Among the many things that matter as we are becoming full expressions of our spiritual selves is whether or not we take the time to allow what we’re developing on the inside to manifest on the outside.
Examining our inner life can be intriguing. Socrates supposedly taught: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
After allowing some amount of examination, it is time to begin testing whether, indeed, this is the life you are meant to be living. Can you be your gentler, kinder, more direct self as you live into your aspirations of your desired life?
I have long been an applied thealogian. To me, the expressing of our values is extremely important, even crucial, I would say to living into Peace. Would my nearest and dearest roll their eyes a bit? Of course! No one is great at the attempts at living as we are called, and, indeed, call ourselves to live. It is a practice. You don’t become adept at living your values unless you practice. We never know what else life has to teach us.
While working at the hospital, I am, not necessarily by choice, encountering the opportunity to learn new things about myself. One of the things I am learning is about my difficulties with the hospital’s process of recording my interactions with patients. I’ve never been a great step-by-stepper. Since the work I have done (writing, speaking, doing pastoral care) demands I emphasize presence rather than sequence, I haven’t really encountered the difficulties I have with identifying and recording in sequential steps. Those difficulties were made greater by the Traumatic Brain Injury I experienced in 2019. Now, when I think back, I remember the difficulties I had with those pieces of the testing I underwent following my recovery from my injury.
Once again, I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have an invisible (often to myself!) disability. It was quite a realization and process of figuring out what to do about it. First, I had to call my boss and say, “I’m unable to do this work without time accommodations,” which he was very happy to grant me. Second, it meant that I needed to own my inability to do that job without the accommodations. You learn a lot about yourself when you have to own your disabilities.
I have done a lot of work to understand disability and ways to let the voices of people with disabilities rise and helping to create space for them to determine what they need for themselves. I try to be sensitive to people’s needs. Yet, I wasn’t about to be that sensitive to my own needs. Was I ashamed of them? What would that say about my values about inclusivity and capability?
There I was with a perfect opportunity to put what I believe and value to work in the world. Am I willing to be as accepting of my own boundaries as I work to be with others’? If not. What does that say about what I really believe? The reality in that situation was that I was not as prepared as I thought, to drive that road — and do it successfully. Which is to say, do it successfully for me. Even as I encourage you to do it successfully for you. Let us rejoice in all our successes and steady one another when we sometimes fall short of our dreams.
I have a TBI. When I acknowledge that, it makes a great deal of sense that I might have difficulties filling in charts. Am I willing to forgive myself for not being perfect in all things? Are you? Can we have Peace if we don’t?
Nah, I’m pretty sure we can’t. So, we have to practice, practice, practice. Peace consists of examining our lives and practicing our values… Let’s support one another, shall we?
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.