I am still dealing with the rejection I got from the monastery I wanted to join. It can’t be my own choice, and my desire needs to be put aside, but I really loved that community from the first visit in 2009. It has been my guiding light. I was so ready to leave everything behind and commit myself into the life of prayers. I want to be a praying statue, if I could. That’s how much I love praying. I seriously love to pray and would love to remain praying. I fully understand that extremely contemplative community is not the best place to be when depressed, but what I believe is that I will have the easiest transition from this life to the contemplative life because I had gone through depressive episodes. Each episode was like a long, long visit to the monasteries all highly solitary and cloistered. I was going through the novice years in those mental monasteries and I survived. In the end, I learned to love even in the deepest darkness. But that’s my theory, and I am no scholar.
There is this customer that comes in quite often, and when he does, and when I happened to be stationed at the coffee bar, he lingers longer than he needs to and talks. He asks me many questions and I know where he is heading to. So when he asked me what I like to do, after he already asked me what time I get off, and what shifts I work, I told him a very truthful answer. “You know what I love doing? I love praying.”
I heard silence. That’s exactly the kind of response I wanted. Few moments later, he left saying “Well, let me know when you are praying next time! We’ll pray together.” I actually thought that was a pretty cool answer.
Yesterday at work, a co-worker told me “You need to cowboy up.” I am sure he meant it as an advice but I don’t even know what brought him to say that to me. Because what happened is, I didn’t know what the expression “cowboy up” meant. “What does ‘cowboy up’ mean?” I asked. “It means… man up.” While we discuss the meaning of the new slang I have just learned, the tension between us dispersed.
But the truth is, he hurt me when he said that. I think I vaguely understand what he meant, and it did greatly hurt me. Million little things happened at work today between me and that worker, and he has inflicted much pain in me. But I didn’t man up. Well, not in the sense that he expected me to. When my shift was finally over, my eyes were full of tears. I got tired just from suppressing my tears. I know I am overly sensitive, but that day, it was just a bit overwhelming. I locked myself in the bathroom, and let the tears fall. Calming my hurt feelings and caressing my raw heart, I thought for a second in my bitterness, ‘You have no idea how manned up I am.’
I man up against the evil. Against satan. Not against a man. Especially not against another woman. I have my own good reasons for not manning up at my work place. I man up in my little room when I am alone, or at church. That’s where I man up.
I got home all in tears. It wasn’t really about that co-worker. I know he didn’t mean to hurt me. I know that. The reason I was crying was because all those little pieces of stressors at work piled up fast within the 6 hours and almost triggered another anxiety attack. I had to suppress that intense force, and when I do, my natural reaction is over-flowing tears. Good thing my sister was home. she gave me a warm hug, whispering soft words full of love. I have the best sister in the world. I called her many times for consolation, for prayers, sometimes right before the panic attack. I was 6000 miles away from her, and all she could do was praying but that did the magic. I let her know when I was praying next time, and we prayed together.
But on this day, we are together. I am in her soft embrace, and I could feel the soft air of her prayers. When I was done purging, I opened the bible and found this verse.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The real Man who is gentle and humble in heart was calling me to come to Him.