This week I came across an essay written by Richard Rohr. He began with:
The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But the mystery of transformation more often happens not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart—chaos—invites the soul to listen at a deeper level, and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place. Most of us would never go to new places in any other way. The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: fire, dark night, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God. We will normally do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart, yet this is when we need patience and guidance, and the freedom to let go instead of tightening our controls and certitudes.
In times of great uncertainty (which by the way right now qualifies) our gut reaction is to tighten up, to brace, to focus on should and oughts. This posture and reaction invites in shame, guilt, pressure, unhealthy behaviors – especially when the change is overwhelming and earth-shaking. What would it look like to intentionally choose softness? What would it look like to choose exploration instead of defensiveness, curiosity instead of clutching, openness instead of battening down, walking instead of running? Instead of saying, “NO, NO, NO” what if you offered your deepest yes. It is the yes that will carry us through to the other side and serve as the cornerstone of the new.
So what can you say yes to even now? Maybe now would be a good time to write down all of the yeses of your heart and see where they take you.
Associate Minister of Faith Formation
Photo source: Jon Tyson (@jontyson) Unsplash Photo Community
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