Father Greg, in Tattoos on the Heart, quotes Mother Teresa: “We are not called to be successful, but faithful.”
I thought about that a lot yesterday. What am I called to be faithful to? I think of my accepted task, my work to heal myself. I am called to be faithful to that work. That means refusing to go down the trauma vortex, refusing to think about dying, refusing even to think negative thoughts. I can’t actually keep the thoughts from coming into my mind, but as soon as I notice, I shift to one of my prayers, or concentrate on something in the present. This is hard to do when I feel so painfully lonely and sad. I hold on to my little dog toy, Muffy, because that’s all I have. I go on without a hope of getting better. “Now plod on…”
So I’m feeling very discouraged right now. I really am wondering what is the point of going on trying to heal. I am committed to the task, I am called to be faithful, not successful. My work right now is not to get better, but just refuse to go down into the trauma vortex, refuse to spend time with negative thinking, turning to my prayers instead.
I wrote somewhere that if I couldn’t count on getting better, I had to find compassion for myself.
Here’s this woman. She’s so lonely, and in grief for her beloved dog who died. She’s sitting in her house, where she’s totally alone, and she’s hugging a little dog toy for comfort. That’s how lonely she is. That helps me soften and tears come into my eyes. Can I feel some compassion for this woman? Yes, I can. I know there are a lot of lonely people out there, who don’t have the resources I have.
My heart feels so cold. I try to bring softness and gentleness. Hold my heart with warmth and caring. It’s a good heart — it hurts from being alone, and it hurts because it cares about the natural world and sees it being damaged and destroyed by humans. I want to lie down and die. But I’ve chosen not to go there. Then what do I do with the rest of my life?