Ok, so now I’m sharing something I noticed about myself as I began focusing the content of the blog on the anti-racism work I’m engaged in. It seems to me that when I started feeling some responsibility for having this blog be a resource for folks from our dialogue sessions, I went into my head instead of staying mainly in my heart for the blog posts. I’m really good at the intellectual stuff, and it can be a hide-out for me. The good news is that I have learned to recognize when that is happening to me.
I’ll leave you with a little story about something that happened to me over the weekend. Friday night and most of the day Saturday, I was working really hard at preparing one of my classes for this week, and kept hitting a wall. The harder I tried to solve the problem I was working on, the more frustrated I got. It was really upsetting. I was all but convinced that I was suffering from clinical depression. I had an e-mail to my colleagues drafted that said I didn’t think our curriculum changes were going to work out. I decided to wait until Sunday to send it.
On Sunday, I went to Mass, did the grocery shopping, and then worked the Sunday crossword puzzles (Boston Globe and New York Times). Didn’t even look at those engineering textbooks! It was late afternoon by then, and would you believe I sat down and solved the problem within about a half hour?!
You might be wondering what that might have to do with the spiritual life. Well, for me, it was an instance of the 3rd step of AA, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.” By my own efforts alone, I was totally unable to figure out what I had done wrong in solving that problem I worked on all day Saturday. I knew that there was a reasonable chance that I was going to be walking into class on Monday with nothing to teach that wouldn’t be too confusing. I was up against a wall, and I had no choice but to “let it go.” So when I started again on Sunday, I had let go of the expectation that I was going to be able to teach what I had written on the syllabus, but I decided to give it one last shot. I don’t know WHY letting go works for me, but I do know that it DOES work. I really do trust that God is not going to disppoint and that I’ll be ok, even when I feel desperate.
Do you have an experience of this or something similar that you’d be willing to share with us?