Monday, April 12, 2010

Is Escaping Wrong?

It's been forever since I have written. Frankly, a blank page scares me because that's when I have to really think deeply. And I am terrified of what I know is there when I look inside myself. Since I am tired I am going to borrow a bit from a journal recently I wrote about what is going on with me.

I am making myself write because I don't want to. At least I think I don't. I don't look forward to confronting the stuff that is happening inside this brain. Lately I've been getting by with my addictions, namely my novel reading. I love getting lost in the characters' problems. I love forgetting myself by going to another world. I know this isn't wrong to a degree. I've been reading Jodi Piccoult, whose books deal with intense, moral and controversial issues. Hard to put down! She covers themes like self-esteem, popularity, dysfunctional families (whose isn't?), grief, loss, revenge, redemption, betrayal and faith/spirituality. I've learned a lot from her books and I look forward to reading them each day.

But I often feel ashamed or guilty because the themes are so heavy and I tend to become rather anti-social when I read a really good novel (or am otherwise immersed in something deep and passionate, like card-making or writing for example). I don't like coming back to real life because I always know what's going to happen. Lately, I feel guilty because I am not practicing my mindfulness or "with it" skills. That and I am beating myself up for not reading the Bible or having a "quiet time." (What does that mean anyway????) Reading these books has kept me "safe." By that I mean, less bad thoughts, because I am frankly thinking less about my own problems. But it also means, I feel very out of sync. Like I am not even really alive. And that I've been treating others in my life poorly.

I tried to take a break in between the last novel I finished and the current one. So for two days I forced myself to read my Creativity/spirituality book and write in my journal. And it just made me mad and anxious.

The reason I am escaping has to do with, as I said, my thoughts. They are not fun.

As a rule, I try to moderate everything that I do. I am always concerned that I am doing everything right (not too much of this, not too little of that.) I know, I hate that about me but I am not about to start judging my judging, so I will accept that my perfectionism makes me ugly at times but try to accept it.

But I will also thank God for his good and wonderful gifts of creative people who write engaging stories...and many other things. And trust that He loves me no less if I happen to be annoyed with Christian judgements going on in my head, so much to the point that I am resentful of He Himself and the Bible itself. (More on this in another entry).

Well, I am going to go to bed now.

6 comments:

  1. a) i LOVE jodi p too! and i know what you mean about being immersed. which ones have you read/are you reading?
    b) "quiet time" i totally get you here. especially since i heard Rob Bell teach and say that if anyone had ever asked Jesus how his "quiet time" or "spiritual life" was going he would've looked at them like they were nuts! in his mind, it's all quiet time and spiritual life. so that's how i've started to look at it. i, obviously, wish i was spending more time in the word, etc. but "quiet time" is no longer a set time for me to journal/read my bible/pray. it's part of my life. i make it my commute, or 5 minutes on my balcony. or a time out at my desk. it makes it more manageable and then it's a part of my life and not some separate thing that i then feel guilty about not having done recently.
    ps i think jesus is ok with us reading fun books and getting immersed with others' lives. at least, that's what i tell myself.
    pps i miss and love you more than words

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  2. I think in todays society and time frames, it gets harder and harder to take a moment to pray and even more to schedule quite time. Don't beat yourself up over it, because God knows what's on your heart at all times, and even when you think you're not taking the time, remember your heart and soul are. Even the little things that most take for granted are hidden blessing, though sometimes they may not seem like it at the time. This all coming from someone who hates to read and has little to no quite times just for God, just unspocken moments in my heart and mind throughout the day. God bless, and keep putting your thoughts to words. KCM

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  3. I read 95 Louis L'Amour novels over the past year...not much spiritual content there. I do believe you have to look at what drives you...do you read for escape or pleasure, and to what degree? "Quiet time" doesn't make you any more spiritual than communion or baptism, but you do need time with Him, how can you best acheive that? However that is, seek more of it. Love you!

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  4. Well now i have tried twice to leave comments and wrote a book practically but they are not showing up, and I didn't see Becca's comment til after trying the second time. Well lets see if this works. I agree with Becca and said some of the same. I love some of the same books and DON'T feel guilty about getting engrossed in "story". Life is too short, remmber Jesus was King of Stories so enjoy! Love ya. I left suggestions of my recent reads but I don't know if those will go through, so I don't have much time so will spare you the synopsis, but Accidental Mother and the Sequel Accidental Family are two that I just finished. Always looking for good ones, so let me know. Love You! Aunt Shari (I'll scream if this third comment doesn't go through.)

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  5. Alright this fourth try and I must go to bed. I enjoyed your blog Brit but all my comments have disappeared as I must not have successfully signed in. I agree with Becca and I too love Jodi's books. Don't ever feel guilty about being engrossed in "story" because Jesus was the King of story. Life is too short so don't judge yourself. Relax and enjoy it. I'm always looking for a good read so I am open to suggestions. I just finished Accidental Mother and the sequel Accidental Family. You might like it. It's about a single girl who ends up with two of her God-daughters, whom she hardly knows, after their mom dies. It's cute. It is by Rowen something, she is from London and the book takes place in London. Gotta go b/c I've been trying to write for an hour and after I post they all disappear. If they eventually all show up you'll get a great laugh. Love ya, Aunt Shari Keep up the reading and writing. (I sure must love you to stay this devoted to writing a crazy comment FOUR TIMES!) I must go to bed.

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  6. Escape time is essential I believe. While my situation is different than yours, being involved with yourself can be dangerous territory. My problem comes from not having enough to do and just laying around, falling within my thoughts. For me--this isn't always great, so I believe your escape to these other characters/worlds is just fine--I just would watch that it isn't an escapism (some form of idol). Reading the word is great--I neglect that quite a bit; but having quiet time with God is even better--not a moment to look at myself, but to look at Him and focus on Him. Sure somethings "bad" about yourself may come up, and perhaps that's a conviction He's giving you to release to Him--I dunno--just a thought.
    We all escape in some form or another. My "book" is escaping to the wilderness via camping or BWCA, even mission trips are a form of escaping this world. Since this world is ruled by Satan, leaving it for a short while cannot be all that bad.

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