A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Black or White . . . All or Nothing

Advent . . . a season of preparation of hearts and souls for the birth of our Savior. Part of that preparation for me has always been a time of personal inventory. A look at where I am emotionally, physically, spiritually; where I stand in terms of my relationships, my outlook, my dreams. . . . This year Advent has begun in the midst of a difficult period of change in my life, my relationships, and possibly my dreams.

Part of the inventorying process is taking a hard look at my tendency of experiencing my world (and all that creates it) as black or white and sometimes all or nothing. Now, I know I'm prone to this way of looking at things so I work very hard to be open to gray areas, to maintain a more open, accepting, even compromising point of view and generally accomplish it with grace and by Grace.

However, recently, in facing my reluctance to change, especially where growth and development demands it, I've tried to make certain of my relationships fit a mold of all or nothing. Not very successfully. I have found myself alternating between anger, frustration, and isolation. My spiritual friend asked me what I thought my soul was requiring of me in this time. I sensed that to be a profound question for me and a sadness crept into the mix. What was my soul requiring of me? I tremble actually to think of the importance of that question. Because my soul, after all, is what I am attempting to find and define and set free (aren't those, combined, an oxymoron?). There are times when I sense the growing edges, the edges that are rigid, the edges that ache, and I have no idea what to do. That's when I'm glad to have a spiritual friend who pushes me when I need it, even when it's uncomfortable and scary.

What is my soul requiring of me? I believe my soul is requiring me to have faith, to trust, to take a step without looking down -- rather by looking up. My soul knows what it's doing. I don't. My soul is inhabited by the Spirit of the Most Compassionate One and requires that trust to do its work. I'm not sure my soul accepts that I see this as a process, but I am making progress.

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