Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just As I Am

I have washed this floor hundreds of times, but the sunlight spilled in that day, exalting the ordinary. Dirt still layers corners, grime plasters nooks in the door, and they'll never come showroom clean...but somehow light lifts this patch of 'everydayness' to the sublime.

But isn't that what we're supposed to do every day, each moment? Take the ordinary and remold with love and tenderness so that even the smallest gestures become noble?

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put into that action."
~ Mother Teresa

But what about those days that seem so...so...ordinary? The light isn't bathing the floor; it's raining outside and the dog tracked mud everywhere, children are crying in the next room, and the floor is just another obligation- just another mess to deal with.

And honestly, many days are like that. I want to find the beauty in the mundane, the grace of the ordinary.I want to savor moments and rejoice in the rain...but I feel paralyzed. I can't see beyond the mess, the demands, the obligations, and sometimes just my own frame of mind. Some days, too, are just harder.

Writers get writer's cramp, and they can't think of anything to write. Runners get runner's cramp, and they can't run without getting sharp, stabbing pains in their sides. Sometimes I get what I call "life cramp,"  and I forget how to live. I know what needs to be done, and I just can't do it. I'm unmotivated and sluggish, sometimes sad and overwhelemd.

So what to do? When the zest for life gets trapped somewhere inside, and it is painful to breathe, do I try harder? I always thought that was the answer. Refocus, try something different, breathe deeper, pray, walk, think positive thoughts...shift the mindset. All of those things are good and necessary to living a life well, but sometimes the best cure for life cramp is the holy prayer of acceptance.

I accept that I feel tired and unmotivated right now. I accept that I can't find the joy or beauty of this moment. Lord, I accept that I don't always feel your grace, even when I know it's there. Is it a sacrilege to accept the unacceptable? A sacrifice sometimes, but not always a sacrilege.

The only reason I am ever able to know the countless joys and gratitude, the treasures of any moment is a gift, not a right. The fact that God often graces me with a spiritual vision that consecrates the ordinary says nothing of my own merit. It is all gift. And sometimes the gift doesn't come wrapped in joy and gratitude; it comes wrapped in the acceptance of just being able to BE, and know that "this too shall pass."