I am what is called a J on the Myers Briggs scale. Part of this is that I like product better than process. I’ve been working through a decorating course and it’s been a bit difficult because one of her big points is that it never has to be finished. But I want it to be finished. I put to put the cherry on top, call it done and sit back and relax. I find it very difficult to relax sometimes. I need to be productive and check things off. But I’m having to accept that life is not like this. (Yes, I know that’s basic logic and most of you probably figured this out ages ago, but I’m just getting to it now so bear with me).
When my daughter turned one, my mom bought me the first book in this series. The authors talked about the concept of equilibrium and disequilibrium. Basically, children cycle between phases of equilibrium where things are more balanced and settled in their body and emotions, usually making them more easy going and pleasant to be around and disequilibrium. During disequilibrium, things are just off. The child is bothered by many things, easily distressed, often unhappy.
(It should be noted here that this is relative to the child’s personality. My son is difficult at the best of times, so you have to very attuned to notice the difference. I usually become aware when he his disequilibrium because suddenly things get worse than I imagined they could).
I’m realizing that this is how my spiritual life is, and probably will always be. How long each period of time will last varies. If only it were as easy to predict as the typical 6-9 month cycle of a small child. I will never arrive and suddenly have it all together. I hate that thought. Because it means I will constantly be in process.
I hate being in process, it feels off balance and involves continual change. I told my counselor that I fear stagnation, but I don’t think that’s exactly accurate. I aspire to experience security and stillness. My desire to continue growing is at least in part because I want to get to wherever it is I’m going. But it’s an impossible destination, because when it comes to knowing God, mathematically we’re dealing with infinity here.
So if I can’t arrive, I need to learn to live where I am and try to enjoy the process. Obviously I won’t always enjoy it, but I can remind myself that the bad still is only temporary and try to lean into the good stuff. (This applies to both parenting and spiritual growth by the way). To cling to grace and accept the mercy offered to me. Remembering that I am loved for who I am, not what I do. God is not trying to trick me. If I am genuine in my seeking of him, he won’t let me miss the mark, even if I’m not sure what exactly it is I’m shooting for.