Per Mirriam-Webster:

Worry: (definition 2c)
to touch or disturb something repeatedly

I have a longstanding unbloggable family thing. It lies dormant for months on end, and when it resurfaces, I worry. I might not have noticed this time, except for the vivid stress dreams. I got scared, prayed, was scared some more, and kept praying. Last night, as I was explaining to God what an incredible mess it is and how overwhelmed I am, the reply was gentle: "You're right. That is sticky. How about you let me take care of this one?"

OH. You mean everyone's welfare doesn't depend on my perfect diplomatic strategy?

I understand that in other areas of my life, but this one particular situation has me convinced that any wrong move will be catastrophic. And there is no clear right move. Last night, I was tenderly reminded that I am not in charge. Thank heavens.

But this morning... I pick it back up again. The physical, tangible definition of worry keeps coming to mind. I fiddle with the situation, twisting it between my fingers and wrinkling it. And what is worry but psychic fidgeting, fussing and squirming when we're anxious and powerless?


Friday Five: Feel Free to Brag Edition

From Singing Owl:
Lately I seem to be encountering many people who have a very difficult time finding anything good to say about themselves. They are able to extend grace and forgiveness's to others but find it difficult to extend that same grace to themselves.
With that in mind, let's share some healthy affirmation today! Tell us five things you like about yourself!

1. I make people laugh, and I laugh easily, too.
2. I'm really good at saying no. It sounds funny, but I've had a lot of people tell me that they wished they knew how to say no as clearly, firmly, and politely as I do.
3. I have a friendly smile.
4. I'm hospitable, wherever I am.
5. I'm a great cat mom.


Came to Admit I Was Powerless

A really neat guy I knew in college just posted a link on Facebook to a recent Roger Ebert essay, My Name is Roger, and I'm an Alcoholic.

I cannot begin to tell you how my life has been blessed by recovering alcoholics, and by people in assorted forms of recovery.

I can think of a whole handful of them who became family, starting when I was in middle school. They were funny, honest, accepting adults who had the wisdom not to take themselves too seriously. My husband says the people I love are the ones who "don't screw around," and truly those I love the most are not masters of tact. They are honest, because honesty is what keeps them healthy, sober, real. I know women who say that they can pick an alcoholic out of a crowd-- he'll be the one she's most attracted to. I think I can pick a recovering alcoholic out of a crowd-- and he'll be the one who becomes my friend.

A priest I really like once told a story about an AA meeting that took place in a small parish's fellowship hall. Congregants were in the habit of walking through the space while meetings were taking place, compromising the anonymity of the members. When a spokesperson for the meeting met with the rector, she was insistant: this is a matter of life and death. The priest who told the story wondered what would happen if we held what happened in the sanctuary as a matter of life and death as well. And when I think about it: aren't all the other things that we let take our focus from loving and following God just as dangerous, just as damaging to our selves and lives? Who are we kidding when we pretend otherwise?

I was part of an evening Mass once, and because it was a small group gathered to worship, Prayers of the People were both more informal and more personal than they usually are. Early in the sharing, one person told us that she was a recovering alcoholic. By the peculiar grace of God, which so often brings together those who need each other, it turned out that alcoholism had been a part of each of our lives. That was the most open, most caring service I've ever seen.

This was such a timely article for me, because while I'm not an alcoholic, I have such a hard time remembering that, in general, I am powerless, and that God can restore me to sanity IF I turn my life over to God.

It's such evangelical language, isn't it? Particularly in the last year or so, I've been missing that shared evangelical spirituality that talks about turning everything over to God, that spreads God out over our whole lives, and not just our philosophical moments. I've thought it was my evangelical roots, but I realize it's my 12 Step Higher Power roots, too.

I suppose mostly, I just want to say thank you to those recovering, who have been kind enough to include me in what you were learning and practicing. I have seen stronger witnesses, more faithful practice, and truer lovingkindness among this group than any other.