Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Avoidance

So, Lord, You've been trying to get my attention these past weeks, I know, and I've been desperately ignoring You.  I haven't been praying, and when I do, it's a rushed sentence or two, a help me! followed by an immediate return to whatever I'm using to distract myself at the time.

It gets worse.  I haven't just avoided prayer.  I've avoided cleaning my home and organizing my calendar and creating order in my life, because order creates a space for You, and I didn't want to have to deal with You.  I've fixated on unhealthy activities, surfing the net for hours at a time, staying up all night so I'd have an excuse not to be functional the next day, "forgetting" to eat or exercise or take my pills, choosing entertainment that wasn't beautiful or good, that didn't bring me joy or help me discover truths about You, or myself, or the world.

The last is the worst: I watched three seasons of House in two weeks.

There's nothing wrong with House, particularly.  Some people enjoy it, I hear.

I didn't, though.

It depressed me.  It bored me.  It made me feel like there was nothing worthwhile in the world, or in other people, or in myself.  I watched it obsessively, episodes and episodes on end.  I didn't have to think about You, that way.  I didn't have to do the work of listening and responding to You.

The only moment in the whole three stupid seasons that I actually felt was worth my time was at the end of season three, when the young female doctor finally gave up her codependent crush on the miserable cynic that is the show's protagonist, and got together with the imperfect but relatable guy who actually cared about other people sometimes.

At which point I stopped watching it, because it had failed to serve my purpose of distracting me from anything and everything important.

And I drifted, for a few days, trying to find something else to take its place, and finally I found myself staring at my laptop again at three a.m. and I was so angry with myself for spending so much time ignoring You without even knowing why.

So now I'm here, and I'm ready to hear what You have to say.  I expect it will be something hard, or I wouldn't have spent so much time trying to ignore it, but I'm here, and I'm sorry, and I'm listening.

Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.  Or, as my Mom says: shoot.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Clare:

    Oh ... how you have just described me!

    I have spent months like this ... for the last 3 winters ... not praying, not eating right, staying up until all hours "distracting" myself with TV and Internet surfing; not even getting to Mass on Sundays! It was like living in hell! It was so bad that I could not attend weekly Mass for 6 long months ... after the Christmas Vigil Mass, until early June!!

    A generous priest who had been my spiritual director, came to visit me in June this year; and his 'solution' for this spiritual condition was that I should write for myself a "Rule of Spiritual Life": on a daily, weekly, monthly & even on a yearly basis. I did, and it has helped me tremendously to re-connect with God and occasionally, with my parish.

    I'm a disabled senior who suffers from depression and a number of physical conditions/illnesses; and, for the last 3 winters I've also suffered from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Winter is coming again, and I can already feel the pull to that 'hell' of disconnecting myself from God again (almost like it's 'on purpose')!

    God bless you for posting this. I thought I was the only one who fell into this kind of self-inflicted spiritual desert.

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  2. It always feels weird to say, "Me too, me too!" when I know you've had it much worse than me. But still, I do definitely know exactly what you mean by this post.

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