Distraction, being stuck, avoiding this present moment, all came to a head yesterday. Next week I'll be turning 46 years old. Last year on my birthday I decided to gift myself with no more binge eating. One day at a time, sometimes one nanosecond at a time, by the grace of God and my willingness, it continues to be a gift. I've often pictured my binge eating self as a ravenous animal tearing away at flesh, out of breath and still not satiated. I've certainly wanted to go there this past year. For today I ask God to help me choose not to.
I've been mulling over for a few weeks now what this year's gift will be. Centering prayer is the answer that's kept coming to me. Centering prayer places me right smack dab in today. One on level I see that as a huge gift. On another it seems like torture. Which is why I keep mulling it over, hoping another answer will appear. Yesterday as I went to do Yoga though, I decided that centering prayer would dovetail quite nicely at the end of my session. So I set my pocket timer for 20 minutes and began.
I cried from beginning to end.
From my journal:
"The tears just kept coming. First of all that I'm being called to this kind of prayer ~ that it will be my birthday gift to myself ~ as I acknowledged that I start to sob. The safest place ~held in God's embrace ~ feels so scary of a place to go. So I told God that. I cried out, "Daddy, I'm scared."Then today, as I met with Fr. Charlie, came more clarity into why distraction remains such an attractive option. One of my recovery heroes, Earnie Larsen has a phrase, "Who's driving your bus?" by which he means, whenever you find yourself reacting to someone, or a situation, what age are you? Is it your 5 year old self driving the bus of your life, the teenage self or your adult self? Where are you reacting from in that moment? My little girl self survived childhood by looking for distraction. It was a necessary tool back then. Back then. When I resist living in this moment I am letting my little girl drive the bus of my life today. Realizing this doesn't magically fix anything but it does give me a new awareness. It makes choice possible.
Then I got an image of one of my prayer candles, lit within me. Acknowledging the Divine presence within me I saw it expand and fill my being. More tears. What people have been commenting on ~ my peaceful countenance, my brightness, my radiance, is all His doing. His presence within me shining. Like a firefly who simply glows because that's what it's created to do. All I can do is surrender to God and being illuminated happens despite me. I can stop striving.
Then came whispering into my heart, "intimacy is found in me." And I laid there and sobbed and thought about where I've been looking for that intimacy. In that moment I knew that true intimacy flows out of my intimacy with Christ and that when it's present it's because Christ is at the core of it. Otherwise it's a false intimacy. In Him, With Him, Through Him.
The phrase "Merciful Jesus" kept coming to me. With Reconciliation tomorrow how else can I approach Him?"
During the Sacrament of Reconciliation today Fr. Charlie emphasized two things:
God loves you as you are.
God's graces are being poured over you.