Lucky for us the lessons we most need to learn keep showing up.
I have been antsy lately, crabby and feeling overwhelmed by pretty much everything. Instead of going to the things that I know bring me closer to my center, closer to a little bit of peace- getting enough sleep, working out, finishing one project at a time- I have been starting more and more, cramming more and more on my little plate and feeling the pressure of trying to keep it all contained on on the plate. My soul has been craving space, silence and expansiveness with a large dose of grace, but instead it has been on a steady diet of have to’s, shoulds and ought to’s crowding out any space for grace.
Luckily I was reminded last night of the gift of being given grace by another when you can’t give it to yourself.
Then today, I came across this blog post, and was reminded this quote by Thomas Merton:
“The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence. The frenzy of the activist…destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”
And this from Courtney Martin in her post the Spiritual Art of Saying No:
“So often when this issue gets talked about, I feel like it is portrayed as a problem of wilting flower women who just want to make everyone happy. I don’t mind disappointing people so much as I’m voraciously and indiscriminately interested in the world. I want to learn everything, be everywhere, collaborate with everyone. In thoroughly modern terms, I’ve got major FOMO about anything that fascinates me.”
One of my greatest strengths is also one of my greatest weaknesses. Life fascinates me, and there is so much to learn, discover and experience. And so many amazing people to befriend, to share life with, to adventure through life with. And yet, this quote, and my recent days have reminded me that I can’t do all things, be all things to all people. It reminds me to give myself the gift of stepping back, of taking a deep breath, of centering first and moving from there, giving myself more of the grace that was gifted to me.
So my reminder for myself, “Make space for grace”.