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Yesterday I talked a bit about what my spiritual life was like. Thankfully, it changed a lot. And it's still changing. Now I am aware that it's all about the journey, not the destination; about who I am, not what I have.
My biggest struggle? By far, it's being silent. Actively choosing not to fill every moment of my day with music, talk, cell phones, tvs, books, hopes, dreams and petitions. Being still and ignoring the laundry pile, the knocked over magazine holder and the noise of the dogs playing, that is oh, so distracting.
I used to think I was the only one with this problem. Until I read Pete Wilson's Empty Promises, and got to the part on solitude. He quotes Henri Nouwen's writing, which portrays exactly what happens when I try to be still:
"As soon as I decide to stay in my solitude, confusing ideas, disturbing images, wild fantasies, and weird associations jump about in my mind like monkeys in a banana tree. Anger and greed begin to show their ugly faces. I give long, hostile speeches to my enemies and dream lustful dreams in which I am wealthy, influential, and very attractive- or poor, ugly, and in need of immediate consolation. Thus I try again to run from the dark abyss of my nothingness and restore my false self in all its vainglory."
He continues, showing what I should do to conquer this:
"The task is to persevere in my solitude, to stay in my cell until all my seductive visitors get tired of pounding on my door and leave me alone."
How about that? And if I do keep in mind it's all about the journey, I know I don't have to pound on myself for the one day I throw my hands up in the air and give up after 30 seconds. There is always the next moment with God, and most times, it comes faster than I expect.