Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Something I never needed

Last session, I told my shamanic counselor that I wanted off the roller coaster. He responded that I had been on one all the time, 17 years, that he had known me. That's because you didn't know me before kids or fibromyalgia, I replied.

Well, I got lurched again last week by a job rejection that I cared about more than I had realized. Everything sounded so perfect and it would have tied up so many loose ends. I want a simpler, more abundant life and this seemed like the ticket.

I am also smarting from a friend's offer to put in a good word for me that never materialized; it may have made a difference.

I want to know why God didn't want me to have that job. How did I miss the mark? Was I aiming too low? This was a mid-level position at the salary I started at 20 years ago. Less stress, I hoped. Would I have had the flexibility to manage my fibromyalgia? Would I have come home as exhausted as I had after three hours from the second interview? My spiritual director says to look where the energy is. There was none when I left that interview.

Fortunately, two days after I received the voice mail saying they were going with "another finalist," I had planned an overnight college-visit and trip with my 17-year-old. "Maybe they just liked someone else better," she had said after the bad news. On the drive, she probed deeper, asking why I wanted that job. "Is that what you really want to do?"

"Well, no," I confided. "I really want to be a successful writer, do workshops and creative nurture," I continued. But that's hardly possible my inner critic shouted.

I had gotten that far in another round of interviews for a job I knew wasn't right, when the interviewer said: "You're a good writer. A really good writer."

I seem to need that external affirmation. I am tired of working in isolation, though writing really isn't a team sport. The response to my daughter's question is one of the few times  I have verbally articulated my dream. Is this where Spirit is pushing?

Both my mother, sister-in-law, husband and close spiritual friend were more upset than I at the non job offer. It did feel like the world's rejection for awhile. I used to always get the job ... from newspaper ads to which hundreds responded. What's different now?

Of course all of this was transpiring during Lent and the Easter Season, the time of death and resurrection. I read a Max Lucado meditation on Silent Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter, when all of the action happens. Deep things happen in the silence, he'd written, between death and resurrection.

Sitting in worship Sunday, I wondered what I was dying from. I had listened to a snippet of NPR's Fresh Air on the way over and an author was talking about Jewish pessimism, passed on by his parents, products of the Holocaust and Depression. Worry prepares you not to be disappointed, he'd said he learned, then unlearned. I remember reading that worry is a prayer for disaster. Can I let the negativity and worry in my life die, I wondered.

I opened the bulletin to the Centering Down section and was struck with the first passage
... the seed you sow does not come to life unless it has first died; and what you sow is not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, of wheat perhaps or something else; and God gives it the body of his choice, each seed its own particular body ... So it is with the resurrection of the dead: what is sown as a perishable thing is raised imperishable. Sown in humiliation, it is raised in glory, sown in weakness, it is raised in power; sown as a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body." 1 Corinthians 15:35
Falling/pastel on paper
Sown in humiliation, sown in weakness ... that sounds like my current condition. I let all of that sink in and meandered to the place where I was about to die, where I was about to let go, when I was jolted back by the thoughts of leaving things unfinished. I do think something died there on Easter Sunday in that worship.

Pretty soon, a Friend rose and talked about how the Egyptians had measured the weight of a dead person's heart to see how much remorse there had been and how, with Jesus, God taught that the physical body didn't matter in resurrection. She said a lot of other smart things, but what I really remember is her booming voice bellowing "all God want us to know is that he loves us. I love you." I heard God in her speaking to me. Broken and disappointed and struggling, God loves me. I so needed to hear that, really hear it from human lips.

Our minister ended her message quoting the Gnostic Gospel of Philip: "You must resurrect while in this life."

I do feel as if I am resurrecting, that something died and something else is birthing. That, perhaps, I can leave the worldly world and its lure of office jobs behind and move more into the spiritual world of trusting Spirit. My prayer is to trust in that process. To trust Spirit as my guide.

• When does my life seem like a roller coaster?
• How do I examine its cause?
• What spiritual practices support me?
• How do I move more into the spiritual realm?
• Can I resurrect while in this life?

sinking in
is so

letting the
layers melt
and remembering

who I am
my origin

my source

and then I drift
almost as if

yet awake
down inside

I sink

the lines blur
and I am falling
into release

until I shudder
and return

renewed and

I never 

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