Last Tuesday I had the wonderful opportunity and blessing to go out to The DreamGiver's Inn to have some reFresh space for me...no one else signed up for the scheduled retreat, so I received the day to get some uninterrupted space to work on some sorely neglected projects. Within the first 10 minutes of settling into the window seat in the "courage" room, I felt sleepy. My inner task master was angry - I had so much to do - yet all I could do was fight to keep my eyelids open. In the midst of the battle between "doing" and "being" (yes, even I suffer this plight!), a deep malaise came over me. Was it a creative block that I just needed to push through? Or was it best to surrender to my body's need?
Deciding to take the advice I so generously grant others, I lowered down, puffed and strategically rearranged a few pillows and covered myself with the afghan. But I couldn't sleep. Taunted by the creative to-do list of music, writings and curriculum development, my brain was like the energizer bunny after drinking a redbull - way too scattered to contribute well to any one thing. I was so frustrated.
Shortly thereafter my friend Kate arrived - she was going to help me stay to task and get after the writing. She listened...a lot...to my complaints and questions and musings about why I feel blocked and frustrated. She listened well and gently invited me to lie down for 20 minutes. I didn't sleep, but it felt good to close my eyes (evidently giving permission to myself is not as helpful as hearing it from a loving friend). About ten minutes into stilling myself, I looked over to her and facetiously declared (about myself),
And there it was.
so in Love...
My inability to focus - to "produce" and be creative was not so much from a block or a battle between "doing" and "being", but because I had spent much of the last month in love. In an instant I understood, "That's it...that's why I'm so tired."
Yes love rejuvenates and in the midst of encountering love either in giving or receiving, there is satiation and energizing that is beyond description. But, as in those early moments of falling in love where you you cannot get enough hours together with your beloved, there is an exhaustion that follows the encounters. Or when you're loving well by caring for a sick one, like I did for my dying Eddie cat a few weeks ago, you give up "normal" things and responsibilities to be present to the one you love. Between loving Eddie and responding to God's invitation to linger longer than "normal" in His presence, my everyday work and responsibilities have seemingly fallen by the wayside. And as I pressure myself to catch up, I realize that perhaps catching up is not required. Being present to both the delights and depletion I feel from having encountered love is what is important.
I am in love and have lived well this past month ...and it has been astounding...and costly. There has been shed tears, neglected housework, canceled meetings, and the inability to create what is in my heart to share with the world. But I'd rather choose love - even when that means life looks less productive or organized or polished. Love changes the measuring...in love what is "normal" rarely has anything to do with how much I produce or get done in a day. Love measures how much of myself have I given to the present moment...whether that be in loving God, myself, or others.
Perhaps one day on my tombstone (if I have one - I'd rather have my ashes scattered in a lovely place) it will read,