Desire to serve

18 07 2010

Went to church for the first time in a couple months this morning.  I sang in the choir last year (Sept-Mayish) and we have the summers off.  I’ve taken that oppertunity as an excuse to sleep in, some days planning to go, but unable to get out of bed (this was during the more depressed time right after losing my job.) (I was also out of town 3 of the last 8 weeks).  I knew I wanted to go, but wasn’t making it a priority.

I’m Catholic, raised in the faith, and continue to enjoy my faith.  Anyone who knows me isn’t surprised when I like things that are old, have a history, or are layered in meaning.  <– could be a definition of the Catholic Mass.  It is so rich in meaning, all over the place.  The responses, prayers, music – I find it so cool to participate in something that lots (several million at least) of other people are doing.  And have done.  And will do in the future. And we all bring to it our own biases and get different things out of it.  It’s also exciting that I never quite know what I might walk away from the mass feeling or thinking about. I’ve also come to really feel like a part of the community, this church and choir I’ve been a part of the past year.  I’ve missed seeing the friends.  Even though our relationships tend to be focused around church/mass/choir, they have a big impact on me that I was missing.

I had no predispositions about mass today.  But I guess God did, because hoo-boy, was it filled with emotion.  From the moment mass started, I was on the verge of tears.  This happened several more times throughout mass, seemingly for no reason (not in response to anything in particular).  I think it just felt good to be there. And surrounded by a loving community.  Even without gleaning deep meaning from prayers or songs, I knew that I was in the right place, that participating in the mass was important.  I’m pretty good at stuffing my feelings, so when I have overwhelming ones (good or bad) I don’t always respond to them the way my body might like. (such as letting myself cry).

Then the gospel and homily spoke to the spirit of service.  Mi casa es su casa. The Aloha spirit.  The simple idea of serving others; hospitality.  This spoke to be because although I want to be this way, and am, I’m often distracted by worrying about myself.  I don’t even have people over to my house all that often because I’m afraid they might judge me for what’s in my kitchen (although there’s nothing in there now besides chicken, rice, salad mix and the like).  I spend so much time worrying about how others might perceive me that I neglect to actually meet all of their needs.  I’ve overcome this issue a great deal in my professional life (because I feel confident and competent as a therapist) but not so much in my personal life.  Or, at least not as much as I’d like.  It’s absolutely ridiculous that I would ignore this call because I’m so preoccupied with myself.  It’s gross.  On my journey to lose weight, I’m really on a journey to find myself and be the best person I can be, in whatever body I’m walking around in.  (my, that’s a grandiose statement.  This idea will take some time to tease out.)  I long for the day I can make a meal for friends and not tell them the nutrition facts of it (because I’m worried about it), not worry about eating in front of others, not worry about all the silly little things that keep me from enjoying the act of serving.

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3 responses

20 07 2010
Pascale

It’s interesting to hear the final result of the conversation that we started on Sunday…you know, where I was trying to get a feel for where you were and you were also trying to get a feel for where you were. : )
It’s nice to have those experiences that pull us out of our heads and into reality a little more, get a little perspective and maybe a little kick in the tush.
Does this impact your perspective on your journey to lose weight? You wrote about finding yourself on this journey but I wonder when focusing so much on your body does it make you internalize things more? get stuck in your head?

20 07 2010
parentheseed

I’m finding the opposite – I focus on my body when working out or planning meals, and then I let it go. Instead of letting it take over my thoughts all day long, having a focused time dedicated to it seems to satisfy. Maybe because there is a specific time dedicated I’m more able to let it go the rest of the day? I’m not sure. Or maybe I’m pleased with myself for making changes that I’m more accepting?

I’ve always been good at getting stuck in my head. Body image, faith, relationships, work issues – they all consume me at one time or another. I’m ok with this, it’s just how I operate.

22 07 2010
PfMoen

You need to get to the place where you lilke yourself and not to compare yourself/job/etc. with others. Mass will do that. We are all here for another purpose-not just to compete with each other.Sometimes (often?) God has other plans and places for us than we have for ourselves.

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