Tuesday, June 03, 2008

An Ember Letter

I came across a post on a new to me blog today that prompted me to write an email to a friend. An "ember letter" of my own, if you will.

What's that you ask? An ember letter is officially a letter between a postulant and their Bishop that lets the Bishop know how it is with them.

When I read the post I immediately thought how healthy recovery demands a daily ember letter of sorts. If not between myself and God, at least within myself. It could also be between me and my sponsor or another supportive person. The minute I start avoiding any of those options I am isolating and headed down a dangerous path. The problem is that isolating can feel so cozy and comfortable.

Last week my therapist asked me to take a step back and question what being stuck was doing for me. What the payoff was. I came to the conclusion, hashing it out with Bobbie, that stuck means avoiding being present to myself or to life around me. Stuck feels cozy and comfortable.

But it's where I'm at. That much I can be honest about. This week I've returned to Centering prayer because it's one 20 minute period of the day where I'm present or at least very aware of my inability to be present. It requires an honesty of me that is unavoidable. I didn't know 20 minutes could be so long.

I'm having a love/hate relationship with being stuck.
Waiting, waiting for something to happen.
It's such an old pattern.
Time to make a new groove.

In the true spirit of an ember letter
I know I am in a better place than I was a year ago.
A year ago I was preparing to go to treatment and feeling very scared.
A year ago I didn't have the tools and skills to do anything but
avoid my feelings at any cost.
A year ago I didn't know what it cost me physically to spend so much energy in avoidance mode.
For many days now I've written in my body journal
"tired, so very, very tired."
That's too high a price to pay any longer.
I see that now.
Grace to be present.
Not straining, nor striving.
Just be.
That's my prayer.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you are just in that place Melody Beattie refers to as the in between place.,not going forward or backward, just waiting, for....whatever. Sometimes I end up there after a huge revelationnin my life. The cool part is that you realize and want to change it. Prayer is always a good place to start. Have a great day!

Heidi Renee said...

wow - i had forgotten that 12 months ago we were having the conversation about rehab - brings back memories hope - what a difference 12 months makes!

maybe the "stuck" is more like slowing down because dang woman you have accomplished SO MUCH in that 12 months - look at you! maybe all of the upheaval and progress and huge, life changing events of the 12 months were the unusual, and this is the normal.

maybe normal just feels too small now? you had a season of massive growth and harvest, letting the field rest for a bit is definitely not a bad thing.

mucho love and compassion on that "20 minutes can be so long" feeling - i am constantly blessed by your presence in my life dear friend!

Anonymous said...

"Stuck feels cozy and comfortable."

You nailed it, Hope. Thanks.


Under there... said...

What a wonderful, honest Ember letter! Thank you for the link to my blog and thank you for your comment about recovery being like writing and Ember letter everyday. I shared that quote with our morning recovery group and it became the topic of our discussion. I do not normally talk about my ordination process with them since it is their time and not about me, so I had to explain the whole Ember letter concept first. It was a very meaningful discussion. Thanks for your insight. You have a wonderful spirit and a wonderful blog that reflects that.