Thursday, September 4, 2014

Life Interrupted

Community was a disruption to my life.

I have had a tendency to see people, events, and circumstances as interruptions to my regularly scheduled life. An unexpected phone call when I'm running late, a blown tire when I am out of money, a needed conversation when I'm still angry, a change in the schedule when I've already planned it all out.

Living in Houston in intentional community helped me to discover that those people, events, and circumstances I saw as interruptions to life were actually LIFE itself happening. They weren't a sideshow or a disruption. They were life. They were the present moment happening. Once I was able to change my perception and expectation about time and people, I wasn't so angry when those unexpected things happened. In fact, I started embracing those "interruptions" as a reminder that life is happening and I had better pay attention to what is right in front of me.

I could see this house moving process as an interruption to what my life could be once I'm settled into a cozy living room that has already been arranged to my liking with people I'm already comfortable with. I could see these night shifts and new job as temporary until something better comes along. I could see conversations with new housemates as a nuisance because they just don't get me yet.

But if I saw those things in that way I'd lose out on the life that is trying to present itself to me through these people and circumstances. The process of moving out of my childhood home and into a house of my own is a process I need to be aware of and invested in. Every box unpacked, every cupboard filled, every piece of furniture rearranged is life happening. It is what is right now. I work nights and am exhausted. But I get to hang out with wonderful people who like to play air guitar with me in the kitchen and have dinner parties on the back patio during monsoons. It is the job that was opened up to me and I can find the beauty in it. I want to be invested in the getting-to-know-you process because that is the only way we can really know and be known. The only way to love people is to get to know people for who they truly are and sit or walk with them in it, all the light and dark and pain and passion and intensity and anger and rough edges and confusion. And that only happens through doing life with others. If I saw people as an interruption, I'd never really know what it is to love them.

This new house is a metaphor, as are most things in my life. New, open space providing infinite possibilities for community and relationship. There are boxes to still be unpacked, emotions to be unpacked, thoughts to be sifted through. There are conversations to have, tears to cry, stories to share, laughter to feel, and love to be shown.

Hope. There is always hope.

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