First of all, thank you to all who sent me kind words, encouragement, and prayers last week. I thank God for you.
One of the hardest things for me is to accept my own failings and weaknesses. I have in my head an idea of what life should look like and, when it doesn't, I get frustrated, mostly with myself. And it doesn't help that our graduate school life for the past few years has lacked order and balance and intentionality. Life has required hard work and flexibility for too long, it seems. I, who crave order, love goals and lists and statements of purpose, and aspire to living a balanced life, have spent my days putting out fires and dealing with the immediate needs of my husband, children, and household. Life has been about surviving.
And, now, how to regain what was lost? How to slow down again? How to be intentional? How to enjoy life?
We want life to have meaning, and want to be fulfilled, and it is hard to accept that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we would like to be. (Kathleen Norris, Acedia and Me)Sometimes I get so caught up in my failings, so overwhelmed by how far I am from where I'd like to be, that I'm paralyzed, unable to accept the good because the better is always just out of reach.
This is what happens to perfectionists. At least this one.
Last week, after hitting (what I hope was) bottom, I took a first small step forward. (That in itself was a huge victory.) I needed to start from where I was, and take it one step at a time, this living intentionally. What is essential? The answer: To feed my soul and my body. Every day. Prayer and water. Part of my problem is that I haven't had enough of either one. And I can only take care of my family if I first take care of myself.
And so, I opened my Bible. I put down my spiritual reading and my journal and let the Word of God speak to me, feed my hungry soul. And I resolved to do the same tomorrow. No matter how difficult.
I filled my water bottle before going to bed. And I resolved (after the necessary morning coffee) to drink nothing else until that water bottle is empty. (Though I know all of the many benefits of drinking lots of water, I'm not a big fan and never have been.) And I resolved to do the same tomorrow. No matter how difficult.
Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. (St. Francis of Assisi)One day at a time. Perseverance in spiritual discipline. Small steps in the right direction.
Prayer and water.