I just spent the better part of last night asking this question repeatedly as I tossed and turned, unable to sleep – for no apparent reason as best I can tell. I finished my grading by 10:30, found out I needed to post a homework solution for my students, got a Skype call from my friend M., and then tried to go to sleep – to no avail.
Tried reading, praying, crossword puzzles, listened to music, ended up watching “Sisters of Selma”, a PBS documentary, ate some peanut M&Ms (I know that probably wasn’t helpful….) In the end I probably got 2-3 hours of sleep before I dragged my sorry behind out of bed at 8:00.
So what was going through my mind – well, besides the repetition of the above question?
I suppose I was having one of those episodes (infrequent, thank God) of feeling nostalgic for the road “not taken.” I was having some moments of wishing to feel someone’s arms around me, or my arms around someone as I went to sleep. I asked God to allow me to have an experience of being in God’s arms, but the thought of how nice it would be to have another human being to wake up to stayed with me.
Does this mean that God wants me to leave the convent and start my search for the man or woman of my dreams? Of course not! It just means I was having a human moment, just like anyone else, one in which I feel keenly the implications of the commitments I’ve made, commitments that preclude some choices I might otherwise make. Does this mean I’m unhappy in religious life and my call to celibacy? Again, of course not!
You may wonder… “Why is she getting so personal in this post? Is this too much information?” To which I respond that if I were a gambler, which I’m not, I’d put good money on all of you having had nostalgia for the choice you could have but did not make. And I’m hoping that this builds connections among us on another level. A lot of the ideas about nuns in the popular culture are just so unreal. Guess what, WE ARE REAL – just get to know us as fellow human beings, as fellow seekers on this journey to the heart of God. You might find that we have much more in common than in difference.
Peace. Shalom. OM.