Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Chihuahua is Alright

The Chihuahua has been alive and well and completely manic for the last long while so entering into worship has been seemingly less than rewarding. I sit still with my body mostly quiet, so I suppose I appear to others to have an Old Argus mind (Argus is my dog, the most gentle, mellow, wonderful dog ever). While my body is still, my mind is racing like a young greyhound after a jackrabbit. Mark and I have tried to remember to have daily worship with one another. We sit in the Quiet Room in The Burrow for 15 or so minutes in worship and then perhaps will do a bit of worship sharing around a query or whatever came up for one of us out of worship. I sit, quiet my body, and try to quiet my mind: I express my gratitude to God for the myriad blessings in my life, sometimes try to hold someone or something in prayer but generally by then The Chihuahua has been yipping with the determination of a fly at a picnic. This has been the pretty consistent state of my mind for months and months.
I don’t feel frustration with myself or feel I am failing or doing something wrong. I accept that this is the way my brain works and have found other ways I am able to connect with God. Although I’m not generally able to feel God’s immediate presence in the stillness of worship, I am aware of God with me and around me and sometimes through me. I know God is with me when I sit in silence waiting with others, even when The Chiuhauhua is yapping so loudly I’m utterly distracted from my awareness of God.
Last weekend, when working with Mark on our goal for Couples Enrichment, I felt God’s presence intimately and purely. God was with us, guiding us, as we held our relationship in prayer. When we sat in worship together on Monday, I thought about my inability to center into mental stillness in worship but how God is so near to me. In the past, it seemed to me that when The Chihuahua held ownership of my mind, I tended to be distant from God, unable to be immediately aware of God’s presence. But for the past year, year and a half or maybe longer, I’ve been more deliberately attentive to the practices I know bring me closer to God: writing, reading and especially talking with f/Friends about God and spiritual matters. I realize that not being able to be all Good Quaker by centering and quieting and going deep into worship is ok with God. I feel sure that God is good with whatever works for each of us. My intention in worship is to become aware of God and maybe I won’t be able to do so as centeredly, weightily or consistently as other Friends, but I will do it in my way, the way God made me to be, and it will be good.


David Carl said...

One thing I've found helpful with monkey/chihuahua-mind is to take it seriously and listen to what it is saying. When I withdraw part of myself to listen, the chattering usually slows down and becomes more coherent and understandable. I think any "voice" wants that -- to be heard and understood. Once that happens, its more willing to settle down, its purpose fulfilled.

Friendly Mama said...

David, thanks! I appreciate your kind perspective. Up to a point I sort of do take what The Chihuahua is saying seriously ("What? Timmy has fallen down a well? Show me!"). Sometimes, though, The Chihuahua's yapping seems a lot like most drum solos, you know? Gratitude and holding others and our collective worship in prayer draw me out of my thoughts and closer to God. Also, praying for God to help me find my way closer helps.