Tom’s Journal-March 3, 2008
I wish it wasn’t happening—but by accepting it, I feel stronger. Weird—I am strong in my weakness. Pretty sure the disciple Paul said something like that. I guess that adds up because when we are afraid and things are out of our control, we have only one place to turn—the Holy energy in, above and all around us. God.
I wrote my obituary today. Seemed like a good thing to do. I don’t believe it’s necessary but it allowed me to reflect on what’s important in my life and how I want to be remembered. Good stuff for anyone, I believe. It also fed my ego a little, examining my accomplishments and priorities. Not a bad thing either in times like this. Any port in a storm!
Face your fears is one of those pieces of advice that leaves us wanting. Not specific enough. Sounds good but not really helpful. Spiritual writer and fellow Wisconsinite Parker Palmer helps us. He says of course we will be afraid of things. It’s the human reaction to perceived danger. But we don’t have to be our fear, he suggests. Find something stronger in our lives while not dwelling on the fear. This is tricky. We need to go into our fear—think about it deeply. As we do, we often find it’s not so bad; we discover ways of addressing it. We have resources. People can help us; our faith; spouse, plans, prayers, preparation—they can all make a difference.
Episcopal priest and spiritual writer, Barbara Crafton talks about how we are able to get through tough times by staring the difficulty down and allowing our soul to be open to its natural, sacred strength. “When did the collision between our appetites and the needs of our souls happen? Was there a heart attack? Did we get laid off from work, one of the thousands certified as extraneous? Did a beloved child become a bored stranger, a marriage fall silent and cold? Or, by some exquisite working of God’s grace, did we just find the courage to look the truth in the eye and, for once, not blink?”
As we wonder and worry about the changes surrounding us, let’s consider all our resources; especially those we can’t see but know they are there nonetheless. Separating our fears from the truth of what’s really going on is a good beginning.
How will you strike the balance of examining the fears surrounding this transition but not be immersed in them? What resources will you uncover and how will they help you?
How will you “look the truth in the eye” and see how doable this transition really is?