shadows and monsters

Well, time and space has helped me to reach a point of some clarity as to the shadows lurking around my discernment process. As I've said before there is nothing disturbing or dark about them, more just reality sinking in as I move deeper and further along this road.

This blog experiment is challenging. On the one hand for some strange reason I feel called to at least try to be fairly open and honest in sharing my experiences with those of you in the blogosphere. I could just stick to the controlled covers of my personal journal, but instead here you are reading this. One main reason is that I think it's important for the world to realize that, yes, people do still do this and that's a very good thing. Religious life is a relevant and life giving choice for some (obviously not all). On the other hand there is the challenge of what to share, how much to balance the wonderful positive aspects with the inevitable messy moments and questions. Complicated by the fact that as I move further along this journey, my personal story becomes more intertwined with the collective groovy sister story. Like those of you who feel compelled to filter and shield information about your family members, so too my new groovy sister family.

That said, I have reached some clarity as to the nature of the shadows that have been lurking around the last few weeks. And as every child knows naming the monsters in the closet makes them much less scary … especially when you are able to unmask the supposed monsters as mere shadows! It all comes down to realizing where I am on the road … so much farther along than I ever would have imagined this time last year. And yet a long road to walk still. Realizing that in opening myself to the possibilities God has in mind for me, I am also opening myself up to risk. Realizing that I am indeed moving slowly from my story to our story, and the give and take this entails. Realizing that I am moving from the theory of being ok with (and excited about) intergenerational relationships to the reality and experience of them. Realizing that I will continue over this year to feel pulled in many directions - work, family, church, friends - and possibly never really feel able to adequately respond to any of those pulls in the way they or I might desire. But at the same time realizing that I feel not necessarily pulled, but increasingly drawn into another direction - groovy sisterdom - and that this will require a give and take of its own.

See, no scary monsters. Not even really any unmanageable or unexpected lurking shadows. And by naming them I realize in turn that I feel so blessed to be able to follow Jesus on this journey, with an amazing community of women who inspire me and make me feel more like me than I've ever felt before.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Tricky business this. But oh so wonderful and amazing!

Lunch time over. Back to tackling my bureaucratic piles!


Lorem ipsum said...

Have you considered becoming a governess to seven motherless children? Can you play the guitar? Do you like spinning around on mountaintops? If none of this sounds appealing, I think the religious life is definitely for you. And even if it does sound appealing, I still think the religious life is the way to go.

Christine said...

nice articulation of both the odd balance of revealing the inner journey and the respecting that you are not on the journey alone. I've probably erred in the direction of not revealing (because so much of my life! is entangled with those who have not given permission to be revealed online) as much as others would like or expect.
And the risks you mention, and as you intuit, are worth it.

Susan D said...

Yes, it surely does help to write the demons down, shrinks them to proper size. Going from I to we is an amazing and long process - had a wonderful dream this week in which a "group of us" - no further differentiation in my dream - went swimming with a great white bear & thought that yes, I do carry the community with me everywhere now. Also was struck in today's gospel for the first time that the shepherd and the woman with the broom both have to call in their friends and neighbors to rejoice with them over finding the lost - private rejoicing is not complete rejoicing, it seems.
Yes, it's risky, especially because the intergenerational piece means dealing with a lot of loss in the future. I hope so much the risk will continue to be worth taking!

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Thanks everyone. This post was an important one for me to write. Glad to know that my painting of the picture made sense to others.

And Susan/Christine - I think there have always been risks. There always have been. And yes, it will I'm sure continue to be worth it!!!

Susan - love that realization about the gospel story. The part about the woman who found the coin gathering people around her to rejoice had never really sunk in before.

Maybe this blog in addition to public figuring out of things is also a sort of virtual public rejoicing about being invited on this wonderful crazy journey????

Anonymous said...

Susan, I just found this post and I love it. It articulates the exact same concern I've had in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. I rarely hesitate to lay it all out there on my blog. All of me, almost all of the time. But then I'm also kind of quiet about the blog around people I interact with on a daily basis. What's appropriate for one situation/person is a side I don't really share with another. Anyway, I love the way you put it into words.