That’s what came up in my last session with my spiritual director. I periodically have been “unconsciously un-committing myself to things without telling myself” (my own words).
In session, I discovered realized I have a subtle pattern of being ‘absent-minded’ during some significant moments in my life. I genuinely forget about certain commitments. It’s like I go momentarily blind to important responsibilities at seemingly random times.
My spiritual director suggested that I sit with the question about why I might do that or what motivation that unconscious part of me might have to decide suddenly to withdraw us (me) from something we had committed to. It seemed like a very interesting query. I was excited to get started on it. So after the session ended, I did spend some time holding that question out in front of me.
I have several tools that I use for this task. I surrender the question to God, I consult my dreams, I sit in contemplative (prayerful) silence and wait, I journal an internal dialogue and I invite that part of my unconscious to help me understand the situation more clearly.
So far, my efforts have been only partially rewarded with some glimmers of better understanding. But, it feels as slow as staring at the hour hand of a clock and waiting for it to move from 9 to 12.
This morning I was reminded that, as far as unconsciously un-committing to things, I’m still in the dark about it and so I am still vulnerable to being caught by surprise when I do it to myself once again.
I had read an article by one of my favorite current contemplatives, Carl McColman. His post, “Is it possible to be a “Do It Yourself” Christian Mystic? Evelyn Underhill would say “No” — and I agree with her” was spot on in line with my desire to live into the balance between mysticism and a structured daily religion practice.
So, I bravely hit the “share on fb” button and proceeded to add my commentary on top of the link to the article. I read over my post, felt the vulnerability of sharing a truth about myself that might draw out a fb discussion (because, God forbid I insight deep discussion that may possibly perhaps include differing opinions on the matter from people), took a deep breath and hit “Share”.
The window that popped up confirming that I had just successfully shared my view, made me laugh out loud. “What?! No, that’s not what I meant to do. Dammit,” I said out loud to only me. I had inadvertently shared my vulnerable post to the OLD fb page for my spiritual direction practice; the old page that was no longer visible to anyone! I had unconsciously un-committed myself to posting it publicly!
That, my friends, was my reminder this morning that doing inner work to bring my shadows and their motivations into the light is work that is 1. important to do if you want to be who you think you’re being, and 2. hard to do because hidden agendas like to stay hidden and are very slick operators!
I will continue to open up and explore this pattern I have in the hopes that by understanding it consciously, I can avoid being blind-sided by it unconsciously.