Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Coffee Break

I'm not going to start on the monastic promises this week after all. I've been finding this period between being accepted for perpetual profession and actually making it rather unsettling. I very much want to profess, but I also want to feel on Cloud 9 about it, and I wasn't really feeling that. Life somehow seemed to be getting in the way, not big things, but not quite as I wanted it. In the back of my head a little voice kept whispering that these niggles were opportunities for grace, for transformation, for putting the needs of others before my own. In response a much louder voice shouted back, " I don't want these opportunities right now." The other day, I was feeling really quite down about things and I wanted someone to read my mind and make it right.

In this frame of mind, I enter the sisters' break room for my mid-morning break.
I pour a cup of coffee. A sister shares a piece about Easter by John Chrysostom. I feel better. I sit down. She compliments me on last week's blog. I tell her it feels different writing the blog now that my request to make perpetual profession has been accepted. It had become a discernment tool for a very specific purpose and now that purpose is fulfilled. I have things I can write about, but I'm experiencing a certain emptiness. She says, "Well, say that. Say it." So I am, and I feel better. It's not just to do with the blog (that's a symptom) but to do with my life situation, and I feel better for saying it. Another sisters says she works like a 'J' on the Myers Briggs, but she isn't really a 'J'. I'm surprised. I'm the same. I feel better. I say I have reservations about these personality tests because they can end up by putting people in boxes. One or two sisters agree. I feel better. Still on the subject of boxes, we talk about finding cardboard boxes to pack things in for an office move. I feel better. I put my cup in the dishwasher. A sister comments to me that she and I and a few others have the absurd gene, which is a gift, because it it helps you survive in community. Maybe we should start a group - Absurd Sisters? I feel better. I chat with another sister. I tell her some of my miseries. We start to laugh about it. I feel better.

Were these women reading my mind after all? Maybe these things that have loomed so large are, actually, pretty small? Maybe I can use them as opportunities for grace and transformation. Well, at least I could have a go and, as John Chrysostom tells me, just having a go is enough.

So, I want to end by saying "thank you" to the break room sisters for helping me rediscover my equilibrium. I'm looking forward to profession and I'm looking forward to life continuing to happen in the weeks leading up to July 11.

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