Supervision is the key practical learning experience for spiritual directors.
– Maureen Conroy, Looking Into The Well
The Way It Is
(pssst: this is supervision)
By William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
A contemplative community is about being with God, for one another, for the sake of the world.
In my psychiatric practice, how many times did I help patients cope with their feelings, tame the power of their emotions.
I no longer believe that was even helpful. Even when I assisted people in uncovering long buried emotions, I rarely encouraged them to savor the life juice of the feelings themselves –
the rich dark love nature of grief,
the warming fire of anger,
the subtle luminosity of loneliness,
the pure gut driving power of sexual desire,
or the exquisite clarity of fear…
They don’t have to be acted out, but nether do they need to be tamed. They are part of our inner wilderness. They can be just what they are.
God, save me from coping. God, help me join not separate. Help me be with and in, not apart from. Show me the way of savoring, not controlling. Dear God hear my prayer, make me forever copeless.
– Gerald May