Listen to post:
A New Year and new thoughts crowd out the pattern of itching to busy myself after a long holiday season. That's a good thing.
My family witnessed my whirlwind-organizing-and-pitching campaign over the past week. They, mostly, stayed out of my way. I have had rare weeks of good, solid sleep. As a result, I would bound out of bed ahead of anyone else and not stop until my head hit the pillow at night. I have been so productive de-junking and de-cluttering. It has felt cathartic after the stagnancy of too many festivities and obligations even though they have been trimmed out of simplicity.
But that's an old pattern. One I had better learn from or I will find myself right back down in the no-energy hole. So right now, I am in contemplation and examination mode. That also always hits after the holidays and, often, like today, when the kids get back to a routine. I want one, too, but also need space to decompress.
Today's agenda was simple: hit the pool, come home and spend some time in prayer, reading and reflection. This blog is part of that reflection. I stopped reading and journaling when I hit a BIG opening, which I will relate in a minute.
Last week, while at the library, I stumbled onto a copy of Caroline Myss' Sacred Contracts book. Though I was not specifically looking for it, it was no accident. Ever since I had a past-life, astrological report done in November, I have wanted to understand what my work/contract is. I know parts of it and have an inkling for the bigger picture, but am a bit stuck as far identifying the next step. And my worldly exposure still rears its head begging to know what it is, exactly, I am doing in a secular sense ... besides naval gazing (and parenting, living with a chronic condition, working on a book, facilitating a nurture group, etc.).
I am having a hard time putting the book down. The first thing to strike me was the idea of forgiveness. That's a recurring subject for me. I even co-facilitated a forgiveness worship that was powerful. But Myss' spin is that opting not to forgive can create unhealthy energy patterns. Wow, that sounded a powerful chord in me. She also furnishes the example of a young man frozen in inaction, a place I know well. She writes that he remembers a time before his birth and parts of his contract. That knowledge renders him unable to act. I believe I am frozen more because I am not yet ready for action.
Myss uses the Christian tradition (along with Jewish and Buddhist) in a way that captures my attention rather than diverting it. So much Christianity has become rote to me and the reason Quakerism's emphasis on the experiential resonates so deeply. I want to know God, not be told about God. But I am particularly taken with her examination of Jesus' life. I have always been drawn to Jesus: as a child and as an adult. I once had the experience of walking in his body and was so grateful for Marcus Borg's delineation between the historical Jesus and the mystical Jesus. I want to know the mystical Jesus more intimately. My past-life report also said Jesus was my model and guide. No kidding. My Myers-Briggs type is the rarest and the one many calculate Jesus would have had. Kind of makes me giggle because, at times, I feel so far removed from Jesus, but at others, so close. Myss suggests that when we become conscious of our contracts, we break away from the general (secular) mindset and that Jesus' "outsider status marked his public ministry." I often feel like an outsider.
I could bore you with more passages, but the point is, I am supposed to be reading this book as I ponder my next step in life. I screeched to a halt when I read about how Jesus released his pain and psychological suffering (often deleted from some Bibles because it makes Jesus seem too human) to God before the crucifixion. That IS my next step: to release my pain and suffering to God.
I want ALL of you.
You don't have to fix anything.
You've given me your heart and body.
Now, give me your mind and I
will heal it. Thats been your battle.
Surrender your wonderful, but weary, mind to me.
Let Jesus be your example.
So, what else is there to do?
Oh yeah, forgive. That's what Jesus did from the cross.
I would be honored if you would hold me in prayer at this juncture of the journey. I don't know how to surrender that part of me, but I desperately want to.
• Where am I right now, in the new year?
• Is action calling me?
• How/where do I find space for contemplation and reflection?
• What wisdom is being offered to me?
• What is my prayer for the current leg of the journey?
my response to
obligation and too much emphasis on
ONE day or season
is to explode and/or
the explosion may come
in activity or sniping
at others I love
though it's not their fault
the remedy is the
prayer and reflection
and I find myself
in the arms