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Being Benedictine

Living the Rule of St. Benedict in Daily Life

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enough

Enough: I Can Never Know It All

The Harvest Moon and Autumn Equinox this week, combined with a free Sunday afternoon, have ripened my desire for SoulCollage creativity and reflection. As often happens, intuitively the card comes together with images I am drawn to. Words follow upon reflection and using the “I am one who…” prompt. (See HERE for more info about How to SoulCollage.)

Card Name– Enough: I Can Never Know It All

I am one who has an appetite for knowledge that is never quenched.

I am one who loves to learn. I want to know more. I want to understand.

I am one who grows weary from my own desire to learn more and more and more.

I never want to be as uninformed as I used to be—about politics, about the suffering of others, about racism or poverty.

I can learn just a little bit more. More knowledge (of good and evil?) seems just a book, podcast, documentary, news article, or Facebook post away.

I am one who creates my own stress, anxiety and overwhelm because I never know enough.

When will I know ENOUGH, I wonder?

I know that I cannot know it all. I need to settle into that knowing.

Knowing is not all or none, one or the other. Authentic knowing is not a spectrum of “knowing nothing” on one end and “knowing it all” on the other. I can let go of dualistic thinking and rest in the balance of enough.

Always We Begin Again, John McQuiston II

I can take a break, stop seeking, and let what I do know move through me into a new kind of knowing.

There is no deadline for which I need to know more. I can give myself some breathing space, a letting go of the pursuit of more, a gentle moving from one season of knowing to another.

I can take a time out with a dose of self-compassion, knowing I will never know it all. I can love learning without letting it consume me.

Yes, that’s it—I give myself permission to not know it all, to not exhaust every source of information that promises more knowing. I can say ENOUGH.

I welcome a new season of unknowing, of revealing, of growing, of I don’t know, of enough.

A little help from my friend, Bailey.
Harvest (full-ish) Moon in Nebraska.

Written by Jodi Blazek Gehr ©

Friends are friends forever

Cleaning out some old papers, I stumbled upon a script from which I read a farewell greeting to my spiritual director and monk friend, Fr. Mauritius Wilde when he moved from Schuyler, Nebraska to Rome four years ago.

My message was one of gratitude for our shared experiences, but also sadness that we would not see each other regularly…since Rome is a bit more than a car drive away. I knew that we would continue to be in touch, and as luck would have it I was able to visit Rome one year later for the Benedictine World Congress and he has also visited Nebraska a few times to lead retreats. So, it was not a good-bye, but a see-ya-later.

Farewell party for Fr. Mauritius. October, 2016

As I read through what I had written four years ago, I realized this feeling of being separated, yet remaining deeply connected speaks to our current situation of pandemic. I feel this same nostalgic see-ya-later-sort-of-way as we hunker down, cancel trips, stay at home and physically distance to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. It is bittersweet—but it is what we must do. We will survive this liminal space where we are together in spirit, but not in person.

I experience this distance, and yet connectedness, with my daughter, who also moved from home—first to Washington DC four years ago (yikes, that 2016 was a doozy of a year) and then to Madison, Wisconsin. She is my child, so of course, we see each other as often as possible, but without the spontaneity of a quick lunch date or evening walk. I am grateful that we talk or text each other nearly every day and have been able to exchange visits nearly every other month.

An autumn pandemic visit from Jessica. Working from home means she can work anywhere!

But still, it is challenging to have your loved ones far away. As much as I love reading about the pioneer days, I was not cut out to be one. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to send your grown child off with her family in a covered wagon, perhaps never to be seen again.

Continue reading “Friends are friends forever”

You Say I am Loved and That Is Enough

A few years ago, in an attempt to downsize and declutter, I attacked the hundreds of books I own with an attitude of discernment. Where should this book reside? Where would it’s best home be? Shall I keep it to read again or send it along to be enjoyed by another?

I was particularly torn about one book, Made for Goodness by Desmond Tutu. It was a book my Circle had read and discussed together. When I thumbed through the book,  I decided to take a few photos of the pages that had truly made an impression on me and send the book on to where it could be loved by another.

Recently, I came across the photos from this book, a poem written by Tutu for his daughter as seen through the eyes of God. I immediately thought of a friend who could use the comfort and encouragement of this message and started drafting an email to forward the image.

After reading the poem, I thought, “This is such a comforting message. I wish every child, every person, knew how loved and special they are; that they need not be so hard on themselves.” After reading the poem a number of times, it finally hit me that this message was meant for me too. Continue reading “You Say I am Loved and That Is Enough”

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