Monday, February 3, 2014

Short Comings VS Sins

It seems to me that at the same time we are oblivious to our own behaviors and their impact, we can also be manufacturing self blame and angst over our imaginary responsibilities to others.

I am in the middle of an AWOL, an in depth study of the 12 Steps. So, I have this list of defects and am praying daily to have them removed. I have summarized my list in a sentence or two about self centered fear and a lack of true faith in God to run my life and that is what I ask God to remove.

At the end of the day I run through the day to see how I did. I am starting to see that it is not missing someone's signals or not adequately intervening in what I have the ability to change that is the problem (whew, did you follow that?). I know this because when I do my Evening Prayers that call for confession, I can see all that as self preoccupation. My sin, I prefer the Greek interpretation for sin of 'where I missed the mark' is the fear that leads me to repeatedly over analyze to see my part in it.

This comes up for me this morning as I re-enter into a book study on non- violent communication. There is a focus on how we can communicate in an open, non judging manner. Some commenters are angsting about others in their church reacting in anger to well meaning behaviors. I guess I would say that it is never about 'them', it is about us.

Which takes me back to fear! How threatening it is when we are somehow accused of not (responding, understanding, doing, managing) enough. I get that and I get their fear.

Today, I can sit with that. I can exercise restraint of pen and tongue but anonymously blog to share my halting understanding of how it is to walk the walk. My friend and I spent some time together yesterday.

Let me tell you, on the first day of proposing a fast, it is not a good idea to visit a Farmers Market. I was tired, ate a little more than the little I planned to eat. Then went home to lie down as I was too tired and fuzzy to stop and visit with Louie.  I came home at 3 pm to no power. Rested and went to see Louie, nudged by the desire for for warmth and light which helped me to do the right thing. We pushed away his picked at food tray. I opened the Coke and the Hershey's Dark (so healthy it's like medicine!?) and we sipped and nibbled together. In retrospect, it was our communion.

So, what is good about today? Most everything, that's my guess.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Some Thoughts on Louie and Fasting

I am a novice in the dispersed Order of Ecumenical Franciscans and I have 30 Chapters on various spiritual topics to complete. You can complete one a month but must go no faster than that. In November or December I came to a Chapter on fasting.

In November I did some research on the CRON eating plan, Calorie Reduction Optimal Nutrition and other plans that have a fasting aspect. My focus was on health and simplification of my lifestyle, it was not spiritually connected.

So, I have had this Fasting Chapter hanging over my head awhile now and I haven't been able to get into it. When I brought it up towards the end of my meeting with my spiritual director last week, she had a different take on it. She is totally independent of the Order which is why it is a requirement that I see her as well as communicate with my Formation Counselor.

Her take is that 'my sap is running', I have just switched my sons room into a guest room (one more bag of booze bottles found!) which has changed something in each room, I am truly occupying my home in new ways and looking at what my mission in an expanded way. She could put into words why fasting was not resonating with me, it made sense to her and she supports me deferring it for something else at this time.

WELL! I wrote my Formation Director who lives in Japan. It has been almost a week and I have had no feedback. Is this benign neglect or Monastic Mr Smarty-Pants? No matter . . .

Who is Louie? He is everybody's friend in local AA. He has been fighting cancer a long time and in a nursing home, going to stay there on Hospice services. I took my fifth step with him a month ago when I could see it wasn't going to work out with my sponsor. I saw him yesterday and was taken aback at his decline, jaundice setting in and further weight loss in the ten days since I had seen him last.

I think I will fast with Louie. I will take in a little nutrition as I want to continue walking at lunch and working as everyone does.  I've been wanting to drop the coffee . . .

Thanks for listening, I knew you would be up!

That's what's good about today.