Step 5/Week Five: 'The world’s thy ship and not thy home'
These words were spoken by Carmelite nun , St Therese of Liseiux (1873 - 1897). What did she mean? And how might they relate to any situation around the loss of employment.
If we are to listen again to the experiences of others who have found themselves out of work and fearful of what the future holds, we might hear them describe how very easily 'our job circumstances' can affect 'our home life' in an adverse way. A friend of the AECI reflecting on their recent experience job hunting commented, '...I was about the house much more frequently and I knew that I had less patience .....my dejection spilt over at times'.
We can struggle to separate the 'positive' and the 'negative', the 'hope' from 'the anxiety'. Our judgement can become muddled as we are confronted directly with the kind of future that we want and our immediate limitations. The worry and the pressures of unemployment can indeed be so burdensome that things 'spill over'! However, our relationships and our friendships, our values and our good nature must never be compromised.
We must acknowledge that we continue to make ripples, and steadily impact on the lives of others despite the circumstances we might find ourselves in. All people (...to some degree) are in search of a 'home'. All are a little restless in that search. And all are knocked off course from time to time! We should not overlook what is most meaningful and important in our lives because we find ourselves struggling at one precise period within time.
It might be that we are merely searching for the right 'vessel' at this time to carry our 'Primal Gifts' forward, to enable us to reach the next stop on our own personal voyage through life's waters. One stage in our life - painful though it is, with those real feelings of despondency attached - should not come to define us. Being present with others, making time for cherished space, for lighter conversation, for humour and fun with our family and friends is as critical as ever.
Amanda Ceraldi writes about her grandfather's experiences:
'....I am reminded that our relationships with the people who surround us are sacred. Despite tough times my grandfather lived out that sacredness and connectedness. It is a sacredness that I hope to live, so that his life and memory continue to ripple throughout the world. “The world is thy ship, not they home.” My grandfather lived a life of love, a deep, profound love that connected him to people and led him towards God. He used his time on earth as a ship, a ship that guided him home to God.'
The vital thing is to keep that ship afloat and don't allow the dark moments to absorb us. Our home, our health, our happiness, our 'Primal Gifts' still help us to set out a course and a direction!