Monday, June 24, 2013

Space and Margins - Providing Room for Grace to Grow

How often do we leave extra time for reaching our destination or for completing a task?

How often do I wait until the last minute, in order to provide a “built-in” deadline?

How often do I procrastinate because I think, “Whatever I am planning to do won’t be good enough?”

Am I missing out on something? Am I allowing room for grace to grow in my life and look for opportunities to share grace with others?

Without leaving space and margins of time and energy, when planning my day and executing it, I believe, I lose the ability to exhibit responsible “self-control” over what happens to me and my thoughts, both internally and externally. I give up my ability to thoughtfully choose what I think or what I will do and, instead, become reactive to what happens to me, as if I am a victim of my circumstances or “lack of time.” I also give up responsibility for my emotional well-being. I no longer leave room to deal with, or even to accept, my emotions and what’s happening to me and do not see or accept interruptions as opportunities for personal growth and expressions of faith and grace but, rather, as if someone threw a monkey wrench in the works.

Without space or margins, I am only living “on the fly,” like a hamster on a wheel, mindlessly trying to catch something that is impossible to catch, or trying to do something that is impossible to do, such as taking on too many tasks or trying to achieve too many goals, for which there is not enough time to complete. I have “put off  until tomorrow” something that I had hoped to do today, only to find out that “tomorrow” already has enough to do. It’s as if I am trying to “borrow time” and end up with a “credit card debt” of time that can never be paid back.

Why do I do this? Could it be that being “busy” with anything is a way to distract me from conflicting thoughts or feelings, from the present or the past, that I prefer to keep pacified, at bay, caged up, or buried? I am slowly realizing that until I allow myself to feel the feelings that I am avoiding, they will not go away, but will remain “harbored” in my body, as an emotional cancer, eating away at my mind, my heart, and my soul, causing havoc within my spirit.

Now, as I contemplate and experience my day, I am learning to pay attention to the feelings that surface and to determine whether they relate to the present moment or to something from the past. When I choose to identify the feelings and allow them to flow, like water over a dam, they actually dissipate and pass on by, leaving me relaxed, calm, peaceful, and able to understand the thoughts behind them and make choices without fear or angst. My spirit is free to soar again in a state of peace and love, and I am able to show grace and compassion to myself and to others.

Precious Linda, c. 2013

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