After a noisy holiday break, the house has become quiet again. And while I am so grateful not to be attempting to settle a fight right now, the script in my head has gained momentum and the noise has begun.
Another year begins and I am left feeling the same way. Are we failing at parenthood, is this what it is supposed to be like? Will my depression ever be on the back burner or will it always be dancing over my head. How long am I willing to stand in the mess of my faith? Is there really a new place we come out at where we feel as though we have arrived? And at the beginning of a new year, why am I considering all the changes I’d like to make and they are just repeats of the year before and the year before and the year before and the year…..
Is there ever really a place where everything changes? My guess is that if that happened, I would be aching to go back.
My kids are healthy.
I have a warm bed.
I do not fear for my safety.
I have pounds to lose because I never want for food.
My faith is messy, but it is not a secret I need to keep. I have companions on the journey.
I get lonely at times, but I am not alone.
I have people who love me and always will.
What’s the word for this year?
There is no big shift that will take place overnight. Life is always moving forward and it’s up to me to embrace it. And if I could try to change anything in this moment of time, it would be think less and just be.
I am right in the middle of another Kairos year and my community there has been a lifeline in this process. For January, we are reading the book, Into The Silent Land by Martin Laird. It’s a slow read for me, but a good one. And it has provided the framework for slowing the head mess and releasing it and recognizing how little I can change while I’m in that spiral.
Martin Laird says, But the thinking mind has a professional hazard. If it is not engaged in its primary task of reason, given half a chance it fizzes and boils with obsessive thoughts and feelings. There are, however, deeper demands, deeper encounters of life, love and God, and there is far more to being alive than riding breathlessly around in the roller coaster of obsessive thinking. This requires, however, the awakening and cultivation of the “heart-mind,” …. In fact, precisely because we THINK our lives, THINK our spirituality, THINK about God, we end up perceiving God as some “thing” over there, some cause among many causes of things.”
It’s exhausting when we can’t get out of that kind of thinking.
So,I hold my own life out in front of me, wondering how things will look this year, or what things will happen. I wonder if the task is to think about it less and just BE a little more. To accept that I may not figure out in how parenting will be, or what will happen with my faith. Will the presence of depression ever disappear? Will I know the next steps in my life? Maybe the task is to quiet my heart and mind more and not to expect it to be filled up with more words or things. Maybe it’s to allow these things to empty themselves out to make room for, well, who knows. It’s about making the space.
We don’t always need to know.
The “silent land” is calling. It’s a discipline to get out of the constant thinking.
If we are to discover for ourselves who we truly are-that inmost self that is known before it is formed, ever hidden with Christ in God (Psalm 139:13, Jer 1:15, Col 3:3) – the discovery is going to be a manifestation of the ineffable mystery of God, though we may feel more and more inclined to say less and less about God.
I am being called to the quiet.
Step out of the muck of obsessive thinking and thinking.
Rest in the mystery.
Less and less.
Make the space.
Trust that God will meet me there.