Peace is work
Oh my dear friends, it has been exactly 30 days since my last post! Eeeeeek!
Let me tell you why.
I fell off the bandwagon. Not just the "writing" bandwagon. The "me" bandwagon.
Sunday in church we were discussing testimonies and sharing our stories. I do a pretty good job of sharing my story with anyone who wants to land on this website. The interesting part of the sermon was that Pastor Mark was talking about sharing our story (in turn, sharing God's glory) before we are even actually healed.
I'm even BETTER at that.
So I stood up and said that, yanno, like to everyone in the congregation. Don't worry, I wasn't the only one.
I'm not healed. I may never be "healed." What does that even mean, exactly? It's kind of like in the autism community when we talk about "normal." Is there such a thing?
To say that I am "healed" is to suggest that I have nothing going on in my life that causes me strife, worry, stress, complex feelings, confusion, madness, sadness, anger, and so on. It reminds me of a card someone sent me once. It's still hanging up in my room, right next to my bed.
When we say, "Peace on Earth" this holiday season, I think this is what we are truly asking for.
Unless I move to a cave somewhere and give up my children and all human contact, I believe there will always, ALWAYS be noise, trouble, and hard work.
I recently got myself into a new relationship with a boy. My therapist says I'm a serial dater. She might be right, but I digress. I don't mean for these things to happen, I truly believe God places people in my life at these times for a very, very specific reason and plan. I'm not questioning it. Back to the relationship. JDA is a wonderful man and brings a lot of goodness to my life. However, we live 700 miles away from each other and the sheer nature of a long distance relationship (LDR) means it is riddled with .....noise, trouble, and hard work.
Like, really hard work.
My therapist likes to question why I'm in this relationship. For that matter I question it too. The short answer is...
But back to the work part. You know how relationships in the beginning are all "rainbows and unicorns?" "The Honeymoon Phase?" Yeah, we don't really get to have that. Because we have these short blips of time in which we try to blast a months worth of relationship into say, 3 or 4 days. And then, wait for it, life doesn't actually stop for us, it continues on and sometimes... shit hits the fan during our 3 or 4 days together. WHAT!??? Where are the rainbows??? I ordered unicorns! So I've actually found myself telling my therapist that I ......wait for it...... like that it's not a honeymoon phase, cuz guess what? We are figuring our really quickly what we're made of. As a couple and as individuals.
Which brings me back to falling off the bandwagon.
It's all been an adjustment. The facetiming, the nonstop texting, the travel time, packing time, airport time, etc. And in the whirlwind of this, combined with LIFE, and kids, and work, and holidays, I forgot about doing "the work."
Today my therapist asked me where I see myself in this, the second half of my life. And the image of that "peace" card popped into my head. That's where I see myself. At peace. With life. With all of life, the noise, the trouble, and the hard work.
I'll never get there. Not truly. I'm not saying that in a negative way, I'm saying that in an honest, real way. I am human. Sometimes my heart and my head and my ego will collide in a war that rages inside of me. That's natural and that's real. But hopefully by working toward a place of peace I can learn to find those moments and that space in which to breathe and keep things in perspective.
That's what gratitude rituals are for, as well as meditation, prayer, and testimonies.
God is not done with me, nor will He ever be. To say that I am "healed" is like saying, "that's it, I've learned absolutely everything there ever was to know. I am no longer a student of life." As obstacles are thrown at me continually on this journey toward healing and peace, I will continue to learn and grow. And I thank God for that. I thank God for every opportunity I have to dig deeper into myself and to do the work.
But I must do the work.
This lady I've quoted once or twice on this blog said it best... I have this on my refrigerator.
Don't be lazy now. Take a second and read it. Again.
As I look at that passage and try to decide which is a good part to talk about, I can't. There is not one word of that passage that isn't vital to our very existence.
I must never, ever become lax about maintaining it. I must make a mighty effort. I must participate
relentlessly in the manifestations of my own blessings.
When I don't, when I fall off the bandwagon, I start to get lost. I get lost in the feelings, I lose perspective. It's like when they say, "If you only pray when you're in trouble, then you're in trouble." The work never ends. The participation never ends. Striving and swimming never ends.
Becoming lax is not an option.
Because to become lax is to say that my own journey toward healing is not important. And it's the most important work I'll ever do and the greatest journey I will ever be on.
The holiday season is bananas. There's a lot of noise. A lot of work on many different levels... so to you I say...
Keep it in perspective y'all!