Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 24, 2012 | Comments (0)

The Bucket List: "What's in your bucket?"

Since the release of the movie of the same name, "The Bucket List" has become a familiar phrase.  It is a list of things to do before we die.  New Years resolutions are more on the level of coffee lists. They cool down in a short time.

The center of the bucket list is Hope.  We hope we can get these things done before we kick the bucket.  The one thing no one has told anyone about is there are two Buckets.  One is the "About Bucket".  The other is the "In Bucket."

The "About Bucket" is a list of things that, once they are done, we can feel good about doing them.  Our hopes, and perhaps our life, depend on how we feel about getting these things done.  Once we have one of the chores crossed off, we move on to the next. It is our hope we can do them all so we can be happy about what we have done. We hope our list will not be too long and cause us to lose hope that we can get it done. It could be too short. Who wants to start over on Bucket List number two?  We would not have anything left to hope for.

Both Buckets have the same list. The difference between the two is: with the "About Bucket" list, one works on the list to feel good, while with the "In Bucket" list, one does the list because they feel good.

There is no guarantee of feeling good in doing the "About Bucket" list. It can't be too easy or we would not have much fun doing it.  It can't be too difficult or we would feel defeated before it was done. Sometimes we can feel good about doing one of the things.  Other times, we can do something and not feel happy about it.

One does the things on the "About Bucket" list to feel good about them.  It is like someone whose list included: "lose weight".  They had seen the advertisements about those who had lost weight and felt good about it. They think, "If I could lose twenty pounds, I would really feel good."  The person who wants to lose weight to feel good generally winds up disappointed.  They become discouraged and do not achieve their goal. If they do lose, they generally gain the weight back and more.

The "In Bucket" person feels good about themselves first.  They then go about working on their list. The odds are, this is the major reason anyone loses weight or accomplishes others items on their list. The advantage the "In Bucket" list has is that happiness and freedom can be found "in", not "about" life.  You never lose hope because you never know what being "in" will have you do next.  The "In Bucket" list offers us freedom and gets us out of the box. The "About bucket" list offers us promises of freedom, but puts us in the box.

For the "About Bucked" list, hope is conditional. How we feel depends on what we think. Just because we finish an item on the list does not mean we will find the freedom we seek.  We can finish one thing and feel elated; do another and feel depressed.  It all depends on how we think about it.  Our thoughts about what happens can box us in.

The "In Bucket" list is unconditional.  It does not depend on what we think we feel about the conditions. The feeling of the Presence determines how we think in the condition.  It is filled with real freedom to take risks, whether they work out or not.  We find the Love, Joy and Peace we seek already within us.  It is not about what is in the bucket to feel good about. It is feeling good in whatever the bucket is about.

A real bucket list only counts when we know we are about to kick the bucket.  However, we can practice with our own bucket list.  Make two bucket lists with ten of the most impossible things you would want to do. The "About Bucket" means you have to feel good about how you do. The "In Bucket" means you are in the Peace no matter how you do. What difference does it make if you do all the list?  What if you are not able to do anything in either Bucket?  What's in your bucket?

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