When I was a kid my mom used to teach some of our youth group meetings at the church. One day she did this lesson for us where she brought all these tubes of tooth paste and had us squeeze out as much as we wanted, but she told us in advance to really think about how much we wanted to squeeze out before we did it. Then afterward she told us to try and get all the toothpaste we squeezed out back into the tube. We all struggled and had fun with it for a while. She would check on each group and compare which groups were doing better with the awkward and messy task (I think we had towels down or were in the church kitchen or something). Then after the exercise she talked about gossip and hurtful words and sassy remarks to our parents or teachers or siblings. She told us that once those things are out you can’t just take them back. We pay a price in the real world for the things we say. She said that not thinking before we speak, not being careful and sensitive or kind with our words was like squeezing a lot of tooth paste out of the tube and then trying to get it all back into the tube. She said, “even though you might feel sorry, even though people will forgive you, it’s still a mess to clean up.” So she explained that our spiritual work was not just to say we’re sorry after we’ve said something but to work on not saying hurtful things to begin with.
There was my Scorpio/Aquarius mother helping us little adolescents learn the distinction between “saying sorry because that’s what Christian kids are supposed to do if they screwup and say something mean,” and learning how to be more mindful in general. She didn’t like “cheap grace,” as she would often call it. Or the cheapening of grace.
Sometimes we get into the habit of doing something over and over, and we’re really good at saying sorry and we might even get really good at trying to put the toothpaste back into the tube afterward, but it’s so much more difficult to work on not making the mistake to begin with.
We want grace to be free, and all embracing and all accepting…and it is…or it can be…but we also need to work daily to make sure that we’re not cheapening grace with the same thoughtless patterns over and over.
Particularly right now with our words and how we organize or communicate our thoughts. How our thoughts relate to our feelings, and how our feelings relate to the world around us. The work right now is to recognize the way in which an environment creates a mood which creates a thought which creates an impulsive statement, gossip, cliche, exaggeration, deception, lie, or inaccuracy. This happens all the time, and not just because we’re screwups but because it’s difficult to see the smooth and rapid transactions between these spaces. It’s hard to catch the connection, reflect, and then, if we do say something, say something with a little more care.
During this entire retrograde cycle, whether we’re looking at contracts or simple communications, feelings, choices and reactions, we’re going to get a clearer look at how one small thing triggers another and another until we’re whitewashed. If we can do the work of hanging with these movements and slowing down, our ability to communicate is going to enhance greatly.
Prayer: Slow my mind, notice my environment, feel my feelings, think about my thoughts…now speak without thinking, the thoughts of higher worlds.