Friday, April 4, 2014

this is a new country, what shall we name it?

I am traveling this week--visiting family in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

But I don't want to leave you empty handed until next week, so... I hope you enjoy this edited version of a previous blog post on one of my favorite subjects: dreams!

Via Dolorosa, Jerusalem, 2012

I have had some crazy, vivid dreams lately. 

More often than not I will only remember one image, one person, or one event in the dream, but I’ve been trying to write down whatever I do remember, especially any strong emotions I remember feeling. 

The other day I woke up with only one line: 
“This is a new country, what shall we name it?”

It made me laugh out loud.

It reminds me of something I wrote a few years ago, as I tried to sort out how I felt about my physical condition and its limitations:
I feel a layer of anger swimming right below the surface of my awareness, like a layer of fat that needs to be discarded from a great soup. I feel betrayed by my body, and I am angry about it, and angry with me. It’s a crazy circle, and I know that it’s not productive, let alone healthy.
When I shared these ponderings with my spiritual director Joanne, a wise and beautiful woman, she just smiled at me and said: 
“Maria, you are learning to take care of yourself, and you’re taking it to other areas of your life! What I hear is calmness, trusting, a certainty that allows you to name the anger. Things are okay. I am so proud of you, your faithfulness to do the healing work. God will show you what’s next.” 
The healing work that I am committed to do involves all of me—my physical being, yes, but also my emotional, mental, and spiritual being. 

I may not, but God sees how good it already is.


It frequently does feel like traveling in a new and undiscovered country, a place where I’ve never been, and where I don't recognize the language. 

But this is a journey of a lifetime and not one that I have to conquer right now. The real challenge is whether I will be true to the journey, and faithful to the work it brings to me today.

[edited version of this post was first published under "the healing journey" on October 11,2012]