"For now we see in a mirror, dimly..."

Very few of us like change, especially if we're the ones who have to do the changing. And yet, everything, everyone is constantly changing. Nothing stays the same.

Maybe the key to change is to do so willingly and with intention. As long as I'm fighting change, I'm making myself and those around me miserable. It's inevitable anyway so why not go with the flow, right? Well. . . maybe.

Last month I spent another 10 days on silent retreat. I had great expectations as the retreat got underway. . . big mistake. I learned pretty quickly that great expectations can set you up for great disappointment. Almost immediately, I wanted to go home. Things just weren't the same as the retreat I went on six months ago. I knew how things were "supposed" to be and this wasn't it!

I stuck it out though, and by Day Three I became vividly aware of my nagging inner critic. (Yes, it took me that long.) Boy! She was criticizing everything and everybody! And as I became aware of that inner voice, she started criticizing me for criticizing everybody else. Ohhh. . . the shame, the guilt, the utter disgust. I was supposed to be all loving, openly accepting, peaceful. Who was this ugly, irritable person inside of me?

But here's the good news: when I was finally able to get a good look at that inner critic and become fully aware of that nagging voice within me, I laughed (but not out loud). I mean, after all, wasn't this the purpose of my retreat? To purify my mind and "leggo my ego?" And when I laughed, the critic vanished.

Now I'm not naive. I feel sure that inner critic will try to return whenever she gets the chance, but at least now I'm aware of her and next time maybe I can stop her before she does too much damage.

In the winter of 1988, I was 34 and the single mom of a 3-year-old daughter. Michael Jackson's song, Man in the Mirror, was constantly playing on the radio. I remember because that year I chaperoned our church's youth group on retreat. Driving home, the kids and I sang the song along with the radio at the top of our lungs. I loved the lyrics then. . . I think maybe I understand them a little more today.

Oh! and 4 years later, I married the youth minister. Change happens!

"If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love." -St. Paul
Mimi WeaverComment