This morning, the pastor of the church that I attended gave a sermon on life coming from death. Basically, that death is necessary for life to occur. He gave examples of the food we eat and composting in gardens. He used Christ's example. Then, he asked us to sit quietly for a little while and think about what would have to die in our lives in order for us to more truly become ourselves. (He was using New Year's resolutions as a place to start from.) I have trouble with statements like these because I don't usually think that much in my life has to change. I have built up habits that are basically good, that are consistent with my beliefs for what is right and wrong. I fail to uphold my own standards on a case-by-case basis, but I don't generally have any big changes to make to follow Christ more closely, which is usually equivalent to becoming more truly myself.
As usual, though, as soon as I think something doesn't apply to me, God gives me a little nudge, looks pointedly at something, then leans his head to indicate that I should look, too. As I sat quietly, I realized that God was looking at my unhappiness. he was looking at my discontent and my longing. I had to get my journal out of my purse, write these three words down and put them in the little bowl by the communion elements alongside everyone else's toxins.
I use the word toxins, because that was what I was visualizing as I sat quietly. I went out last night for New Year's and had a few drinks with Daniel's girlfriend to celebrate. (The show was terrible, by the way. The guys on Sound Opinions put this band's album as the number 2 album of the year. That conclusion could not have been reached by watching these guys' stage show. Can we say unprofessional?) So, we came home a little tipsy, drank a bunch of water, then went to bed. I did not drink anywhere close to enough to pass out as soon as I hit the bed. I fell asleep naturally and proceeded to wake up every 3 hours or so because all of the fluids I had been drinking because I'm a little sick, combined with the fluids that I drank at the show, combined with the fluids that I drank when I got home to prevent a hangover and to consume some Emergen-C were catching up to me. The second time I woke up, I was at the point of inebriation when you feel sick and nauseous. I was sweating and dizzy and had to lay down quickly and nakedly to let my body rid itself of the toxins I had put in it by sweating or it would have rid itself of the toxins by puking. Do you know that kind of sweat I'm talking about? I sweat that way when I have food poisoning, too, when all my body wants to do it stretch itself out on the cool tile floor of the bathroom so that my skin comes into contact with as much floor as possible to relieve the heat of purification.
God nudged me to see that there were spiritual toxins in my body that I have to purge also. I don't know how to do that, yet, but I'm hoping my body will do it for me. Metaphorically make it so that all I want to do is lie down and let myself sweat. I have been meaning to write a post about my recent pattern of finally being able to admit to two or three people that I'm not real happy in the city. People are strangers, their habits are self-defensive and inconsiderate, it's dirty, I'm not surrounded by any beauty, the cold keeps me inside, work is just fine and only fine, I struggle to exercise as much as I should and I haven't made an effort to find a yoga teacher yet. I'm not happy and I miss the island. Jeff has come to visit and I was mean to him until I finally just exploded that I hated it, much like I once exploded that I wanted to go home when we were hiking. Breaking down that wall in the presence of his safety didn't exactly open the floodgates, but it has allowed me to be honest with people who ask, notably my extended family, who were just here for New Year's.
But God told me that I have to let that go. I have to let my unhappiness die, to let that toxin be sweat out. I don't know how to do that. I guess I have to try, though.
vacation - We recently went to Kauai and was magical. We all love it there so much. We were staying on the south side, far away from the water damage and flooding fro...