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Who wrote the rules of your life?

Who wrote the rules of your life? I was raised Catholic so a lot of my early rules come from the Baltimore Catechism -- rules about who God is, how to live, what is right, what is wrong. In my life, though much has changed over the decades, I must honestly admit that those rules were formative.

Who wrote your rules? Were they carved into stone tablets, or were they etched onto your heart by your life experiences? Is one of your rules Don't trust men, because your father never really came back after your mom and dad divorced? Is one of your rules Get what you can while you can, because you grew up having to fend for yourself? Is one of your rules I'd better not say what I really think, because doing that got you shut down or beaten?

Our rules come from a LOT of different experiences and places. And some of the rules we've learned are hard. And fast, that is, they stick. But think about it. Think honestly, and slowly, and carefully. Where did your rules come from? Who said so? Who is the boss of your life now?

Can you change the rules -- your rules? Yes! Of course, you can! You get to make the rules. You are no longer a child who has to follow rules. You are an adult who questions authority, and chooses your own rules. Be guided by those you admire. Be humble. Be aware of others and your influence and relationship to them whether they are younger, older, related or not.

But here's the thing -- quiet your mind. Take a breath. Recognize that you, an adult, are part of a community, part of this world. And understand that you can choose to reject, modify or accept the rules you learned as a younger person.

For you and for my Lectio360 friends, as I've been on summer hiatus, here is a stunningly simple and profound meditation on the rules.


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