Is it Dry?

It’s winter in Nevada… so everything feels dry.  Which is a funny sentiment coming from someone whose apartment has been soggy for a week.  Broken frozen water pipes aside, an already-arid-environment coupled with stay-indoors-forced-air-heat conspires to squeeze every hint of moisture from daily life.

You probably feel it too… no matter where you live.

Winter is just one of those seasons that challenges us to give a different response to the Spirit.  On a lot of levels… physical / emotional / psychological / spiritual.

Short dark days / frenetic chaotic holiday bustle / unpredictable hot-to-cold-shifting weather / unpredictable behaviors in family and friends around us.

Granted these aren’t limited only to winter but they do seem to intensify in these shadowy months.

Even though we have just celebrated a most incredible event — the Incarnation, God-with-us — I am feeling spiritually dry.  It’s like the let-down after the huge high.

Okay… now we are back to the daily grind.  Now it’s time to get back into routine and dig in to get stuff done.

What stuff you ask?  All the stuff I was doing before Christmas.  The stuff that feels more like work and less like life.  It’s all necessary… don’t get me wrong.  But it’s not the stuff that makes-my-socks-go-up-and-down [as my friend Pam would say].

Yea… I feel spiritually dry.  Mother Teresa felt this way for a long time.

Or is it Dark?

Maybe it’s more that I can’t see down the road of life very far.  It’s pretty dark from where I stand… and honestly, I feel some fear.

Not sure what the future holds.  Not sure whether there’s a hole coming up.  Not sure if I’m standing in the middle of the road or on the edge of a cliff.  I want to take the next step but the ground might be soft and give way under my feet.

I used to be a person who always had a plan.  I was never so rigid that I freaked out when the plan went askew… but I did have a deeper confidence because at least I had a plan.

Over the past four years, I have all-but-abandoned any type of long-range planning.  I would call my method of organization these days more like:  I-kinda-have-an-idea.

Why?  Because it got the point that whenever I had a plan, God had an entirely different plan.  Not a little different… ENTIRELY different.  And in the moment, I’d have to throw my plan out the window and adjust.  So I stopped planning.

And one day, I raised my hands to the sky and shouted to God:  I’m not going to waste my time and energy making any more plans since You just end up doing what You want anyway!

[Yes… I actually did shout out loud to God… in anger, mind you.  I suspect that God’s reply was something like:  Yes!  She finally gets me!]

{Btw Teresa… this is why I never write from an outline.}

So maybe spiritual flatness also comes from the darkness.  St. John of the Cross wrote a lot about the dark night of the soul. Check it out.

How do you know?

So how do you know if you’re spiritually flat?  I think it’s really an individual thing.  Only you can know if it’s spiritual malaise or something more akin to depression.  [Btw… don’t be afraid or hesitant to talk to a medical professional if you need.  Be brave and do the hard work of helping yourself feel better.]

If any of these ring true for you, it might be a sign that you’ve got a spiritual-flat-tire on your God-mobile.

Prayer isn’t going to help.
I’ve got to fix this all by myself.
No one listens / hears / or understands me.
What I did can’t be undone.
God won’t forgive me for this one.
I don’t want to talk to or be with anyone.
God is not answering my prayers.
Just leave me alone.
I can’t handle this right now.
I’m so tired of working my butt off for people who don’t care.

These are just some of the thoughts that roll around in my brain when I’m pretty sure that God has checked out of my life.  You might have come up with others.  And any of these could certainly mean that you should seek out a professional.

What to do?

wanted sun

Send in the Sun and the Rain!

Here’s a few things that I do.  Maybe they will help you too.

  1. Pray when I feel like it.  Pray when I don’t feel like it.  Pray until I feel like it.
  2. Talk a walk outdoors.  No matter the weather / time of day / place.  Especially if there is sun and always if there is rain!
  3. Listen to upbeat music.  I have a handful of Go-To songs that I know will lift my weary spirit.
  4. Call a friend.  I have a couple of Go-To friends that I know will hold me in sacred space when I need to cry or do the verbal-vomit.
  5. Go to a private place and yell at God.  Yes… scream at the top of your lungs if you have to.  God is big enough to handle it.
  6. Cry.  Have a meltdown.  Research tells us that tears release soothing chemicals in our bodies that help us cope with stress.
  7. Trust that God is near.  Even when you’re sure that God is far away.  Make yourself believe it even if you have to fake it for a while.  God really is right beside you.

You probably have some ideas to add.

Please share with us.

Peace out.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

2 responses »

  1. […] Whether your spiritual flatness comes from being dry or dark?  Did either of those resonate with you in the last post?  Here’s the link if you want to go back and read it again:  Are You Spiritually Flat? […]

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