If you read TerifiCreations I shared a lot about Get Unstuck with Jen Fulwiler. The thing that was hardest for me but proved the most beautiful was accepting and asking for help. Even before Get Unstuck I’d made the decision to make a class this last week even knowing that I’d be taking two days to be with my Sweetie, so this was something of a lofty goal. By accepting help to get my space set up initially, checking in with the folks with my publishing company, asking for help to reset the room and reshooting video and checking in one more time. Whew! That was a lot of work, so worth it though.
In a couple of hours I’m heading off to Confession. I’m back from Confession, I’m forever grateful for the sweet intimacy of this moment. There’ve been times in my life when I’ve gone every two weeks and times where the length of time where it becomes harder and harder to go because I’m deeply ashamed that I haven’t been. As a parish we’re getting ready to read Elizabeth Scalia’s Little Sins Mean a Lot, we will read this as a leadership group then as the Book Study Group, so between now and Lent I’ll read this twice more. Our Life of faith includes becoming intimately involved in a relationship with Jesus and with our neighbor, and ourselves. This intimacy between Jesus and myself in the Confessional is a beautifully dynamic gift wherein I seek mercy, it is extended to me, and then I can take it to my neighbor. Elizabeth speaks in her introduction about the murderous thoughts while driving the Long Island Expressway, while I no longer have that same roadway, like anyone who lived in NY and drove the L.I.E. or any major roadway in the New York City area the thoughts still occur with much more regularity than I care to admit publicly and I am coming to a deeper understanding how these thoughts become the underlay, helping to pave the way, to bigger things by exercising impatience and feeding the “I have the right of way of it all.” As driving is concerned praying for those around us while driving is probably the better thing and will help us to learn to extend grace in beautiful ways.
Back to our regularly scheduled program.
I *think* that I’ve been a helper since I was little and in my tweens and teens that helping nature became something more out of necessity. In one way this morphed into I’m the helper and I don’t need help more that I need help and don’t know how to ask for what I need or I’m ashamed to ask for what I need. That last bit is difficult to write. When my friend offered to help me prepare my room for shooting video I took her up on the offer, twice. The second time I asked. Later that day I had the opportunity to reflect on it in the group and shared this “complementarity of gift.” My friends gift not only met my needs in this moment but in a deeper sense too, I met her needs. One of her gifts is organizing space, it is not mine. Her joy in helping me was palpable. Where I would have escaped to the keyboard to write something about how hard this is and give up on ever realizing my goals, her joy and conversation made it easier for me to get to where I needed to that day. Her JOY in sharing her God-given Gift/talent/vocation led to me being able to share MY gift. Earlier in the week I had the realization that when my light is shining brightly, when I’m using my gifts I’m illuminating the path for others. Our lights aren’t so much for our own ability to see the path, it’s for others to see. I can see my own path clearer when I’m looking for the light of others candles, others who are using their gifts. Asking for help to do the work of rearranging is such a great moment. Because in this moment I set aside my ego and let someone in, and it was better.
This further allowed me to let other people in on the other end of the process giving me some feedback. This makes what I’m doing better. They got to have input, sharing their expertise so that what we’re doing together is the best work that I can do. So now I can dive in and make a good start on my work.
Letting people in and getting advice isn’t always easy. Some of this is a learned response formed by our childhoods and then how we’re given feedback over formative working years. On my part it’s been hard to receive feedback in part from my own childhood from both the home dynamic and the school dynamic. The school dynamic centered around the fact that I lived in the projects and several teachers took the opportunity to shame me for something that was totally out of my control. Coping mechanisms developed that I’m still working out. It is an opportunity for God to work in my life and heart. And this beautiful trio of friendship, reading and some serious faithwork opened my heart for this last week.
One thing I’ve realized over the last couple of weeks is that feedback can be given in a way that offers us the opportunity to grow. There is a genuine opportunity to grow when people speak love and life to you. Being able to receive that input on my end is a balm to my soul. Oh this week has been so so beautiful.
As we head into Advent, our new Liturgical year, a time of reflection, sacrifice, and preparation I’m grateful for this year, for how the Holy Spirit is moving reorienting my life and work in a different way. Showing me there are options, other ways of thinking and doing and being. Being transformed by the renewing my mind and heart.