Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday morning ponderings

I just sat down and wrote a four page regurgitation of some of the things on my mind this morning. I didn't know how to express any of them appropriately for the blog, so I settled on a private unburdening to relieve the tension I have been experiencing for a couple of days.

It's interesting how effective this is for me. My cats are usually the ones who hear my complaints and worries and they are not the best audience, focused as they are on licking their fur, begging for food, whining for petting, etc. It's hard to feel that they are really very concerned about my myriad concerns. And it's not appropriate for me to talk about my worries and resentments to parishioners because my feelings are often not very ministerial in nature and occasionally they are related to parishioners. I won't post my rant on the blog because I don't want to get in the habit of posting stuff that is just plain negative. It's just not me. And anyhow, you would be incredibly bored!

So when I get down in the dumps, I tend to pull up a blank document on the computer and let 'er rip, writing down exactly what I think and feel about whatever it is that's got me down. I say all the things I would never say to anyone but a shrink. I try to be accurate and I write out every badass feeling and inclination I've experienced about the situation. I acknowledge where I may have gone wrong and I also blame other people when it feels right. I use bad language. I express intense dislike of people I dislike intensely. And when it's all written down, I read it out loud and see if I've got it all right, adding what I need to add. I save the document and may reread it later or I may trash it.

Doing this gives me the relief that comes from saying just exactly what's on my mind, no holds barred. I can't do this anywhere else but privately. If any of my dear congregants are reading this, they should rest assured that there is nothing in this rant about any of them! It's largely ways I have let myself down or have let others down. It's an effort to be honest about what I've done that's not up to my own high standards and to look at how I might have behaved differently or might behave differently in the future.

I guess you could call it a written prayer.


Mile High Pixie said...

Sometimes that's the best thing, to rant on paper and be able to get it out and let it go. I do so every now and then. But I'm so concerned that your kitties won't listen to you--how sad! Though I empathize; mine listen sometimes, and other times they let me know that my incessant whining is interfering with their 20 hours of sleep per day.

Ms. Theologian said...

You know the morning pages are a writing technique from The Artist's Way/Vein of Gold. Many people find it really helpful to get out their thoughts free form first thing in the morning. I do it too.

mcewen said...

There are few things as therapeutic [and cheap!]

ms. kitty said...

I've never done Artist's Way morning pages specifically, but I surely do find it useful to write my heart out without any censorship. It feels so therapeutic to let go of all the pent-up tension in a good rant that nobody but me will read!

Jan said...

Your experience makes me think I should start writing in the mornings again, as I once did.

Jamie Goodwin said...

I know that it is probably a minsiterial faux pas of some kind but I actually wish that many ministers would share those dark times and places more often.

I am finding (being a little bit in a dark place myself right now) that I cannot associate well with the religious professionals in my life. I suppose for many (maybe most people even) being able to open up to a minster it is neccesary that they are viewed as some kind of moral authority. Someone who has all the answers and walks the perfect path.

My own view I suppose is that I consider us all minsters of some sort and I find the divide to be alienating. I want my minster to be fully human whether that be upbeat, depressed, pissed off, or joyous. I find it hard to share my life with someone who does not feel they can do so in return.

Just my 2 cents, and barely worth that.

juffie said...

I agree with Jamie - BUT as a minister I found that at least as many people wanted it the other way around ... had high expectations that a minister would always be "Christian" (ie meek and mild, gentle and all accepting) (a particularly strong demand from humanists, ironically). And what trouble they could cause if I inadvertently was human! Gaaaa.

For a decade I HAD to watch Law and Order, just to see some professionals who were able to get mad IN their jobs! God, did I envy them.

Jamie Goodwin said...

Hi Juffie,

I do realize that I am probably in the minority in my desire for ministers to be more open.

That is what happens when you grow up around ministers (My cousin's husband was the minister or my church growing up, and my grandfather was also a baptist lay minister). To me my ministers always were just... family. I saw them with bed head in the morning and ticked off at us kids for being noisy or unfair to one another.

I am just spoiled...