I am aware that this title will make some of my readers gasp in concern that I am becoming Hindu or Buddhist. Bare with me. I promise I still love Jesus.
I have just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. Honestly, I had little motivation to read this charming little escape from reality (and what little motivation I did have, came from the Adonis-like form of Javier Bardem in the recent film), however, every time I go to Minneapolis I choose a book out of my cousin's basket of girly books and read it. It's my foray into the world of romance novels. I love it. This particular foray, however, held more substance.
I didn't particularly enjoy all of the novel, but it held certain nuggets of truth for me. The story was good, but honestly a little cheesy. How many women really have the opportunity to take a year off of life to go figure out how to be a person? Really? She does figure out how to be a person though and that means she figures out a few important things that were beneficial for me to read.
One thing that she figures out in the Ashram she lives in for a while is to find her own mantra. The one her Guru gives her, just doesn't do it for her. So she chooses her own. The particular mantra didn't do it for me, but the idea of having a phrase I can repeat to myself was novel. I chose this one: "I remain. I am still here." It settles me down when I start to become overwhelmed with this world. Whenever I feel that I am losing my mind, or myself, or my soul to work, or grief, or anger, or boys (yes I just lumped my boy dramas in with the much more weighty and important stress factors in my life), I just say to myself, "I remain. I am still here."
Although this year has brought a lot of huge changes to not only my life, but my person and my soul as well, I am still here. I said in my last post that "that girl died". And she did. But I am still here. Still remaining. (side note: The word that St.John uses in John 15, when Jesus says "Remain in me" is the say verb root used by James when he talks about Perseverance. Just FYI. I love that).
This reminder that I am still here is so important, because one thing I haven't lost this year is faith in my ability to care for people and to achieve things. It's when I lose myself that I become afraid that I am unable to keep myself afloat. When I am here and present, I am able. I am capable of taking care of me, but only if I am here. Being here sometimes feels like it's going to take a lot of energy, but can I just tell you that being here is inevitable and since I have to be here anyway, I might as well acknowledge it and take care of myself.
So world, "I remain. I am still here."... my natural next words would have been "Don't mess with me", but I'm tired of believing I can stop tragedy and change. Rather, let me just say, "I remain." because no matter the tragedy and change, nothing is going to happen to that truth.
PS. In other news, The Fat Lady stopped humming and started to sing. By this I mean that I finally quit. Thought you might like to know.