Sunday, a very wise soul gave the message on conflict resolution, illustrating the difference between sparring, which he defined as separately desiring to knock the other down, and wrestling, when we become engaged with the other and, if they go down, so do we.
The engagement process is the key, he emphasized. My heart knew that to be true. He cited the major Scriptural reference of Jacob wrestling all night with an entity, being asked not so much for his name, but to name the kind of man he was, and then being given a new identity. Transformation in the struggle.
Made me think of two separate circles; one blazing blue and the other, fiery red. When they engage, the space where they meet, mixing the blue and red, becomes purple and a new thing in and of itself – the place transformation can happen.
Perhaps that's why the day before, as I had been patiently waiting for a disabled clerk and an oblivious shopper charged ahead, I said I had been in line first. She did so anyway. I tried to engage with her, saying I didn't understand, when another clerk cut me off, telling me to calm down. She curtailed any engagement. Of course I was hurt, but deep down, I wanted the shopper to see why I had waited. That I was waiting on another that she had missed in her busyness.
Initially, I couldn't understand what clung to me from that incident: embarrassment, guilt, anger, resentment? Those lingered and exited. Yet I'm still stuck with something. An unfinished feeling that is teaching me the difference between boxing with someone and wrestling, coming to some kind of newer resolution in the struggle.
And then a Facebook F/friend bravely posted an admission:
"We put so many gods ahead of God. For me it is fatigue, mild depressions, compulsive eating, that often get put before my faith in God. Knowing how easy it is to make a god out of my own struggles. I need to be frequently reminded to praise my Creator, seek my Guide, thank my heavenly Parent."
Making a god out of my own struggles, now that made me flinch. She had offered me the mirror into myself.
Living with fibromyalgia, it is often fore and center in my life, especially during flare-ups. Over the years, I have found it difficult to plan and commit, uneasy about gauging my energy and pain levels into the future. I always wanted a loophole, an out ... just in case.
The past year has re-shaped that pattern thanks to Spirit. Knowingly and fortunately for me, it's been metered in baby steps. Had I been shown 12 months ago where I would be now, I would have let fear tear me from my path. I would never have believed I'd have had any of the resources required to make this trip. And, yet, I have – miraculously. Not always as gracefully as I would like to admit, but, nonetheless, here I am.
It's been a struggle, but one where I have learned to engage much more fully with God and loosened my grip on trying to control the situation. The transformation, for me, has been to let go of fear and being to trust, really trust.
I'd never have made it here without the struggle.
• When do I box?
• When do I wrestle?
• What difference has there been?
• Where have I witnessed the transformation?
• What other gods do I put before God?
not one to
yet no avoider
I am beginning
that for Spirit
I must embrace
throw a jab
and walk away
I need to touch
and, in doing
all of us to
Listen to this post: