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Broken? ~ Stanza V ~ Part II

September 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

Broken ~ Stanza V ~ Part II

Flesh will tell us to seek comfort.
 “We deserve it! We work hard!”
Yet our spirits truly suffer,
when the ‘self’ gets high regard.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned on my spiritual journey is that the soul knows.

When I graduated from high school in 1977 all I wanted to do was get married and start a family, and I did. But as time went by, I found myself being greatly influenced by the TV shows, commercials, and the “experts” who were saying that stay-at-home-moms suffered – and were somehow mentally and socially stunted – because their most stimulating conversations were so often with children age three and under. One commercial in particular stays with me to this day. It perfectly epitomizes the “supermom” syndrome for me. The commercial stars a sophisticated, tall, thin, woman wearing a business suit (skirt, jacket, and high-heels). I don’t remember all the details but I do remember the song she sang in a provocative voice and manner. “I can bring home the bacon……..fry it up in the pan……..and never, ever let you forget you’re a man…..’cause I’m a woooooo-man!…… W-O-M-A-N.”

I fell for it, hook, line………and sinker. I went out and got a job; part-time at first, working evenings when my husband was home to watch the kids. Then came the lure of a bigger house, newer cars, etc., etc.  Part-time became full-time when my youngest was in school all day and soon I was working, and taking classes, in order to move up the company ladder. Fast-forward ten years and I had almost completed my degree (one class at a time, usually online), had moved up the ladder to a point where I was completely miserable (because I was being asked to do things that I believe were unethical.), and I found myself in tears one morning, physically unable to move my feet to walk out the door and go to work.

Why? Because I was living a lie. I was pretending to be somebody I’m not, and deep inside I knew it. I had been unhappy with my job (and lifestyle), for several years, but didn’t think we could survive without my income. I was afraid of what people would say, so I stayed until I was mentally and emotionally worn out. Then God gave me a mid-life crisis, and turned me toward Himself. I quit my job, gave my life to Jesus, and miraculously we are still managing! Best of all, the people-pleasing aspect of my ‘false self’ is gone, I am happier than I ever have been, and I possess a genuine sense of deep peace, the kind the world cannot give.

Please do not misunderstand me!! I am not saying that all women should stay in the home and none of us hold outside jobs. What I am saying applies to both women and men, and it is simply this: put God first in your life and everything else will fall into place. (Funny…..isn’t that what the Bible teaches?)  I allowed the media, its propaganda, and the opinions of others to take a higher degree of importance in my life than God. I put my ‘self’’ and worldly things first and I have suffered much because of it.

Our souls come to us from God, and they have kind of a ‘homing device’ built-in that seeks and wants to be reunited with Him. But when we ignore the internal promptings we can damage and even kill our conscience.

Just as there are natural laws we must adhere to if we want to remain healthy – such as eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and recreation – there are also spiritual laws that, when we follow them, enable us to be ‘whole’. These are found in the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the lives of the saints, the Catechism and other official teachings of the Catholic Church. We are spiritualized bodies, and we cannot neglect the needs of our soul without suffering the consequences, just as we cannot neglect our bodies without suffering the consequences.

One of the best ways to remain spiritually healthy is by frequenting the sacraments. I like to think of the sacraments as spiritual vitamins that help me avoid temptations, inspire me to do and seek what is good for my neighbor and myself, strengthen me to fight against the sins that I fall into most often, and to persevere on the path of holiness.

The very best axiom I’ve heard in regard to the topic of selfishness and how to overcome it is this:

God first, everybody else second, me last.

Love & Prayers,

Becky

This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once they have been published.

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About Becky Ward

Becky is a wife, mother of four (One in heaven), grandmother of five, and a "re-formed Catholic" who, after receiving the gift of a deep conversion in 2006, and working through the Disciples of Jesus and Mary faith formation program, now considers herself to be "fully Catholic" What this means is that she now, at last, understands and appreciates the beauty of the Catholic faith in such a way that she wants to share it with everyone. "I've heard that the Blessed Mother told a visionary, 'If Catholics really lived their faith, the whole world would be Catholic.' I see the truth in this, and it is my deepest hope to be a living example that draws others to Jesus. Given the nickname Rebel-Becca by her mother, Becky strongly identifies with St. John the Baptist and his call to "make straight the path of the Lord", and with his role as "Friend of the Bridegroom". The poem, "Broken?" written through her hand, is a reflection of the journey of the soul, and Becky explains what the Holy Spirit is teaching her as she writes posts for each stanza.

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