8 July

Taking Care Of Me: Crying Inward Today.

by Jon Katz
Taking Care Of Me

I heard a voice inside of me say I needed to

take care of myself today,

I needed to go inside for a bit and be with me.

Caring for myself is not an indulgence,

it is a matter of survival.

Knowing how to be alone is central both to the

art of loving and the art of giving.

Self care is simply good stewardship,

the same kind of stewardship I try to

practice with my dogs,

and with  the people close to me.

Thomas Merton wrote that anytime

I listen to my true self,

and give it the care it requires,

I do it not only for myself, but for the many others

whose lives I might touch.

I have no apologies to make for myself for doing this,

no explanations or rationalizations.

I turn away from guilt as the useless poison

I know it to be.

I think sometimes of this:

I have never heard of a bird

or a donkey or a dog

or the Sun or the Moon or a Pansy,

ever say to God, “I am sorry.”

Today was for me, and for Maria.

Today I heard a spiritual calling.

My many very human needs for affection,

attention and consolation

had become confused,

disconnected from my soul,

from my weary and sometimes fragile inner self.

I have the strength to turn inward, not outward.

Tonight, for just a few hours,

I will turn into an extraordinary light,

and make a thousand flowers

go mad with love and compassion,

and find my peacefulness.

Today, I had to move from crying outward to crying inward,

to the place where I can let myself be held – by my angels,

by the stars, by God, by love,

by whatever force or spirit wishes to hold and comfort me

for a few hours or for one night.

No one person can fulfill my needs or heal my wounds

or staunch my exhaustion,

I let myself go to be held by the community of faith and hope,

it will  hold me and permit me to experience the truth:

beyond my anguish, there are human hands

that will hold me and show me faithful love.

8 Comments

  1. I am holding you from afar, Jon. Your words are tender and wise. I am so happy that we can share our love of Merton and Rohr.

  2. Yes. You are expressing what so many of us are also feeling…and then you DO what helps the most, going within. How often you have showed the way in times of trouble.
    Remember, your Army of Good is also here for YOU.

  3. Such a beautiful reflection, Jon, and so exquisitely expressed (Merton would have lauded it :). You don’t intend it as such but it is wonderful guidance and encouragement for anyone who will listen and really hear your words. Thank you.

  4. A beautiful reflection, Jon, and so exquisitely expressed (Merton would have lauded it :). You did not intend it as such, I’m certain, but your guidance and encouragement to turn inward at pivotal moments are of such value to anyone who will listen and really hear your words. A particular quote from St. Augustine resonates deeply in my searching soul, though I readily accept that it may not have that – or any – effect on others: “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” Thank you for sharing your heart, your wisdom, and your transformative perspective on life (and animals).

  5. I had no idea when I awoke this morning that by the time 5 o’clock pm rolled around that reading this post would have such profound significance for me as well. Thank you for sharing your gift of words spoken eloquently.

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