Connecting the Dots

One of the pains that I've felt deeply in my life is the pain of disintegration, not understanding or seeing that various aspects of my person are intrinsically connected and that everything belongs. The tension comes in feeling required to be an "either/or," "in/out," rather than being a "both/and." The pain comes in seeking approval and trying to fit in, compromising or conforming to belong. The pain comes in feeling isolated and alone, needing to connect the dots of who I am an what I am to do in my mind. The pain is sharpened and sustained by the failure of the above two practices sins.

I cannot will myself into connecting dots, nor believe myself  disparate and wish myself whole and expect things to change. I do not find myself by thinking about finding myself, I find myself when I am lost. Other than Jesus, maybe Richard Rohr has said it best:

"We do not find our own center; it finds us. Our own mind will not be able to figure it out. We collapse back into the Truth only when we are naked and free - which is probably not very often. We do not think ourselves into a new way of living. We live ourselves into a new way of thinking. In other words, our journeys, around and through our realities, or circumferences, lead us to the core reality, where we meet both our truest self and our truest God." - Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer

I have found that when I am lost in the moment—in conversation, in meditation, while running or even working—I am more my true self. It's not something I have to think about, I'm just living from center. The place of concentration and contemplation is not so that I can find myself, as much as I would love to sit here and do just that. The place of concentration is one of being opened up, facing and accepting the realities around us and being found in God who illuminates who we are and where we are.

In that place, I'm not a scattered set of philosophies or incongruent ideas. I'm me. I'm accepted. I'm loved. Not dependent on anyone's approval or my own accomplishments. My worth not defined by my work. Instead, I'm liberated to work with courage because my worth has already been [re]defined.

I'm still tempted to connect the dots now and again. To play "God" with my circumstances rather than finding God in me and myself in God. I know how it feels, though, draining. I think I'll stick with the energy, compassion and power that comes in accepting and letting go, in finding myself as I lose myself. I'll allow the dots to connect as they do, and the revelations will be sweet and meaningful. I'll learn and grow. As this process is, so will I be; unforced and unfettered, courageous and mysterious, integrative and illuminating.
Benjamin FaderComment