I do not particularly like to admit that, for this past year, I have been curiously passive. I have responded and reacted far more than I have acted. I have allowed the forces of Chance and Capriciousness to make their marks upon me more often than not. More often than was good for me.
To be honest, they've left me rather bruised and somewhat battered.
I do not like to admit that, sometimes, over this past year, it was so much easier to rack up those bruises than to decide. To pick or choose or move or act. I hate to admit that, for this past year, sometimes staying in bed sang a siren call so sweetly, lulling me into just one more Pajama Day, just one more time. What could it hurt?
Well, um, actually - me. All that battering and bruising - all the doubt and panic and passivity, all the stuckness and immobility damaged me. Every time I waited, every time I watched and let life role over and through, come what may, it became easier to let it. Most times, it didn't matter - six of one, half dozen of the other. Or, at least, close enough not to matter.
It became so easy, that when it mattered, when I really needed to act, I couldn't. Didn't.
It's one thing to do this to myself. It's quite another when my inaction - as it so inevitably did - singed so many others around me. Letters didn't get mailed, forms didn't get signed. Calls weren't returned on time. I showed up in body, my spirit stayed somewhere locked away, passively waiting for the other shoe to drop, yet always surprised when it did. I fooled myself into believing I was showing up enough for the people I love.
Mostly, I was just hollow.
I have a lot of clean up to do. How apropos, to realize all of this now, as we enter this season of separating what I would like to believe of myself from who I really am. I don't have to dive too deep in this one. When I abdicate the need or ability to act, I don't just give up control, it is not just me who gets tossed about on the rocks. It is everyone around me, and the closer they spin to my orbit, the more scraped and skinned their knees become.
The good news - I haven't passively waited for this season to change, to realize that all the bruising and battering was not the fault of cruel and capricious chance - much as I would like to lay blame at that particular altar. No, my wounds, and the wounds I placed on the people I love and hold dear were all due to me not acting, to me merely drifting through my life.
The beauty of Elul is the freedom to say "I am weary and afraid and I have no clue at all - but still, I will act. I will err and possibly flail about, but I will act, put one foot in front of the other and show up, even imperfectly." I think, perhaps, this is the only way to heal: act. Show up, again and again, imperfections and mistakes and weary, grudging doubt.
The Gates are open, but I gotta get there to walk through.
- I write, mostly to keep my head from exploding. It threatens to do that a lot. My blog is the pixelated version of all the voices in my head. I tend to dive into what connects me to God, my community, my family and my doubt. I do a lot of searching, not as much finding. I’m good with that. I have learned, finally, to live comfortably in the gray. In the meantime, I wrestle with God, and my doubt and my joy.