Recently, I went through and cleaned out my friend list, eventually narrowing it to only 100 people, over half of which were family. I emptied my inbox and changed my life. But I wasn't able to formulate exactly why. With my self-reflective tendencies, I worried that cutting off many of my contacts was a sign of depression, or that it stemmed from some undefined need to exert some control and simplify my life. But today I saw this video, and it resonated with me. THIS is the largest reason why I've been simplifying and making changes.
But for me, it is about religion. Almost a year ago, I looked at my life. It was divided.
Half of my weekends and the bulk of my time was spent being a mom, going through the routines of getting kids ready for school and daycare, going to work to make money to provide for them, getting them ready for bed, all so I could do it over again the next day. The rest of my time was spent being a single LDS woman, going to singles activities, going to singles church. The difference in culture between my two worlds was drastic. And it worked, most of the other single moms I knew did the same.
But my heart knew that something wasn't right. I felt a dichotomy. My schedule was always packed so tightly I couldn't breathe. And it was all ritual. So I gradually trimmed things out of my life until I got to the core of what was important to me. I changed my rituals, not because I was overwhelmed (though I was) but because I needed to be able to see the roots of what I was doing, to clear out the weeds so that I could see my own personal water, the things I was taking for granted, the reasons I was doing what I did, the substrate that kept me alive spiritually and physically. I needed to refocus on my purpose in life, rather than relying on the autopilot that got me through the most tumultuous events of my life so far.
Because of the gospel and the dedication I have chosen to give to my Lord, the answer was easy even if implementing it has not been. My purpose, my water, was the same as His: the immortality and eternal life of man. Now, I know full well that I can't work it the way He can. But what I could do was to see people. To integrate myself and my life so that rather than focusing on my roles, I could BE.
I could BE the person who sees people as people and not as objects. I could set boundaries on being treated as an object. I could shine the love and attention of the Lord into the lives of people around me. I could connect people with God, a conduit of His influence and love.
I feel that it is for this purpose that the Lord has set me the challenges I have experienced in life. I feel my heart and mind being honed to His ministry. Instead of worrying about my next task, I could live more fully in the present. See the people around me and minister to them by the power and guidance of the Spirit.
I'm not saying I'm good at it. But at least I'm not on autopilot any more. Many of the rituals are the same. But my life isn't lived for the rituals any more. I'm glad I could see this video and put words to some of my motivations. It's not the whole picture. There is still much of it I can't explain. But it's a start.