“To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face, and to know it for what it is…at last, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away.” ~ Virginia Woolf
Name it. Claim it. Tame it. Those were the three phrases that made the rounds in many of my seminary days. Our professors would speak with us about our spiritual journey and the deficiencies we would surface in spiritual direction. They would always say the same thing. If we were going to make any progress in our spiritual journeys, we would have to figure out what our problems were, admit that they were problems, and then find a way to deal with them. Name it. Claim it. Tame it.
Virginia Woolf must have taught my seminary professors because her quote references that same reality. Look life in the face. Love it for what it is. Put it away. Name it. Claim it. Tame it. Throughout these past couple of weeks, we have been on an Advent journey. We are preparing ourselves for the proper celebration of Christmas. In order to do so, we have to confront the things in our lives that are keeping us from the Lord.
Confronting those realities can be uncomfortable. After all, none of us want to examine the things that keep us from God. We do not want to focus on the negative. However, it is only when we do so that we will be able to figure out ways to begin to do the right thing. We have to name the things in our lives in which we are deficient. We have to claim them as something that are truly a part of us, and then we have to decide how we are going to resolve them.
If this process makes you stressed or fatigued or anxious in any way, just remember that we do not have to do this on our own. Jesus is always with us, giving us any help that we may need and ask for. We do not have to go through this process alone. We do not have to go through our lives alone. He will be with us always.
Trust in Him, we continue on our Advent journey, asking Him to shine a light on all that we need to name, claim, and tame.
FAITH ACTION: Make an honest assessment of your failings and make a plan to address them.