I am learning that I am probably headed away from God when I am not taking care of my “SELF”. I met with my therapist last week. I’m officially living in the “m” word (menopause!) and I am grateful for her stabilizing influence on this sea of “change”.
Now, I’m not even sure what made me call her, but that, too, is part of the voyage, forgetting and such. We talked and she said, “Juanita you are doing unto others, but you are ignoring doing unto yourself FIRST.” Ahh, now I remember why I called her frantically.
My husband said, “You are not taking care of yourself, you are not at peace.” He mentioned that during my cancer chronicles some 18 months ago, that I was at considerable peace but that it was now elusive. This is the first time my therapist has ever used the “C” word with me… CO-dependant.
I know that when I begin to allow any and everything to take me away from my morning devotions, meditation and prayer, that I am in trouble. When busyness begins to crowd my schedule, and weeks go by and I have not journaled, or had a few days of retreat for silence and solitude then I am drifting away from God. When I’m putting my needs on the back burner to satisfy the needs that others feel I should respond to. When I’m allowing things that are primary to me to go unfulfilled (which I generally justify by saying “it is for the good of someone else”) then I am moving away from God.
So this morning I got up and began my morning with some scripture and a reading out of the Hazelden Foundations Book: Twenty-Four Hours a Day. It’s a devotional for those who are in recovery, and hey aren’t we all? My addiction is to performance, perfectionism and let’s add a touch of people pleasing just to round this all out, a combination that could sink any ship.
This mornings reading said “if you are honestly trying to live the way you believe God wants you to live, you can get guidance from God in times of quiet communion with God, provided your thoughts are directed towards God’s will and all good things. The attitude of ‘Thy will, not mine, be done’ leads to clear guidance. Act on this guidance and you will be led to better things. Your impulses seem to become less your own and more the leading of God’s spirit acting through your thoughts. Obeyed, they will bring you the answers to your prayers.”
Ahh, there now, safe solid ground. With all the influences in my life tugging on me I can easily be adrift in the sea of doing. God’s love and God’s word anchor me and guide my direction, energy and thoughts. When I forget that I’m an addict in recovery I abandon my “one day at a time Sweet Jesus” and become subject to the fierce winds of the demands of others and I lose my way.
For more to help in anchoring you, you might consider some of the following resources:
Moment by Moment: A Retreat in Everyday Life by Carol Smith & Eugene Merz, SJ
Have you found yourself ignoring your own needs recently? Do you remember when this started?
What are the things that keep you anchored in God’s love on a daily basis?
Juanita Campbell Rasmus is an inspirational speaker, motivational teacher, author, and founding board member of the Bread of Life Homeless Project. Juanita and her husband Rudy co-pastor Saint John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.