Thursday, April 15, 2010

Struggling through the layers


Part of growing up,

by which I mean,

becoming more whole

which must mean, as Anastasia

pointed out in my previous post,

is to become more like Christ.

I really appreciated all of the responses from this post,

from the understanding of those who are single

to those who are older than I...



I am gathering that one of the areas of

growing up

is to begin to see one's self more clearly.

Including those areas of one's life that

suddenly appear to be in great need of attention.

Areas that for whatever reason

it seems to be hard to become whole

to be obey Christ

to become like Christ.


For me,

with my cozy house of cat and books,

I am realizing that I am struggling against
anxiety on a fairly dramatic scale.

***

Those who know me in person

or who have read my blog for a while,

I don't think will be surprised by this.

***

Of course I am also in a situation

that is uncertain
taking French

using my savings

for an unknown future job

feels

a tad

precarious.

***

But nonetheless,

I am slowly

declaring war on the anxiety

that has been with me all too long.

***

So how to do this?

***

Going to church.

Participating in all the sacraments.

Praying.

Mediating on Scripture.

Reading Orthodox devotional material.

Repentance.

Talking to those I need to talk to about

rooting out anxiety,

reading up on the subject,

reading books by Christians on anxiety.

Re-evaluating my eating habits.

Drinking more water.
Failing and getting up again and again and again.

Prayers to St. Spyridon who a Monk

told my friend helps for anxiety

and whose prayers helped this friend.

When I can I hope to go to a monastery again,

where deep healing can be continued.

***

I just re-read Gentian Hill by Elizabeth Goudge.

In this book Elizabeth Goudge shows how fear can be faced
and conquered;

her understanding of detachment

and other insights to me are deep hints of the

Orthodox understanding of


that Metropolitan Jonah's articles made well-known

in the online Orthodox circles.

***

God will bring me

in all my weakness and brokenness

to His safe harbour.

The inner storms that buffet cannot destroy

or keep me from the love of God.

***

Be kind for everyone you know is fighting a great battle.

— Philo of Alexandria

***

The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103 verses 8-14

11 comments:

Donna said...

Have you heard of or read the book "Bread and Water, Wine and Oil" by Archimandrite Meletios Webber? If not, I highly recommend it. I think it will provide you with great insights into this struggle of yours... which is mine as well.

margaret said...

I think you are doing all the right things, particularly the sacraments. My sf says that confession helps the whole human condition, not just the things we think of as sins.

I was looking at the book Donna recommends in the church bookstore and I think she is right. I'll buy it for myself too!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Sending love, hugs and prayers.
You are doing all the right things; trust wholeheartedly in God and take care of yourself too.

I love most of Elizabeth's Goudge's novels. Each of them speaks to me in a different way.

Gentian Hill is one of the best, as is The Dean's Watch, which I strongly recommend, if you haven't already read it......

elizabeth said...

Thanks Donna! I had not heard of this book but respect the author so I will have to see if I can get it; if I am lucky I can get it from a library near by instead of spending more $ on books! :)

Thanks Margaret - yes - confession is very helpful...

and Thanks Elizabeth! I am so glad you love Elizabeth Goudge too!! I have read most of her books and own a lovely copy of The Deans Watch which I have read... my favourite of her's is _The Scent of Water_... Elizabeth Goudge can speak right to ones like us I think!

Well... off to kick Cleo out of the chair where my lunch sits unfinished!

Marigold said...

Well done you for facing up to it, that's more than some of us can say. I do sympathise with being in an uncertain situation - in January I dropped out of university quite suddenly and since then have been trying to figure out what I'm actually going to do with my life. It's not easy!

One book which always does me good when I'm going through an anxious period is 'Pearl of Great Price: The Life of Mother Maria Skobtsova' because she is utterly fearless.

Christ is risen!

Mimi said...

Oh my goodness, I love this post - I love that you are able to assess, reexamine, and plan so well. And, of course, in the bosom of the church we will be made whole.

Love.

elizabeth said...

Thanks Marigold! It takes time to figure out what the next steps are! We can relate in our struggles! I should read more of this book sometime... I already own this one!!

Thanks so much Mimi for your encouragment and support!! I am excited about this all actually and appreciate you seeing this... :)

Pres. Kathy said...

Christ is Risen! Oh - anxiety - I know how you feel. After reading your blog for so long, I see that you have everything pretty planned. The most important thing is to put our lives in God's hands. If we truly trusted Him, we would not feel this way. But it is so hard!

Athanasia said...

Elizabeth, unlike 90% of the world's population, you look at yourself with a critical eye and seek to be better - to model Christ for all. That is a good thing. I will share the same warning that was given to me about that...be gentle with yourself and be patient. Seek out joy. BE joyful. (Active tense!) Sometimes anxiety raises its ugly head because there is part of us that knows we will fail at whatever we try to do. I'm learning to accept the fact that I will not live life perfectly and will make a multitude of mistakes but God loves me anyway. That helps me with my anxiety.

Maureen E said...

I know I'm late, but I just wanted to say that I know the feeling. I've been combating it recently, facing the unknown world of life after college. I'll keep you in my prayers.

elizabeth said...

Thanks A and Maureen -

A - I am not sure what to make of your line "there is part of us that knows we will fail at whatever we try to do"....

for sure I fall EVERY DAY many times but we also have to be careful to not believe that we are failures. There is no reason we will fail at whatever we try to do! So while I hear you - oh man do I - I struggle with anxiety and yes I am going to fall down a lot with it - but I guess I would hesitate to use the word "fail" as ultimately I believe - even if it takes years - that with Christ I can get a lot better in combatting anxiety...

May God show us what is needed... and thanks for your comment. I always appreicate your imput and welcome you here!