Getting Through a Bad Day
(Internal Mind Storm)
One of the benefits of being older is that consistency over how time is spent becomes easier. At least that is for me. When younger, I could be quite restless and would often have a hard time settling down for private meditation/prayer. I used my energy like most young people through my work and exercise. Now that I am older I am aware of how my energy is now being used in a different way. While my body is slowing down, and fatigue is becoming more of an issue, I find that on another level my energy level is higher than ever.
It is easier to develop healthier habits of prayer and Lectio. Neither is always easy, yet I have learned that to keep my times of prayer, in the end, allow me to be more comfortable with myself, and how my inner life is changing. Sort of like the weather in the world around me. However, this is not always the case, I do fail in this discipline from time to time.
There are some days when I seek to pray, that there seems to be a mind storm going on inside me. Negative thoughts, angry feelings, and yes lustful thoughts. Yesterday morning was like that. I love the early morning hours, for me the best time for prayer. So I went into our chapter room chapel and sat down to pray. Not sure how much I prayed, because a maelstrom of thoughts, desires, fears, anxieties, and lust, became very strong. It was of course, unpleasant. Yet I have been here before and will be again in the future. Sooner than I would like.
I was in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and all I could do is bring myself back to the moment, and then I would sink in to some sort of inner storm. The waves were high, and I felt like I was being swallowed up. Not a new sensation for me. I know it will pass and all I need do is to stay in the boat and ride it out. My intention was still there, to pray and to be before the Lord. So there is a peace knowing that I was in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, who knows of my frailty, as well as my desire to serve him, even if I often do it poorly.
That kept going pretty much all morning. After lunch, I was walking towards the Retreat House and I said to the Lord:
“Lord, what I am going through
is no surprise to you for you know all things,
so in this moment of inner confusion,
and yes pain, I give it all to you
and even embrace this inner struggle,
for I know it will end, as it always does,
but your love, mercy, and compassion are forever.
So, Lord, I am going to get out of the boat and walk
on the waves, knowing that as long as I look to you,
all is well, no matter the emotions, or feeling, for all passes."
After I said the prayer inner stability was achieved by God’s grace, but the day was still a struggle for me.
Another good thing about being older is that I have many years to look back on and I see that cycles have to come, but they pass, and in the end, they are for my good for it is when I struggle that I have to make choices to move forward, or if I fail, to simply get up, praise God and take the next step……there is always the next step for all of us….never give up hope.-Br.MD