Has anyone else been striving this week besides me?
It seems to be the word for my week.
Striving to be the best person, striving to do the right thing, striving to help and support. None of these things are wrong, but when the striving becomes a way to be accepted, noticed, admired it becomes restless and uncomfortable.
I was at a birthday party this week for a friend's daughter, and as I kept asking if there's was something I could do to 'help' the husband looked at me and literally said "stop striving!"
At first I was so stunned at his choice of words (how was he to know I struggle with the 'Martha' syndrome of staying on task, instead of relaxing in the 'Mary' mode of enjoying the people I'm with?!), then I realized that there is a posture I sometimes put on when I'm engaging with people and certain circumstances. I strive. I'm not really at peace with the outcome. I have an agenda and I'm determined to see it to its end. It can actually push people away from the very purpose I'm endeavouring to accomplish. The more one strives in the doing, the more others recoil from the BEing. Thank goodness my dear Sista quickly stepped in and replied its my Love Language so I was graciously excused!
As I walked down my little Italian cobbled road here outside my Tuscan villa the other morning, I was suddenly mesmerized by a very large tree. It was beautiful. I was enthralled by its stature and grandeur. I felt small and still in its shadow. It reminded me of how very small we really are in the true scope of living. We fight our small battles, determined to win a war that isn't even ours. The tree knows which hill to die on, which storm to brave, which direction to grow. It doesn't strive or worry. This is the beauty of mankind, but also its demise, I concluded. We were created to wonder and believe in things unseen, but our finite minds twist it around so we get distracted by the striving of simply being. The tree knows and responds in perfect harmony to its surroundings. I am constantly picking fights that aren't worth the discord it creates in my soul.
My food and beverage of the soul this week was rest. Rest in the beauty of being in the still point through my internal compass. The God-given peace that goes beyond making sure I am seen and heard correctly, and brings relief to the constant striving.
Until next time,