We welcome writer Kerri Leigh Power as our guest blogger today.
I’ve never really understood how to strike a balance between “being” and “doing.” Lately I’ve had some help in this, since over the past year, health problems have made it hard for me to “do” much of anything. All the things I once did so easily—walking, driving, housework—have become daily challenges.
In my vigorous attempts to “fix” my body, I’ve been slowly brought to the realization that healing won’t come simply from more doing—more physiotherapy, more exercises, more medical treatments. I’m coming up against the limits of action, and it has occurred to me that perhaps I’m not in charge here. Maybe I’m being called to a relationship with my body that’s more about accepting, listening and being present, in compassion, than about making things “right.” In learning to be with what’s happening, rather than trying to rigidly control it, I feel a sense of ease that, ironically, is probably more conducive to healing.
I recently came across the following passage in Evelyn Underhill’s short but rich little book The Spiritual Life. As a writer, I liked that she used a grammar reference when describing how we struggle to create meaning and coherence in our scattered lives:
“We mostly spend those lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing… we are kept in perpetual unrest, forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by, and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be, and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of a spiritual life.” (p. 43)
How do you strike a balance between being and doing? Have you had experiences that jolted you out of compulsive “doing” and forced you to just “be”?