Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Discipline: to learn

My spiritual director, for the second year in a row, has informed me that I have chosen the wrong Lenten discipline. Now, I think I should know myself well enough to know what I need, but she's always right. I guess I'm going for something I think I "should" want or need, rather than what I *actually* need.

Last year I was fasting, as I have done for 20 years. The problem was I was allrleady so depressed that I was spiritually malnourished, and depriving my body of energy even for one day was too much. I got sick. So I had to abandon that (but I still did it on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday).

This year, I had decided to hide myself away for a whole day (4-6 hours, at least while the kids were at school) and READ. This was inspired by a colleague who took a 30 day sabbatical, during which time he remained silent and read a book a day. I was hoping to read a book a week for these 6 weeks.

However, I'm an extrovert. 100 % extrovert, in fact, the last time I took a Myers-Briggs indicator. This means, of course, that I need PEOPLE. I need to be near people, I need to interact with people, I need to borrow energy from people. Not person, just one at a time, but people. I'm generally a "more the merrier" kind of person. So, she said I can take a book to read, but I have to go to a public and busy place, not to a monastery--she pointed out that I WORK in a monastery setting every day, being the only person in my building except for Sunday mornings. She's right, I know she's right.

So, my new Lenten discipline is to create a group for myself that will meet regularly. I can't re-create chapel at TLU (150 people interacting for 15 minutes--I loved it!) or the busy-ness of campus life, but I can find where people are and hang out there. And I can invite some to be in a group with me.

Sometimes you know something about yourself, but not what to do about it. Lesson learned. And I'm still going to read those books!


At 7:56 PM, Blogger rosetiger said...

strange how other people pull us out of ourselves...i guess God knew what She was doing when She made us in community


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