Monday, December 8, 2008
Sleeping with Bread
The examen, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, helps a person hold onto what spiritually nourishes him by looking at what is giving him consolation in his life or causing him desolation. It allows someone to express his gratitude to God for the good stuff and turn to him for solace for the bad stuff. It is quite simple. You simply ask yourself, in the last day/week/month what gave me consolation and what caused me desolation.
I am terrified of driving in bad weather. Absolutely terrified. I clench the steering wheel so tightly I have made my hands bleed from my fingernails ripping into the skin. It is mostly irrational - there are not that many times when the weather is bad enough to warrant the panic I afford it. But every time I hear snow in the forcast, my stomach starts to loop, I can't sleep, I spend all my time worrying. So obviously, this is a bad time of year for me.
Why this irrational fear? Well, rolling end-over-end in a minivan with my family as a girl probably adds to the problem. But I think mostly it is about lack of control. I am, actually, quite a control freak. I'm pretty good at hiding it, but at times like this it pushes its way out - I hate the thought of being out of control, and there is no out-of-control like spinning wildly in your car in the middle of a busy road.
For this reason, I dread winter. Now, I also enjoy winter - Christmas and my birthday are two of my favorite times of the year. But I also obsess over the weather reports - will it snow today? Tomorrow? Will I have to drive to work in it? Will I get out of work before it starts? And I hate the dread. Absolutely hate it. I know it does me no good - whatever is going to happen will happen, whether I sit up all night worrying about it or not. I am constantly praying for my fears to be relieved, but I still bring them on myself every time.
My consolation through all this - I now have a coworker who lives very close to me, who likes to drive in the now. Yep, that's right, she LIKES IT. I'm pretty sure she's crazy. I'm also so incredibly thankful that she is willing to pick me up and drive me to work. I have acquired a chauffer. There will be some days that our schedules don't mesh, so I will still certainly have to drive myself at some point, but this is truly Godde telling me I am not alone - I don't have to dread - I am being heard.
So when the snow reaches 8 inches tomorrow morning, I can breathe a little easier...