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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Catching Up With Yourself
Jane went over her handlebars while mountain biking last week. She got banged up pretty good, requiring a week of recovery in bed.
When I asked her how she was doing, her reply struck me. “I could deal without this gaping wound on my face. But truthfully, it has been kind of nice. I feel like I have caught up with myself….maybe for the first time in a long time.”
Later that day, I thought about her words. I have caught up with a few old friends this summer. I have caught up with my brothers. I have caught up on my emails. But have I caught up with myself?
The poet David Whyte says this about a time when he needed to catch up with himself:
I was looking for David because I had become a stranger to myself and didn’t even have time for a snatched conversation about things that really mattered to me. I was looking for David because some inner relationship had been neglected and taken for granted; I had become like an old married couple who had stopped talking years before, the inner friendship with my old self slowly tearing apart under the strain. Behind the curtain was a man who was afraid to cross a threshold of visibility needed to make his place in the world.
Crossing the Unknown Sea, p. 126
There are many ways to catch up with yourself—walks, art, prayer and journaling to name a few. Or here is an idea: While taking a walk or sitting in a favorite place, ask yourself this question: What have I felt the past few days? (Anger? Joy? Energy?) Why? What is going on below the surface?
Our relationship with ourselves is similar to other relationships. It can be ignored or fed, disregarded or strengthened. If we are going to make a difference in the world, we will need to regularly catch up with ourselves.
(Hopefully without flying over the handlebars of our bike.)
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