There are some lessons I just can’t seem to learn. Every minister and spiritual advisor that I’ve had has pointed out my habit of striving. Striving is the opposite of being, and being is needed for that deep spiritual indwelling that is impossible to achieve when one is striving. Being is the state of knowing that whoever and whatever you are is not only enough; you are beloved. Beloved is not contingent on what one does. I keep striving anyway, fighting the wonderful finitude of my human capabilities, thinking that satisfaction is one project or achievement away.

“Why don’t you try to be more like your dog?” This sage advice came from a guide who has brought up, again and again, that the problem is not in the thing I’m trying to accomplish. It’s that I’m exhausting myself, emotionally, physically or spiritually, by striving to accomplish or change something completely out of my control.

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