Monday, February 15, 2010

To push or not to push

I crashed physically yesterday, really crashed. Sat down to watch a movie at 4:30 and never moved until 10 to my bed.

I knew this was coming. I'd been pushing myself with new design projects and popping ibuprofen to get through I retreat I was helping facilitate Saturday. Fortunately, I felt really good that day and the retreat was ... hum, I'm not sure what word to use. Good? Successful? That's how you might describe a business meeting, but not a day devoted to spiritual companioning and listening as a spiritual practice. Fulfilling? Enriching? Those sound better, but are my perspective, not those who participated.

Still, I was wiped out the next day. I hate that. But after living with fibromyalgia for almost 12 years, I am becoming more resigned to it.

It seems to mirror the way I try to live my spiritual life as intertwined and not a part. I don't often do a very good job of it, but I think that's one of the lessons of the fibro: to live an integrated life. Life with the good and bad, the joy and sorrow, the connectedness and isolation, the pain and health.

Still, there are times I push through and I wonder what that's about.

Last night I dreamed I was in the midst of a kids' Sunday School class and the teacher said something that sparked a question in me: how do we know when we are supposed to use our hummaness to push and how do we know when to let go to something bigger and greater [or just to let go if we don't believe in something bigger or greater]? Come to think of it, I realize I had that thought during Saturday's retreat, but for the same reason I resisted in the dream, I held back from asking. I felt it wasn't my place (as an adult observing the class or as a presenter at the retreat).

But that really is my burning question these days.

Where is that balance between myself and the universe? How much do I push to get the books with art I have been forming for 10 years published on my own? Do I continue to wait through the newly established process for encouraging and financing ministry in my meeting? Do I keep following up on the 2 I submitted to influential women I admire? Do I begin sharing it more widely?

It is a bigger, universal question, but one that seems to keep popping up for me almost daily in a myriad of ways.

• What happens when I push myself?
• Do I find times for respite and relaxation?
• Can I discern my work from letting it go to others or the Universe?
• How do I use prayer to answer these questions?

always one
more task to

one more
place to be

one more call
to make

and yet,
I am spent

maybe even

how do I care
for myself
and do
my real

what is the
real work?

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