Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thursday's Reflection: Disappointment

This is the new countertop in our kitchen. White on white. Solid surface. I am very happy with our choice. However, during installation, one of the counters was chipped. The good news is that it can be repaired, but not by the repairman who came on Monday to do just that. He said he was not experienced enough to do that repair. While I appreciated his honesty, I am still waiting for an appointment to be scheduled with someone who can do the repair.

I am also waiting for the tile people to arrive to take out the old tile above the counter and install new white subway tile. I know I will be thrilled with it, and according to the schedule I was given, today is the day, but where are they? I have called the person leading us through this unending project, and he said he would get back to me.  I am waiting. 

It has been one of those weeks. The rug I ordered was sent to two different wrong addresses, but it did finally arrive, and it looks great in the dining room. The neighborhood association for our former home in Madison hassled me about not paying the yearly fee even though we no longer own that house and have not owned it since early January.  And the dishwasher does not seem to be working. I will deal with that later.

From Disappointment to Resiliency
The biggest disappointment, however, is that the doctor's appointment scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled. This is the appointment in which I anticipated being told I could finally put weight on that foot and therefore, have more freedom. Believe me, I am ready for freedom. I have been a good sport and have done everything I have been told to do. I have worked at staying "up" during this time, but the change in the appointment was a blow. I am reminded of what my spiritual director said recently, "Expectation is premeditated disappointment."

Last night I allowed myself to wallow, and I admit I am not quite out of the blues this morning, but I am trying. 

Instead of feeling as if my life is on hold, I am breathing in and out and attempting to become aware of being held. Instead of focusing on the brokenness of my ankle, the countertop, and even schedules,  I am trying to see what in my life is breaking open. 

         What if instead our brokenness--and the world's--
         might be seen as a breaking open, like the splitting
         of a seedpod or the cracking of an egg about to hatch?
         What if that breaking open to new meaning and 
         possibilities brings a beautiful play of light shining
         on our shattered and sharp surfaces? What if our 
         brokenness might actually be our salvation? 'God
         breaks the heart again and again and again,' said Sufi
         master Hazrat Inayat Khan, 'until it stays open.'
                                      Writing to Wake the Soul, p. 163
                                       Karen Hering 

This feels like a stretch at the moment, but when I look at my swollen calf and top of my foot, and then remember my belly towards the end of my two pregnancies, I realize how much the body is capable of stretching. Surely, that is possible for my mind and heart as well. 

Is this what resiliency is all about? Kent Groff, who was founder of the spiritual direction program where I trained, Oasis Ministries, said in his recent weekly meditation that resiliency is "seeing tiny traces of growth or newness," and he encourages, "Instead of becoming brittle you can bounce back with creativity and compassion." 

Finding Grace
Karen Hering says "grace is resilience," and I want to live in grace and with grace and recognize the grace within and without. Therefore, I have taken time to calm myself, to stretch myself into the Big Picture remembering that each of these disappointments are fixable, and then I made the necessary phone calls, setting up a new doctor's appointment and tracking down the glitches in the countertop and tile schedules. Now I will return to working on a writing project, which I hope will break open meaning for myself and others.  All will be well. 

         I want…to live 'in grace' as much of the time as
         possible… By 'grace' I mean an inner harmony,
         essentially spiritual, which can be translated into
         outward harmony.
                                 Anne Morrow Lindbergh

An Invitation
In what ways are you being stretched right now? How do you nurture your own resilience and move beyond disappointment? I would love to know.  

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