July 20, 2012

I met a dear friend for lunch today. I’ll be honest; it’s been a long and emotionally tough week so I wasn’t sure if lunch out would be the greatest idea. My introvert nature usually tells me that I would be better left alone in times of trial and sometimes that inner voice is correct. More often than not, it is wrong and spending an hour with a good friend in good conversation is just what I need. As was the case today.

We parted at the corner of 8th and 55th, knowing that it will probably be another month or two before we find time to meet for lunch again. I walked the last block to my office feeling uplifted and refreshed and a little full with Empanada Mama in my tummy.

I shared with her some hard things that are going on in my family of origin (FOO) right now that I have no control over, yet so much emotion invested. Isn’t that often the story? It is, at least, with me. The former family therapist in me is going NUTS, but I am so out of practice that I feel that I cannot tap into that resource. She acted as the therapist I cannot be for myself. She listened, truly listened, which was so nice. She is the first person I’ve talked to about this particular issue who isn’t also emotionally invested, so I didn’t get bombarded with jagged edged shrapnel directed back at me. She just gently reflected my own emotion.

I have found myself going back repeatedly over the past several weeks to this verse of scripture,
“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.”
O that I were an angel and had the power to speak unto the convincing of men! This particular issue is so challenging for me to handle, because I clearly see how the really bad choices of one person are affecting and influencing people I love. And this person is someone I am supposed to love and respect. Someone whose responsibility it is to preside and protect. And yet, continuously makes choices that are damaging and destructive. My desire isn’t even to cry repentance to everyone, just to slap some sense into one person and maybe deliver a sharp rebuke for so many years of hurtful disappointment.

A little break from the drama for you.

But yes, I too, sin in my wish. For I should be content with my allotment from the Lord. My friend reminded me of another verse that teaches if we are to conquer our nature, the human part that gets too emotionally invested in things we cannot control, the part that sinfully wishes to cry repentance to others, the part that gets depressed or discouraged, the part that is fallible. That part can be overcome through yielding to the Holy Spirit and becoming like a child who is “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him.” Another verse refers to submitting cheerfully.

Cheerful Submission. Surrender. Not surrender to any man, but surrender to God.
Wednesday night, I stayed after yoga for meditation. I am a big believer in meditation and reflection. I have done more than my fair share of guided imagery and guided visualizations and even breath work as a part of therapist training. But this was the first time I have participated in group meditation from a yogic perspective. If the day hadn’t been so terrible, I think that two hours of practice would have brought me to nirvana :). I guess it’s a good thing I had reality to keep me grounded.

The meditation the instructor took us through was focused on the cyclical nature of life, breathing in the cool of the evening—breathing out the heat of the morning, breathing in the cool of the moon—breathing out the heat of the sun, breathing in the cool of the winter—breathing out the heat of the summer—while experiencing the minutes, days, months, seasons between as the breath fills the body and releases. I focused my intention on receiving the power of the Lord to heal my heart. Meditation, for me, is a time for prayer, in addition to inward reflection and surrender. A time for cheerful submission. With my eyes closed and tears streaming down my face, I felt at peace. Why can’t I always feel that way?

I made my way home slowly, but not by conscious choosing. My train broke down and I had to walk to another station and then wait and ride and wait and ride and wait and ride. All the while going from sweating on steaming platforms to freezing in frigid subway cars. Looking back I can now see how that ride home was just an extension of the meditation, only this time I was out in the big, bad, loud city and not in a quiet, calm yoga studio surrounded by dim candlelight. Someday. Someday I’ll be to a place where I can ride through the grime of life and still be at peace. Someday. For now I’ll just keep doing my best. And it will have to be enough.

Oh, and I’m canceling my Facebook account. Just in case you wanted to know.

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