in the plate. 

The usher paused. 

Maybe no one else heard the coins, but she and I did.

That gentleman.  He was so very present.

He was not living in the conditional. 

His woulds and coulds and shoulds were put behind what he was.  He was present.

Why aren't I?

Why do I hesitate to speak plainly when there is so much power in my active voice?

Robbie is learning words.  He is stringing together sentences.  He's starting to develop a sense of humor. 

He cracks him self up saying things like "The pizza fell on the floor!" (It didn't). 

"I threw a pumpkin!"  (He didn't)

He doesn't choose his words, he uses the ones we teach him.

He says "Yes", instead of "Yea".

Says and signs I love you..

There's no adult nuance.  No could.  No would.  No should.

He is so very present.

Why aren't we?

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