It's definitely easier to write when things are going well. I feel like a hypocrite when I write during the times when things are not going well. By writing at those times I seem to imply that I'm learning something worth sharing. That's not always the case.
Last week the computer networking system went down at work. There was a little pop-up on my screen that said:
My spirit resonated with that little pop-up.
Ken Nair uses a big, 3-foot long, rubber band in a demonstration to illustrate what our spiritual awareness is like. When I'm aware, in-tune, connected, I'm like a rubber band that's stretched taut. When I'm insensitive, distracted and disconnected I'm like a rubber band with a lot of slack in it. Gwen's been pointing out that for the last six months she's felt that I've been disconnecting. I'm sure I'm not the first guy to be surprised by the fact that his wife feels he's out of touch. But, it doesn't lessen the frustration and defensiveness that I immediately felt when she told me. I naturally want to defend myself and my actions (or inactions). That's what lets me know I probably am disconnected. If I were in a better place, my first thoughts would be towards her and how and why she feels out of touch with me. As her husband, if I were fulfilling my role as spiritual leader, I would be aware, in-tune and connected.
My counselors are encouraging me to journal my emotions. I'm afraid to. When I take a hard look at who I am and what I'm feeling it's never very pretty. It's ugly and it frightens and discourages Gwen (and me!). I don't want to do it. I know I don't have to show it to anyone, but what if it's found and read? I really don't want anyone to know, or even acknowledge to myself, how ugly I can be inside. I guess all of those things point to the idea that I SHOULD journal my emotions. Part of my original motivation in writing this blog was to share with you HOW I'm making it in my marriage. To confess my shortcomings, share and rejoice in successes, jointly search for answers and stay connected. This is not an exercise in self-humiliation, but it does keep me humble.
I know that if I have "friends" who never share the difficulties in their lives and only let me in on the good things that are happening it seems like they are trying to portray that they are better than me. When they remain opaque, I feel like I know them less and less. I start to resent that there isn't a mutual exchange of confidences. Are we really "friends"? When they're more transparent, I feel like we're on mutual ground. That they can empathize with me and I with them. This connects us.
So, I'm always hoping that when you read this blog, I'm letting you know that you're not alone. I'm hoping that I'm not alone. Maybe I'm expressing some things that you feel too. No, they're not always "good" feelings or thoughts. But, at least we can share them and search for answers together.
Your Ally in the Pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim