Sometimes I think I must be a magnet for drama, disputes, and unruly people, because they keep showing up at my doorstep. I want to be compassionate and a safe harbor for those who are having difficulties, especially for my loved ones. However, there are times I want to say, “Pack it up and take it on down the road,” but that would be hard-hearted and uncaring. Wouldn’t it? Somewhere it says you get what you sow, and I want kindness if I find myself in their shoes in the future. But then I think I won’t be stupid enough to get in those predicaments… You see how torn I am over giving generously of myself to fellow beings and not being their enabler by going overboard?
I find loosing my joy and feeling down is a sign of being “overboard” or not having a good balance in the things of my life. To fill the void I try food, shopping, having a temper tamper (well, at least having a silent, inner temper tantrum as no one wants to hear about my displeasure), and a box of chocolates. As I mentioned food twice, you can guess I have a problem with comforting myself. I can rationalize that there are worse vices, but that is justifying the issue.
Now, I am fully aware that the true answer is to go to God for my pleasure. But just exactly how do I do that? I can’t even see Him. Food seems more substantial. I know, I am talking like an idiot when I know He is very real. Let’s think this through: God is spirit. My need for comfort and pleasure is either emotional or spiritual, so why can’t I get satisfaction in the same way? Why do we think we can fill a need we can’t see with things we can?
So I look at the things I do that rejuvenates and give me strength. Perhaps those are the things of pleasure. I asked my son about this as we sat on my back patio the other day. “What are the things I can do to go to God for pleasure,” I asked?
“You do what we are doing right now, sitting and talking as the breeze brushes past us, working on your yard-art project, holding and petting your cat, talking to your neighbor about spiritual things like you both enjoy, writing your blog.” He is right, those things bring me pleasure.
I will add another to his list. I like to do work. Of course, I am not fond of heavy manual work or tedious paperwork, but even those bring a sense of satisfaction when they are done. I remember a psychiatrist who counseled his patients by walking with them as they talked. He said it kept them focused and avoided the pity-parties.
Perhaps I could have the above mentioned people who show up on my doorstep work with me on my garden, my yard-art, or wherever I’m getting my pleasure at the moment. That would take care of two things at the same time: I would be available, and they wouldn’t stay very long.