Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Preparing for Kairos... a time of reflection.

Not too much has changed around here. Everyone is still doing the same things. I continue to declutter 26 things a day..and after 3 weeks of decluttering..I can honestly say, you can now take 1 entire step into my closet!
But it is not just physical stuff being decluttered. I am slowly preparing for a year at home. A year in which I hope to listen and sort through a (mid)lifetime of experiences before writing an honest/concise spiritual autobiography for the candidacy committee of the ELCA. I am preparing for a year of discernment, so to speak.
For now, though, I have the opportunity to serve on my first Kairos team (inside support..I count cookies). Kairos International is an Ecumenical Prison Ministry whose basic them is "listen, listen, love, love." This is not a weekend about preaching or convincing, but about sacrificing personal needs to be in control and to truly listen with our hearts.
To do this effectively team-formations are a place to "shed our self interests and put on the cloak of humility, obedience, sacrifice, vulnerability, and love - the face of Christ Himself."
..and I have to say that in just one team-building (a few more to come), I was truly humbled by the openness, honesty and vulnerability of those more experienced members of the team.
I realize that I need to take a long hard look at the more troubling parts of my life. Those wilderness/valley experiences so to speak. I need to be completely honest with not just others, but first myself. I need to be honest about things I'm still not sure I understand. I need to look long and hard at the more painful aspects of my life and let myself be vulnerable.
I am trying to look honestly at the difficulties(culture shock) I had to adjusting to life in the United States in early elementary-school years. To the grief for my obasan, to whom I never got to say a proper farewell. Grief for unknown outcomes of 2 foster-brothers and 2 foster-sisters.
I am still processing things I saw in Romania over 20 years ago.
I need to be honest about a time in my early 20's when I became so overwhelmed by the injustices in the world that I spiraled into a pattern of behavior of which I am not proud. I need to acknowledge that I was on the verge of a nervous break-down. I realize (now) that I was trying to carry the weight of the world on my own shoulders, which resulted in my spending 3 days wandering the streets of Berkeley and San Francisco before dropping out of a college I truly loved.(How's that for a run-on sentence?)
I fumbled into more ridiculous behavior after dropping out, only to find myself married and with a child just over a year later.
An assault by an ex-boyfriend. The suicides of two childhood friends. The loss of a dear adult-life friend to Lupus. The loss of a close relationship with a sister who is still a recovering addict, and the realization that the fact that I am not the one who is an addict or an alcoholic, is merely luck of the dice.
These are the places I need to visit as I de-clutter and allow myself to be vulnerable..and it is hard. Because, despite appearances, I am actually a fairly private person.
I have been truly blessed by strong family, friends and various faith communities throughout my entire life. I have been blessed with a husband and three children who have taught me much about how to live life to the fullest. Overall, life has unfolded fairly easily for me..and for this I am grateful. But I need to spend some-time reflecting on these more painful parts..to see those places where I truly believe God carried me through.
Because only then..in true humbleness and vulnerability am I open to really listen.

No comments: