Tuesday, August 9, 2011

connection


This clarity came to me recently: If I am seeking connection in important ways and in key relationships, than it matters what I am connected to. 

I remember going to a yoga class led by a highly intuitive teacher. As we started the class she asked us all to unplug. "What are you connected to?" she asked us. "Unplug from that consciously now and give yourself freedom to be connected to what you are supposed to be connected to."

I've been thinking about connectedness a lot. About unity and what to do to create and protect that. Here are just some of my thoughts:
  • In some ways seeking connection can be a form of idolatry. If I am plugged into feedback and short term affirmation (facebook, email, texting, cells, even friendships at times) and prioritizing them with my time and my attention - than I am not finding satisfaction in feedback from one more vast, permanent and important source.
  • In some ways it's a form of idealizing. If I am seeking joy, beauty and kindness in tastes and sensory indulgences, in instant gratification - than I am not finding my needs first met in the one who knows how to distinguish with the greatest clarity when sweetness is needed and when a well-needed rebuke or redirection is better.
  • In some ways it's a form of pure distraction. The question becomes what am I avoiding? Loneliness? (It won't be found in my usual diversions.) Heartache? (It won't be healed through any means I can control.)  Lack of encouragement? Being misunderstood? Feeling unsafe? Unheard? Exhausted? Broken? Wounded? Healing? All are diversionary means until I am rooted and prioritized in a source that knows no end and is my actual healing.
The maker of my appetites and my fears* is the only source that can calm them, meet them and fulfill them all. He is my only satisfaction. He's created me that way - to be satisfied by Him and hungry when anything else is used to fill me up internally. The problem with that is He holds to His very own (inexplicable) time-table. And His sense of justice is never my own. This has to be wrestled with. And wrestled with in Him and what I believe His ways are.

Safety and security in the ways I measure them are not His aim and won't fulfill me. He is not motivated for my defense, short-term comfort or my endorsement. No, He is motivated by love. He is my comfort, it is found in Him. He is my shield, He is my hiding place. He is my very great reward, He is not superficial or temporary. He does not want to lead me to something I long for. No, He wants me for himself.

He created me for connection, yes. Connection to, and unity with, only, foremost and primarily: Himself.

What am I unifying myself to?

Unless it is unity steeped into obedience, unless it is unity with who and how and what I am created to be, unless it is unifying myself with the Maker of all things, including my needs - I am actually disconnecting myself. I am actually removing the possibility of connection from the very ones I am reaching out to and longing to be one with.

So often those longings come down to difficult obedience. So often I am thankful that His kindness leads me back to Himself - even if the road there involves repentance.

As *Mary Oliver wrote:

"Maker of All Things,
including appetite, including stealth,
including the fear that makes
all of us sometime or other,
flee for the sake
of our small and precious lives,
let me abide in your shadow-
let me hold on
to the edge of your robe
as you determine what you must let be lost
and what will be saved."

Or here as Francis Thompson profoundly pours out:

"Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught' (He said),
'And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!' "

And as St. Augustine prayed in his great Confessions:

"Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is Thy power, and of Thy wisdom there is no end. And man, being a part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee, man, who bears about with him his mortality, the witness of his sin, even the witness that Thou "resistest the proud," -  yet man, this part of Thy creation, desires to praise Thee. Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."

My gift right now is new understanding and an opportunity for a new way of pursuing connection. These are the verses I have been meditating on this last weekend from Hosea chapter 14:

"I will make a fresh start with Israel.
She'll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.
She'll put down deep oak tree roots,
She'll become a forest of oaks!
She'll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,
her fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near her will be blessed by her,
be blessed and prosper like golden grain...
[Be] finished with gods that are no-gods.
From now on I'm the one who answers and satisfies her.
I am like a luxuriant fruit tree.
Everything you need is to be found in me.

If you want to live well,
make sure you understand all of this.
If you know what's good for you,
you'll learn this inside and out.
God's paths get you where you want to go."



{39/365 is about this being the last year of my fourth decade. 
I am watching for God in my day-to-day life & I am writing about the gifts He gives me in this season. 
I am listening for God's daily, beautiful presence in my years.... all 39 of them and counting. 
This week I have been thinking about the gift of connection. 
Please feel free to join me. }

4 comments:

amanda said...

You're right, when I'm connecting to some things it becomes a distraction. Trying to stay connected to HIM seems to keep it balanced. :)

BettyDuffy said...

Thanks for this post. It spoke to me, when not much else has lately.

Annalea said...

Ouch. A well-timed rebuke I needed to hear. Thank you.

(I came from Betty Duffy's site, where I'm brand-new, too.)

deb colarossi said...

ah... Misha. Yes . This.

hope you are well...