Tuesday, December 21, 2010

it's like this

I had intended to have a giveaway yesterday in honor of my 1066th post and my English and minuscule french heritage. Alas, I lost track of the post numbers and am unprepared for the event. Maybe I'll be on top of things when I reach 1100!

In the meantime I ask you to excuse my sporadic posting. For a person who is generally introspective and insightful I have found it difficult of late to "go deep." A number of fellow bloggers are participating in a "year in review" event of reflection called "reverb10." Each day a word, or pair of words is offered as a prompt for reflection. I signed up to take part in this as a way of focusing my thoughts for posts here, but I find that, with a few exceptions, the year is a blur, and my bucket of grist for the mill is empty.

I'm not entirely sure why this is the case, but one result is that I come to this blog feeling as though I have nothing to say. Well, there are things to say, of course, but I don't want this to become a place of political rants (except now and then). Neither do I want this to be a somber place when my inner reflections go that direction. 

I'll confess this: my "personal growth" these days seems to be in the area of confronting and accepting my limitations and deficits. Not a comfortable stage of growth, I'll grant you. It's not that I haven't spent time assessing such things at other times in my life, but these days, these weeks and months, I come back to this: where, and why, am I failing to live more fully? Why are relationships feeling tattered and thin? What will it take to ignite the spark that, at my core, propels and inspires me to feel and be connected with the world?

Spiritually I am feeling particularly bereft. I read testimonies of the awareness by others of God's tending in times of strife. My head acknowledges the working of the divine, but my heart seems shuttered against such knowledge and blessing. I am at a loss what to do to fill my tank in so many respects, and the frustration of that weighs heavier and heavier as the days clip by.

So tell me. How do you cope with such periods of hunger? What do you do to fill your tank? How do you love when your heart feels empty?

Oddly enough, I think I am afloat and functioning in the midst of all this because of God's sustaining love. I just need air in my balloon, wind in my sails, friends around me. It's not hopeless, just annoying.


The Bug said...

I'm not introspective, so I deal with times of hunger the same way I deal with everything - just coast along until it's better. Or write a blog post like I did yesterday. It actually did help & I felt better after hitting "publish."

Sorry I'm not much help in this area - but know that I'm over here supporting you...

Jules said...

Hi there dear Anne, I think part of this is the time of the year. I woke up sad this morning over the loss I have felt this year: my dad, some people I thought were friends, a lack of energy and then thought about all the good things which helped some.

I wish for you more cheer and frivolity, more fun and less stress. Love you, Jules

Jayne said...

Wish I had some words of wisdom, but I am sort of right there with you today my friend. I finally confronted the family member in my life who has been living as a victim and can't seem to get momentum to move forward. Now, she apparently does not want to be in the same room with me on Christmas Eve. Sigh. Well, I had my say and I have to own it now. Feeling pretty darn empty in my indignation. Love you.

Janet M said...

Anne, It's a difficult time of the year for everyone - it's all supposed to be like a Hallmark card or movie everyone thinks and it's not like that in real life.
Hugs to you and I hope that you find some joy in the little things and think back on how good your relationships are now with the family and the new baby on the way.
Thinking of you.

Carolina Linthead said...

From a spectacular train wreck of a person, a few points to ponder: while it is well and good to know one's limitations and deficits, I sense in this case that at least some of these have been/are being put before you from outside of yourself. The great danger here is that you come to see only limitations and deficits, not strengths and assets.

This is where friends and mentors can help, but there are times when there seem to be no friends who "get it," who acknowledge that you are giving what you have, rather than expect ever more from you. And so the weight of your own expectations, coupled with significant external expectations, some of which are perceived but many of which are very real, grows each day. You are increasingly stretched thin, like too little butter and jam on too much bread, to paraphrase a line from Tolkien.

My guess is that you are on the other side of a period in your life that saw great transition, much soul-searching, a very significant inner quest. What to do when you're on the other side of such a time? You have been "touched by fire," but now it seems only a distant ember. How to start it up again? These are fundamental questions for folks with our personality type, Anne, and not easily answered.

My initial thought is this: you cannot ALWAYS be on an inner quest! Give yourself a break, dear friend. Work, make, do, live, and re-learn the value and beauty in daily life. As for those who do not understand that this is where you are right now, there may come a time (likely it is past time) for you to get them off your back.

Dana and I had a very wise professor back in the day who talked much about this concept, freely acknowledging that even as students, we may have to tell him, in one way or another, to get off our back and let us do what we needed to do. Not that he would necessarily reward this with a good grade, but he generally understood that we had given all we had. Nothing is more clear in the Gospels than this: we are asked to give all that we have, but not more. This is not complacency...it is the acknowledgment of where you are at this time in your life.

We cannot always be on the mountaintop...we can look around us and see that the valley is inspiring in its own way. I count it a blessing every time you comment on my blog, every time I come here and see something you've done, or read your thoughts, or listen to the occasional rant (with which I typically wholeheartedly agree). I hope you find in these words some encouragement and hope. You will find yourself on a mountaintop again, probably when you least expect it. In the meantime, enjoy your walk through this valley as best you can, and know that we are here with you.

Grace and peace to you,


The Bug said...

Um Michael? Physician heal thyself!

Terri said...

I struggle with what to write on my blog these days too, because no way am I going to talk about what is really going on internally...at least not publically on a blog. But the struggle to not succumb to my despair and feeling of failure is the work that I am about these days. Most days I am numb from the effort.

I hope it is a time of growing roots, deep internal work, that will produce more growth in the future. This kind of work though is slow, and not really obvious...and not even particularly "satisfying." at least not yet.

I hope that this season for you becomes one of deeper inner peace and fruitfulness...even if for now it is more about stillness, or feeling inert.

KimQuiltz said...

Loving you today (and every day!!!). I love what Michael had to say (aren't Michaels wonderful?! my son Stosh is a Michael too)
I love, too, all your wonderful friends!
Just love, love, and love and more love!!! :D


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