Response . . .

O Comforter, my strength! Let me make amends and start anew;

Let me grow in wisdom and understanding.

Psalm 59, Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, Nan C. Merrill

This verse of Psalm 59 has been with me all week as I have contemplated these words. I have had ample opportunity to grow in wisdom this week, with a 3 day retreat with my congregation, a very profound class session with the Spiritual Formation program I am working with, and other community interactions. Yet, an unexpected interaction today took me to a place of deeper understanding of myself.

I was near the end of a planning meeting with two other people when I asked a question of one of them, mostly out of curiosity, but related to business. The person told me she would not answer my question. She set a very clear boundary around the information. I immediately had a reaction, which then led to another hour and half of conversation. Before we ended our time together, I admitted that I did not want my reaction to her boundary to be punitive or vengeful, but my fear was that it would effect my choices moving forward.

In our situation today, this person has made the choices she needs to make. I can choose to react or to respond. My reaction would have been vengeful. I choose to respond by looking deeper within myself.

I know I want a deeper understanding of my own reaction to that boundary. I know that it will take some reflective inner work to know what happens to me when I feel excluded, when I am refused information I want but don’t necessarily need. I am committed to doing that reflection and I am sure an image will be emerging for my artmaking.

Life is always offering us opportunities to grow in wisdom and understanding. I have to ask myself, “am I willing to make amends, to respond in a new way to old feelings?” That is my prayer today.

One thought on “Response . . .

  1. Theresa, I am moved by the honesty and humility with which you share this experience. Certainly your response was transformational – for you and perhaps for the other person as well. The choice to look deeper into one’s self in response to such sudden exclusion can create a more spacious inner environment, more room for rootedness and self-compassion. This is something I need to work on as well. Thank you.


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