Monday, April 25, 2011
The Demon is Winning
"Tell the Demon Should to can it," I exclaimed.
My friend wanted to spend a nice Sunday afternoon lounging on the deck, but didn't think she should - never mind that she had just come through an emotional & physical wringer. Anyway, why does anyone need justification to lounge?
"A voice that speaks in shoulds always takes you away from the divine," I continued. "Shoot, it takes years of practice to be able to relax into stillness, in nothing-to-do. Most people never manage. They're too addicted to action - needing busyness for distraction or to numb out or to cover the hole left by their missing self-esteem."
My friend agreed and prepared to lounge.
As I drove away, a tiny voice whispered,"Tell the Demon Should to can it," and I started to cry.
Not that I have trouble lounging. Just the opposite. Add together a contemplative spirit, a mind fascinated by watching, and a body used to the freezing habit learned during childhood trauma, and my problem is moving, not stillness. How often have I missed something I'd been looking forward to because I literally could not get my body to move? An hour before it was time to leave, I might start haranguing myself, "Get up. Move," only to stay frozen immobile as the time to leave came and went, as I became five minutes late, ten minutes late, half an hour late, too late to go at all.
In fact my talent and need for stillness was the real reason those constantly busy sisters kicked me out. The monastic schedule was a reliable goad so I was rarely late, and the easily accessible, divine energy was so enlivening I rarely froze. But on my designated "desert day," I wanted to lie on the earth and drink the sun washing over the grass - not get busy with house and yard work like the rest of the sisters. Before I entered, I was told the "desert day had no one's agenda but yours"... except the sister forbore to mention that your agenda had better be cleaning the garage and raking leaves.
No, the Demon Should can't get me over lounging, but does it ever wring my heart over my mistakes. I should have done this. I shouldn't have done that. An endless cacophony of angry accusation overwhelms my mind, leaving no room for human or divine relationships.
"Tell the Demon Should to can it," the tiny voice pleaded, tired and sad, "I don't know if I can go on this way much longer."
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