Saturday, November 03, 2007

Time to move the bed across the room

I was just saying to my younger son "I'm more stable (emotionally and spiritually) than I've been in a long time." Mostly I think that's true.

But when I look back on my life, that's not really saying much. I've had huge bouts with instability. Whatever damage was done to my six-year-old psyche when my dad left my mom to marry another woman with her own little girl, it stuck with me into my adulthood.

I was forever falling in love with the first guy who looked twice, not to mention the ones who never looked at all. I was forever crying my eyes out over abuse (real and imagined) and because of my emotional profile, I attracted abuse of all kinds. I was a wimp as a child and a wimp as an adult. (Sisters reading this may be thinking differently, but I was not always as confident or competent as I appear to be now.)

I was as insecure as they come when I was in my twenties... trying to please, trying to make people like me. Only time has helped me build any kind of character, or maturity, or equanimity... and it hasn't come easy.

Pain is the huge leveler, whether it's emotional or physical or spiritual. Sometimes they are so interwoven it's hard to sort out what's really causing the most trouble. I've had a lot of headaches lately. Some of it is sinus. The weather is changing and we recently turned on the heat. But much of it is stress related. There is stress around my upcoming life profession, stress having to do with family issues, both inside and outside the convent, and then the general malaise that comes and goes for seemingly no reason at all. Nobody is happy all the time. If we were, how would we know?

Benedictine orders take a vow of "stability." It's not exactly what you might think: it's a commitment to live in a particular monastic community for life. I was raised by Navy, married Navy; I have relocation blood in my veins. Even during my formation period in this community, I have moved five times. Staying put will be difficult.

Whenever I feel the urge to relocate, I change the furniture around. It works. Otherwise I'd be chafing at the bit to move again, find some reason why I should, harp on it, make everyone around me miserable... instead I move my bed across the room. Some might call it maturity. For me it's just common sense.

Maybe it's time to move the bed.


Pat said...

Hoping you don't decide to move the bed out into the hall…

Anonymous said...

Ironically, I recently read that in feng shui you should avoid having the bed in a direct line with the door.

Claire Joy said...

I'll be careful about that.

Anonymous said...

I've heard it said that pain is also the touchstone of all spiritual growth.. . . If so - you're in for it!!!!!!!!!!!! B