Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More on Feeling "Set Upon"

Becoming aware of how I have been feeling "set upon" has been an important breakthrough for me. Yesterday I realized how it is not just the stream of minor bad luck that has made me feel this way, nor just the unending river of demands from my busy and complex work, but something else as well. It is that I dwell in a culture that is not really the most nurturing home for my kind of spirit.

I accept this -- in fact, I deliberately chose this -- because I do not believe that life is simply about finding comfort and nurturing. Somehow, I internalized a strong ethic of "making a positive difference in the world," and I learned long ago that if you choose to bring about change, you will meet resistance and so this kind of life will be challenging and mostly uncomfortable.

So, I am in a life where, for the most part, the resistance I face is exactly the resistance I want to face, because it is about issues I believe in and care about.

But a soul gets weary over time. And I am finally starting to face up to the fact that I am really quite weary. I realize that I've been trying to tell myself, "you haven't earned the right to be weary, yet, because you've lost most of your battles! You haven't even begun to bring about the changes you were hoping to effect!" This kind of self-chastisement is really not very helpful. But I have not been quite as miserably negative as this may sound, because I also say consoling things to myself, like: "But it hasn't all been a waste, because look at how much you have been learning about how power really works! You are almost at a point where you might understand enough and have found enough strength to really start making a difference!" But even that kind of consolation is still a way of pressuring myself.

It is true, though, that I have, overall, felt a sense of starting to come into my power.

But more recently, that has been faltering. It is because I really am weary.

The diminishing of my ability to live proactively instead of reactively is also because I am weary.

I need to just accept my weariness, without either judgment or pressure. And when one is weary, one needs to "home" for a while, and seek nurturance again.

Fortunately, I do have a sabbatical in the spring. So I need to ask myself where "home" is. For me, "home" is the Quaker subculture. I will look into whether I can spend some time at a Quaker institution or Quaker community for at least part of my sabbatical.


  1. I have already questioned my motives as well as my depency on your blog! The truth is that I am not at all the type to leave comments on the internet.

    However, I find your internal banter to be intriguing, exponentially well articulated, and your struggles to be personally identifiable.

    It is ironic that someone with such power to influence through a blog can question their effectiveness. If you only knew who was reading and what they are getting out of it. What if you could see the ripple effect of the catalytic thoughts you impose on others, just by writing this blog? Could you imagine?

    I find myself pondering your blog entries for days on end. Each time that I watch CNN, I am still hearing your thoughts on the struggle of low-income evacuees.

    I am an advisor to corporate heads and my thoughts impose an essence onto how some businesses operate. My opinions are shared on 50-plus websites and blogs that I manage. Now your internal banter, having been integrated into my thought process, has found a way out of the blog and is being spread to various corners of the world... no longer on a digital page but now your thoughts have legs.

    How many people are you affecting like this? How many that don't bother to comment but read, move on, ponder your thoughts and incorporate them into their own value set?

    You are powerful.

    P.S. on the weary thing. It's so human and absolutely necessary once in a while... like crushing up a page and starting from scratch. To question one's value is like rewriting that page and pioneers are entitled to one, perhaps two of these annually (smile!) If and when you are ready to come out of it, here's a tip that I've found works *every* time: PASSION. Weariness is a symptom of the loss of passion. Regain the passion and you will remember your value.

    Carry on brave one!

  2. Wow! Thank you so much! Your comments made my day! I'm really glad you like my blog. I find the wonderful comments that you and others leave very supportive. And I really like your blog too!