After nearly two months of being housebound and still a bit unsteady on my feet, I had the privilege of attending one of the Upper Room's 5 Day Academies for Spiritual Formation last week. (I am grateful for the scholarship, the nearby location in Federal Way, and the kindness of the organizers who minimized my need to walk.)
The time was wonderfully rich, spiritually nourishing, and thought-provoking. Among other blessings: I reconnected with Pacific Northwest friends from my 2 year Academy for Spiritual Formation in Burlingame 10 years ago, listened deeply in a small group I had the privilege of convening, wrote lots of poetry and reflections in response to our presenters on the theme of "From Contemplation to Action," and cried, and laughed—mostly at my own foibles.
One of our presenters, Seattle spiritual director Suzanne Seaton, talked about "The 7 Deadly Needs":
The Need to Know
The Need to be Right
The Need to Get Even
The Need to Look Good
The Need to Judge
The Need to Keep Score
The Need for Control
Ah, how humbling that was! I saw the way I'd lived my life for decades (until I was nearly 50). I needed to know, and to be right, but mostly to be in control: Control, for me, would guarantee that I'd know and be right. And, I remembered when all my attempts at control were not working, and when I finally risked stepping back from long-ingrained patterns to try and live a life that truly relied on faith and not on my works. And sometimes, all you can do--or want to do, or should do--is laugh at yourself.
So, have a laugh at me, on me: