Saturday 27 April 2019

Simplicity vs Clutter

(originally journaled Jan 8 2017)

I'm feeling overwhelmed by "clutter" ... so much stuff I truly don't need or even want. My life feels cluttered.

I want simplicity: " ... the arrangement of life around a few consistent purposes, explicitly excluding what is not necessary to human well-being." (Willard)

I'm afraid this constant drive I have to learn, learn, learn, teach, teach, teach, write, write, write, discuss, discuss, discuss, reason, reason, reason—may be driven to a large degree by my fear of dementia. Every time I forget a word I begin to panic (and then I really can't remember it).

Oh dear God, I want peace. And I don't think peace comes with dementia. My mom was such a peaceful person (in You, I'm sure), and then the dementia took her peace away. She became worried and upset as she realized what was happening. She did some bizarre things she would never have done before. Yet at the end, the nurses on the dementia ward commented on how very peaceful she was in her last days. No fear. No worry. Sweetness and gentleness (like she used to be).

But generally, so far as I can see (I spent several years visiting my mom in dementia care units, and so I saw plenty of it), dementia does not seem to be a peaceful state, at least until the patient doesn't seem to know anyone or anything anymore. (And even then, some become more and more unpeaceful... Maybe they're people who never learned to trust You? Or?).

Is it all right to ask You this: Where are You when dementia takes over? Are You still present? Are people with dementia aware deep within of Your presence?

And what about people with serious mental illness? Children born with serious issues who never develop mentally or spend their lives in bodies that don't function? People who never did anything wrong to "deserve" it?

I get (mostly) that what You think is worthwhile and important is way different from what we think. But I feel like time is just rushing by and my life is so busy-busy and cluttered, yet with all my effort I'm not doing anything truly worthwhile for myself or my family or anyone else—even for You. I see so many failings on my part.

Oh! But just now I am experiencing a deep sense You are pleased with me even if I can't see anything particularly worthwhile. Peace in the midst of my self-induced storm. You really do love me, don't You? Amazing grace. Thank you.

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