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.
5 years ago