09/06/2018: Courage

“To have courage for whatever comes in life – everything lies in that. “ —St. Teresa of Avila

Yesterday, someone asked, “How are you doing?”
My response? “I alternate between ecstasy and agony.”

Living in the day to day is challenging.
Paying attention to the soul’s whisper requires effort.

Living out my soul’s whisper is, frankly, high up there among the most emotionally traumatic experiences of my life.

St. Teresa of Avila has another quote that’s been resonating deeply with me the past month, ““If this is how you (Lord) treat your friends, no wonder you have so many enemies.”

I suppose that in a culture that prizes happiness, it’s hard to imagine that despair has much value. I find myself wildly swinging, sometimes moment to moment, between faith and faltering, and that internal unsteadiness in the midst of career uncertainty is earth-shaking for a person of routine like myself.

While I’m confident that what I offer is a gift of authentic health care to those who desire it and recognize its worth; the vulnerability that comes with having it “out there” in the world for people who don’t understand it to pass judgment on my work, feels like a judgment on my very self.

And it’s oh-so-tempting to close off my heart, to retreat back into the safety of like-minded people who “get it” and are “all in”, to be cocooned within the love of those who want to protect me, to quit while I’m ahead, and to feel … comfortable.

But embracing life fully involves, as Anne Barth Grossman once wisely told me, “feeling all the feels.”

So I’m tapping into the courageous part of myself today to take whatever comes as I continue to share my heart & soul gift to the world.

I intentionally stay open to both the ecstasy and agony.

AND, I’m going to cling tightly to those who love me – those who hold the space to restore and renew what feels like an often-shattering heart.

Such is the process of transformation.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew in me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51:10