Self Isolation – who is this self, and is it isolated ?
In my last email we looked at the subject of “watching and waiting”, and I said that this was not to do with expecting something to happen from outside of us, but more an opening up to the possibility of an internal transformation.
I suggested a practice of offering our complete attention to some “thing”, in order that it might speak to us of its own being, without its voice being oppressed or “shouted-down” by our own particular view of what the object was / wasn’t.
Furthermore, we looked at the reason for doing this, which was that if all things came into being through him (Christ), then to discover the true nature of some “thing”, is to begin to discover the True Nature of God.
Many people are having to live a much more contained life at the moment, and “social distancing” and “self-isolation” have become phrases that although we never heard of them before, have very quickly become a reality to us. However, if we don’t fight these restrictions, but rather see them as an opportunity to re-order our lives, that is, take a closer look at what’s really important to us and so make some positive changes, then the restrictions may in fact become the catalysts for freedom.
We have become very tied to the the same old repetitive and habitual patterns of living, and become oblivious to our deepest senses of what is truly important, truly satisfying, and truly makes life the delight it was meant to be.
Now we’ve had much of what we thought were important freedoms taken away, what are we left with?
Now much of our self-induced noise has abated, and we’re left with a growing silence. How comfortable are we with that – or are we simply running around a smaller space trying to re-create the noise that we miss?
For many, “self-isolation” may sound like a prison sentence, but it could also create an opportunity to ask the question, who is this “self” that is being isolated, and is it isolated ?
On Thursday April 23rd, I’m offering a Comfort in Crisis meditation day on this theme. For those familiar with our Richard Rohr meditation days at Holland House, the format is very similar, although shortened to suit on-line work. There will be an address, prayer, time for reflection, and a time for sharing. We’ll finish with Holy Communion at 2.00pm. If you’d like to join, please head to the Holland House website and purchase the event (just £10.00). I’ll then email the Zoom link and itinerary to you.
You’ll need to purchase your place by 4.00pm on Wednesday 22nd in order to give me time to send you the details.
Text: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like ourselves … so God created human beings in the Divine image … male and female he created them” Gen 1:26-27.
Practice: Use this time of self-isolation to consider what the text means to you. Look for the image to which Genesis refers.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me relax into this new way of being. Help me to see this space as a gift to find my truest self, and so find you.
Revd Ian Spencer
Warden, Holland House