I Need to Continue to Say "Yes"
In the shifting attitudes that Miriam experiences in her isolation, an answer begins to emerge.
Which attitude prevailed in you in the past few weeks? I have gone back and forth, up and down, and in and out with my attitude throughout this period. At the beginning I was feeling happy that I had my kids home because they live six hours away at the university. I was also enjoying sitting in my patio and enjoying my garden and having time to read. I always have something to do that takes me out of my house, and now I was home all day, every day. For me that was not a burden but a blessing.
But that joy slipped into guilt. Guilt that I was enjoying a time when there was so much suffering and fear. Guilt that I wasn’t suffering nor full of fear. Guilt that there was nothing I could do. I still enjoyed the time with my family and in my garden, but there was a looming sadness I couldn’t shake. At the same time, I found myself feeling very needy of attention, of an embrace, of feeling loved. It’s not that my family doesn’t love me, but somehow, that was not enough. I was blaming myself for being so demanding and not being happy with all the beauty that was surrounding me.
I started really trying to follow by working on SoC, reading Carron's article several times, praying the Angelus/Regina Coeli in the morning with my husband, at 11:55 with friends and students, and in the evening before dinner with my family. I watched the video on the Stations of the Cross and then did a Zoom version with a group of friends. Yet, there was still sadness and a wish that I wasn’t so needy and so weak. I started to understand myself a little better and even felt like I was more myself than ever before because of it. With more alone time, and more thinking time, I was more aware than ever before of this deep need that I have to be loved, to be embraced.
At the same time, I was seeing how other people were living this period and wondering, “Why can’t I live it like them?” But the truth is that I don’t know what those other people are really living. The truth is that during that period, although there was a sadness in me, I felt that there was also something beautiful happening.
In the last couple of weeks, I have gotten a bit lazy with my prayers and with the work of SoC. I notice too that I am not as sad as I was before. I don’t feel so weak and needy of an embrace. Yet, a friend asked me the other day how I was doing and I answered, “Good,” and then I had to pause. I then continued, “I answered good right away, because I am, but there is something inside me saying, ‘No, I am not.'" It made me stop. That little seemingly insignificant exchange of words made me realize that although I am not sad, I am also not seeing nor living the beauty that I had been. I am ok, but I’m not. It’s a weird sense of "blah." So now what? Either I live feeling weak and needy and seeing beauty or I live feeling stronger and better but feeling "blah" inside.
Last night I had a GS Responsibles Zoom call and I had planned on skipping it because I was tired and it would mean that I would have to leave the table early to attend it. In the end, I joined in because I thought to myself, if I am searching for more, and I believe that my answers lie in Him, then how can I say no when He is calling? I’m glad I joined the call. It’s not like I found this joy that surpassed everything, but I do know that that is the path to find the answers to my never-ending questions. Even writing this has helped me see that I am on a path and that I prefer to need Him than to feel "blah."
What saves me from nothingness? I really don’t know the answer. I think it looks like my Community. My Community helps me to better understand myself and myself in relation to Christ. We had a Diaconia the other day in which someone mentioned his awareness of his weakness and his need for an embrace. I was very moved because I totally understood his need.
Then I started to think, maybe it’s not just me. Maybe it’s not a fault of mine, but a reality of man. Maybe I needed to be reminded of my weakness, of my nothingness to make me realize my need for Him. So I guess my answer to the question of “What saves me from nothingness?” is Him who comes to me through those people in my life who are walking with me. I need to continue to say "Yes." Maybe that’s the right answer. What saves me from nothingness is my "Yes."
Miriam, Miami, Florida