I have this ever-eternal belief that everything will always work out ok. I think that Julian of Norwich just might be my patron saint. When I think of this, I think of Weebles… those toys from the 70′s. I don’t know if they are still around. I never had them. As a TV kid though, commercials had a big impact on me. Their commercial had this catchy little song… “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”
You see, Weebles are egg-shaped people-toys with a little weight at the bottom. What an interesting subconscious message… they never fall down. I’m not sure if that’s helpful or if that’s harmful. As with everything, it all depends on how we see it. Then again, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right?
So, I’ve been in seminary a little over a month. I think I have found equlibrium. I’m finding a groove, finding a tribe, finding myself. There are actions I have taken to assist with this:
- Taking naps in the afternoon when my thinking is hazy so that I can catch up on the sleep I miss out on when I stay up until 1 or 2 in the morning because that’s when my brain functions best.
- Getting off “Holy Hill” to feel myself again.
- Having sessions with a therapist.
- Allowing my friends to truly take up residence in my heart even when they aren’t here with me.
- Not reading every single word that I’m assigned.
- And the big money winner… stop comparing myself to everyone else.
Comparing myself to everyone else… that’s something I’ve gotten very good at over the years. It’s a hard addiction to give up. How to stop the ongoing thoughts because they just go on and on and on… like variations on a theme.
“Am I ok? Am I more ok than that person or less ok than that person? If that person is ok then what do I have to do to be ok too? If that person is not ok, then that makes me more ok than them, right? That person will never be ok so I don’t even have to think about them. If that person likes me, then I’m ok. And that person didn’t interact with me the way I wanted them to, so they are definitely not ok… so let me figure out exactly why they aren’t ok…hmmm, their Enneagram number is… Or what if they are ok and I’m the one that’s not ok…”
It’s truly maddening. No wonder I zone out to sit-coms as a relief. Everyone is usually ok on a sitcom.
We all have a different take on what ok-ness looks like. For some, it’s success. For others, it’s smart or disciplined, or loved, or free, etc. Mine is being connected, sometimes as a part of the group or sometimes connected to one particular person. Friends is one of my favorite shows… there is always an “other” to be connected to.
When I was a kid, I thought this meant a kind of prince-charming character… someone to see Cinderella for who she is and fall in love with her. We did Cinderella as our 6th grade musical. I got the part of the wicked step-mother. I attributed that to my ability to sing off-key… and the fact that I already had definite breasts in 6th grade. But I digress.
The other… who is the other? If it’s not prince charming, than who is it? It’s easy, especially in seminary, to make the other Jesus or even God. I suppose this is just as healthy as anything else. There is some fantastic poetry that talks to this…
When he touches me I clutch the sky’s sheets,
the way other lovers do.
the earth’s weave of clay.
Any real ecstasy is a sign you are moving in the right direction,
don’t let any prude tell you otherwise.
– St Teresa of Avila
What I have been reminded of this past month is that despite my continued attempts to find other “out there”… is never going to happen. I have tried. I have tried everything. It doesn’t work. There is nothing out there to connect to. The ability to be connected to someone else implies that there is a way to be disconnected. As a matter of fact, the whole concept of connection implies that there is an other to be connected to or disconnected from.
My heart says that this mystical lovemaking that Teresa is talking about is not about 2 entities coming together. Instead, it’s about remembering that the lovemaking never stops… even when we don’t remember its happening.
I’m willing to admit that this is my 9 talking… but I suspect that it’s more than that. My 9 is the one who wants to compare self to other in order to connect to other. She wants to turn the conversation I just had about Hinduism with two young gentlemen who passed by my dorm room into a way to figure out what I did to disconnect from them. It’s clear that she hasn’t fully surrendered to God’s lovemaking.
So what do I do with that? I’m not sure that’s the question. I think the question is… do I need to do anything with that?
You see… Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.