When I was in graduate school I took a class in Alexander Technique, which can be best (though incompletely) described as a body-awareness method meant to help us use our bodies most efficiently by removing bad habits of tension. Alexander teachers tend to be skilled in using gentle placement of hands to help release tension through adjustment.
One day the teacher placed her hands on my shoulders. She thought for a second, came around to my right side, slid both hands into my armpit and raised my shoulder up from below. With a wiggle of her hands she released my arm and it felt completely different.
In that moment I realized I had been holding my arms on as if without my effort they would fall off.
Worry is about thinking I matter more than I do. It’s about the unfaithfulness of believing I won’t be blessed if I haven’t agonized enough. It’s about thinking I know best, and if things don’t go according to my plan, they won’t work out.
I bet the disciples were worried, and I bet they had reason to be. So they resisted having their feet washed and passed out from exhaustion and pulled out their swords and lied about who they knew and ran away.
What good was their worry in the face of God’s plan? I don’t say that to criticize. I don’t begrudge them their human nature. I can surely commiserate, and I won’t be made to feel guilty myself about being human.
Yet I know there is something better out there for me, better than the weight of thinking that my worry holds up the universe. That’s one of the many lessons of the next few days: Resurrection comes, no matter what.
What lesson do you take from Holy Week and the Triduum?
For years as a musician, I would fret about Holy Week like it was a newborn child, which, in a sense it was. But that really served no purpose except to exhaust me. These last two years, I worry less because I have come to know that it will come,whether we make it or not. That little insight has allowed me to pray a lot better. Also, thinking about it earlier than the beginning of lent has freed me to plan better and pray more earnestly.
Bon sainte semaine a vous!
Excellent! I’m with you in trying to find the balance between letting things go, and simply being more prepared. Both of those are crucial to keeping our wits about us during these crazy seasons. Have a blessed Triduum!
Don Sartain says
This is so good, Margaret, and exactly what I need to remember. Sometimes I think I treat worry as a kind of currency. To exchange for what? No matter how much I inflate its value, it is still worthless in any kind of meaningful trade. I think I’ll print out the title of this post and tape it to my bathroom mirror as a daily reminder.
Brian Sullivan (@bcsny47) says
I shared this on Facebook earlier today and so far have 4 likes for it in my little FB world. Also someone shared it from my page and they have 4 likes too! The last paragraph especially is speaking to them and me. Great writing, Margaret!