It's good to see you back again. You have shared so much with me already.
Yes, here I am. I'm feeling a little calmer today. Not so overwhelmed by life.
That is great to hear. I hope that our time will help continue your peace, but I do feel like I need to ask you questions that will help you gain perspective. Are you ready to start?
Of course! Bring on the perspective.
You've said a couple times now that you feel crazy sometimes. In fact, you call yourself That Crazy Catholic. I'm wondering what you think it means to be Crazy.
I think crazy to me means that I feel a lack of control. I want God to be in control, but that means I have to do things that I really don't want to do even if it is right. I understand this lack of control is a Good thing, but doing something without having a clue as how to act, to just jump in before everyone else or not having a model is really hard. My models are so perfect and I'm hearing stories about their lives after the fact. Not in the midst. Plus, a Single God-in-Human-Form doing public Ministry then Surrendering His Life on a Cross is sort of a hard act to follow. My life just doesn't look like that.
I think Crazy is really coming from my lack of confidence in my ideas and choices. I don't always know that what I am doing is going to be pleasing to God at the level that I am operating, and I know it definitely isn't pleasing to my family and some of my friends around me. I'm so hardwired to measure success in terms of an academic setting with grades and praise, or even in the work world with money and promotions. It's very hard to know internally that what I'm doing is Right and Good, when externally I get so many weird looks and negative comments. And by the end of the day, I can't always accomplish what I set out to do. It's so hard to have God saying, "do X, Y, and Z" but not, "do X, Y and Z at this time or only every other day". There are no guidelines and there is so much to do in a day. And frankly sometimes I'm just too tired.
Crazy comes from wanting to get things right, but not really knowing what right is. Not just in theory. Relativism has invaded our society on Every level of thinking. But there is truth out there. Not just truth from her perspective and truth from his perspective and from their perspective. Real truth. I don't have the confidence or practice yet to identify Real truth all the time. Someone I talk to about life will raise all these questions or criticisms and I don't always know how to defend myself. Or I will feel so compelled that something Is truth, and nobody else around me seems to know it. Or even worse, They or I don't really want it to be true. I'll find myself wishing that it was not Real truth so that my course of action would be Easier.
Are there any times that you Don't feel crazy? What do those days look like?
That's funny. The days I feel least crazy are the days I say "F" it. I'm going to do what I'm going to do. I embrace the crazy and do exactly what I think God is asking me to do, and I don't care what anyone is going to say. I push. As hard as I possibly can. It almost never feels good while I'm doing it. Yet after I WORK my BUTT OFF, there is "fruit".
It's those days when I get feedback from older Catholics adults. Even my older daughter will repeat a phrase or prayer or something we've experienced, and I just get overcome with goosebumps. There is a wave of spiritual energy that brings joy. Then I sleep the best because I've literally given everything of myself.
So you mean to tell me that when you jump in, that's when you find joy?
Yeah, I guess so.
Do you think God smiles down on you on those days?
Yes, probably. But those days are so few and far between. I get so wiped out because I have to be So Intentional to counter my bad habits and negative thinking. I have such bad patterns it's hard to act differently.
Maybe we should save bad habits and patterns for the next time. For now, let's end here. Why don't you picture your Heavenly Father smiling down on you for being here right now. For listening to him. For wanting to change. There are not a lot of people out there willing to go through a conversion for God. Your Father is pleased with You. He said it would be Good, He didn't say it would be Easy.