Needed Distractions

Today, I've been thinking about a Radiolab podcast I listened to a week or to ago. In this particular episode, a nurse relays her own story of working with dementia patients. She worked for this particular facility where someone had the grand idea of putting a bus stop at the entrance. The logic being that this bus stop would act as a momentary blockade for those patients that were trying to "escape" back into their old lives. Not only is it brilliant. It's sweet and loving.

When I first listened to this episode, I thought it had tremendous analogies for the life of faith simply because we're all so determined to get where we're supposed to be. We rarely stop and just wait. This  has crept into my prayer life. I'm trying to wait more. I'm trying to leave more space instead of just trudging ahead with the images, thoughts and ideas on my own heart. I'm trying to listen -- like these patients at a bus stop that goes nowhere, I'm trying to let those little moments surprise me with unexpected stories that needed to be told.

Mostly, I just feel distracted. I feel like I'm not paying attention when the entire point is that I'm supposed to be present to the distractions. Yes, well, I didn't say it would make sense. My prayer life rarely does -- but today, it's not just my prayer life. (Yes, I realize I can't really separate my prayers from the rest of my life.) However, this whole break up thing seems to have reappeared.

It may be because I went on a date on Sunday night. I liked him. I wanted the connection to be there -- but he hasn't called and I feel rejected. I feel unlovable. I didn't realize that point until I heard it voiced by a friend yesterday. She's discovered she can be loved. Love can be unconditional for her -- not just for the love that she gives out. In her words, I heard myself. Minus the clarity. I'm not sure it's just this particular boy that hasn't called. I'm aware of something else that's pulling at me. I'm afraid to name it, but I know it's there. It's been there even though I'm trying to distract myself from it.

Honestly, it's the only way I know how to survive. I need distractions. I'm hunting for them. I need something that will pull me back into life and way from this broken, hurt, unlovable feeling that I can't seem to shake today. I refuse to think that this is a bad thing. No matter how stubborn my insistence on distractions may be, I can only pray that they are what keep me safe. Like the men and women that wander back into the nursing facility having totally forgotten what was so urgent, I'm trying to allow myself to be so distracted that I find the embrace I need.  

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