Tagged: reconciliation

Safe Spaces

Reflections after my retreat (and after a really intense day!):

I live in a world which isn’t safe.

I need to learn to reconcile myself with that.

That is where I will find strength and life.

I can’t fix things.

Things can’t be fixed.

People are broken. We sin.

That isn’t going to change. People are always going to make mistakes, or be bad; let you down; wilfully blind themselves. I can’t get away from that; I can’t be ‘safe’, when ‘safe’ is understood to be ‘free from risk of damage’.

But there is forgiveness; there is restoration; there is redemption. There is love.

Love that makes no sense at all. Love that is a total miscarriage of justice. Love that ignores the rules and upsets apple-carts and tears down the curtain in the temple.

I can, however, be safe in my wholeness. I can love. I can learn to love. I can love and be the me within. I can recognise truth when I see it; I can refuse to accept untruth. I can rest in the silence, I can rest in God. I can make peace; I can be peace; I can give and share peace. And I can hold peace and love inside – take some, just for me, and hog it, holding onto it because there’s enough; because it is abundant rather than scarce; because my having it increases supply; because I need it and that’s a good enough reason.

A wise person told me that to know the truth of redemption isn’t something one can think, it can only be discovered.

Is it that in letting go we are held most safely?



Going In and Coming Out

As we head into the last day, how do I feel?

Partly, that words are not able to express where I am. A sense of needing to express it nevertheless. A huge sense of loss at the separating of the group. A warm sense from all the closeness. A strong sense of unexpected duty and call; and a real sense of anger and abandonment. I am very angry with some people.

I need to find some kind of therapeutic way in which to deal with that. I have no idea how to do that.

A sense of which things I use to protect myself from me, and of which things I must be mindful. A sense of incompleteness in the moving of my hands, of being a work in progress and probably, frustratingly, a sense of needing to wait. The time is not now for that work. But this time, this moment, this is my time, my kairos, and there is no going back from having set aside this opportunity – or from having taken it.

Who will I be? It seems very strange to be asking that.

I know I will be someone much more comfortable with uncertainty, but someone blessed and cursed with more certainty. I know I am someone who has a mission, a purpose, and this is a new concreteness. I don’t yet know how I will live that out, though I know I cannot afford to let go of it.

I believe I will be someone who is stronger and who is less alone; who is more aware of the blessings and gifts she is receiving, and who is more able to make use of them. Someone less isolated in my heart, though I may be increasingly isolated in my life. Someone who is very sad. Someone who feels shame, and needs to let go of the need to feel it.

I hope I will be someone who is free. I learned that freedom is a good thing; I need restriction and containment less than I thought I did. While I still value a framework, that is largely as protection, a wariness against the implosion of appropriate boundaries and values that can come with excess.

I am someone who is scarred, and not just scarred but also actively, currently wounded. I think I understand me a little better. I fear I also understand the task at hand a little better.

Someone who can pray better. Someone who is not afraid to be in that space of emptiness and two-way solitude with the God I find when I let myself be still inside.

Someone who wants and needs to be less afraid of myself; someone who recognises the responsibility I have to be myself; but also someone who is newly aware of why I’ve been hiding, of the damage I can cause and of the loneliness my hiding has made me feel.

I have found new peace within. That is what I feel. I fear losing it when I go back into the world, and I accept that it may be that my peace becomes something I see outside of me too.

I would like to share the peace, I would like to help, to make a difference. And I need to heal.