More scales falling

This seems to be a period of self-revelation!

I realised on Saturday afternoon that I struggle to feel good about something if I haven’t expended (what I consider to be) sufficient effort.

On Saturday I had begun giving a course on The Spiritual Exercises. I was giving an input on discernment – something I talk about reasonably frequently. Last week had been the first week of the semester. I always underestimate how taxing that first week is! So, I hadn’t prepared quite as well as I might have. Added to which (the real confession) I had gone out for an early dinner with a friend on Friday night instead of working on my input.

On Saturday afternoon after I got home I had a brief messaging conversation with the same friend. She asked how it had gone. I was aware that I didn’t feel that great about. I’ve had enough feedback both from my co-leaders and from participants to suggest that actually the talk went well.

As I was messaging her, I suddenly realised that my feeling was entirely related to my self-recrimination – I should have done more to prepare – rather than any actual feedback.

I was reminded of a conversation I had with my sister over the Christmas break – she suggested that I will never feel good about something that I haven’t given myself wholeheartedly to. Given that my life requires divided attention – that is a really big problem!!

Seeing it in action this weekend was really helpful. I need to pray for the grace of freedom from my own expectations of myself! I am well aware that there is a fine balance to be struck here, but right now I am erring on one side in a way that isn’t helpful.

2 thoughts on “More scales falling

  1. You are so much more knowledgeable to all this than I am, but didn’t our Lord say He would give us the right words when we go out to do His work? He gave you a gift that He wants you share freely…free maybe from your own self-criticism, as Henri Nouwen discussed in so much of his writing.
    It never seems that easy when I think of my own time with others, but I try always to pray that (however much or little preparation I do), He take my words and others’ ears and make them hear the messages they need to hear during the time that we’re together.
    Those of us who like to control our situations forget, I think, that the Lord wants us to include and to lean on Him in all we do.
    Continued blessings on you and your work and especially on the gift of yourself freely shared,

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