10 Rules for life to become more human

This week Good Samaritan sister Bernardina Sontrap wrote a review of my book for the online magazine, The Good Oil. In it she says some nice things about A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning, such as:
‘Like a reflection in a mirror, Judith Scully’s story invites readers to look back and ponder their own lives and their search for God in the everyday events of their life’s unfolding.’
Follow the link to read what she had to say: https://www.goodsams.org.au/article/finding-god-in-the-stuff-of-everyday-life/

You can also view videos from the book launch  Dr Bernadette Miles, who launched the book, (https://youtu.be/JBlUK8xO6hk) and Judith Scully( https://youtu.be/oHVbXoWo61A)

A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning (David Lovell Publishing) is available directly from the publisher (E: publisher@davidlovellpublishing.com) or from Garratt Publishing, Amazon, Pauline Books, and Booktopia

The older I get the less religious I seem to have become and conversely, the more I am appreciating the gifts that come with being human. This awareness isn’t without its problems. My spirituality was formed in an either/or environment, with the expectation that the joys of life must take second place to the demands of religious belief. Early conditioning like that leaves a trace of guilt in its wake.

So I can’t tell you how much I was cheered when Jean Vanier, the Canadian founder of L’Arche communities, turned 90 this week and celebrated it with a YouTube presentation of his ten rules to become more human. Here was someone I respect, a layperson, whose life has revolved around the Gospel words, “Love one another”. His ten rules tap into the way I try to imbue my life with my Christianity. And it’s all very ordinary.

1. Accept the reality of your body
That’s a big ask as I get older and bits start to wear out and my memory occasionally plays tricks with time and information.

2. Talk about your emotions and difficulties
So I journal, keeping the ups and downs in perspective.

3. Don’t be afraid of not being successful
With a book just published it’s a question that’s relevant for me. I don’t yet know the answer

4. In a relationship, take the time to ask “How are you?”
Sometime I’m aware of this, at others I protect myself from information I don’t want to hear.

5. Stop looking at your phone. Be present
Right now I’m wondering if I can go away for a week and leave the emails till I come back.

6. Ask people “What is your story?”
This is something I have learnt over time –somewhere in their story I find bits of mine as well.

7. Be aware of your own story
Writing a book that is a memoir of sorts has reminded me that God was always there, even if I wasn’t always aware of that.

8. Stop prejudice: meet people
I’m an introvert and it’s easy to hide in that label and ignore others.

9. Listen to your deepest desire and listen to it
I’m listening and if I follow it through I’ll write about it.

10. Remember that you’ll die one day
As Jean Vanier said: “I’m just somebody who was born ninety years ago and will die in a few years time and then everybody will have forgotten me. This is reality”. Me too!

This is how I read Jean Vanier’s ‘10 rules for life to become more human’ in my here and now. And I remember that he also said: “We are not called by God to do extraordinary things, but to do ordinary things with extraordinary love.”

Judith Scully

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