My soul feels restless today. We’ve been back from Peru now for 4 days, yet it feels longer. We got back and hit the ground running – returning to work, catching up on paying bills, checking emails, doing laundry, going grocery shopping…life as usual. I finally have a day off – first one in over 2 weeks – and I feel restless.
Dreamt last night about Peru – I could hear the jungle sounds in my sleep, and woke up thinking I would be inside my tent – only to find me inside my comfortable bed, in my comfortable house, with the clock ticking and crickets singing outside. And it was weird – I felt a tiny bit of disappointment. I should feel grateful and happy to be home – and I do – but I also feel restless, and this restlessness is deep inside my soul. And it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is…but I shall attempt.
It’s as if the two worlds have collided, which is to be understood, and I am in the middle, holding one in one hand, and the other in the other hand. I am the link, and I am feeling the tension of both drawing at me, questioning my identity and value, whispering at me – challenging me with the question of who am I in light of both worlds? Like the tension that arises when a storm suddenly cascades upon the reality of a sunny day, I stand in the middle of this tension.
This tension all started the moment we got back, but in little ways: finishing my grading, jumping right back into work, interacting on Facebook and email with friends, playing Angry Birds, doing laundry, prepping for work. All the little “normal things” that are the day-to-day routines of “normal life”, but it all happened so fast – as if two alternate universes collided in a matter of hours, and the normalcy of both at first seemed ok, but the more they both existed at the same time, it began to rip a hole in the universe of my soul. The chasm is widening and calling out to me, haunting me with questions such as:
Who are you and what will you do with this experience?
What world do you belong to?
How will you become this new reality of both worlds – how will you make room for the collision to exist?
How will this enhance the journey you are on?
How will you be true to yourself?
You feel you need to change? No need to change – let it go!
These questions surprise me – I travel a lot… I haven’t felt this restlessness in a long time. It doesn’t happen every time I travel. Why now? Why this time around? Or maybe I do feel it every time? Maybe it does call out to me but I drawn it out in the ways I have been attempting to this time: playing silly games such as Angry Birds, exercising, checking Facebook every hour, cleaning, working, planning, listening to music or catching up on TV…and the list could go on. Yet with feeding myself this dose of activity since getting back, I’ve become more and more restless, and with it, more and more unhappy – thus widening the gap between the world I left 2 weeks ago, and the world I’ve returned to.
After living simply with spending 2 weeks in a tent, listening to the sound of the jungle at night, laughing with and loving on children who have nothing, drilling wells for people who have no water and had to haul it literally for miles, and being cut off from email and tv and Facebook…and then suddenly plunging right back into this world of activity – it makes perfect sense that I feel this culture shock on a soul level.
So what to do? How do I process this “culture shock?” A side of me feels silly, like it’s stupid that I feel this way – “C’mon Krystalynn, You’re a professional. You do this all the time! Are you really that weak?? Why are you listening to your soul? You’re thinking way too hard about this! Maybe you’re just emotional and tired. Let it go! You had 2 weeks, now you’re back. You deserve this life here and now. ” It’s the cynic that lives in my head…Identifying this cynic feels liberating. And so, my way of giving my inner cynic the finger? I will listen to my soul. I will let my soul feel the tension of both worlds colliding. I will provide myself with space and hush and safety to process this beautiful glimpse of awakening in my soul. I choose to let the kingdom make itself manifest within me – and I will stop fighting it. As the Switchfoot song puts it, this is a Beautiful Letdown.
So how to make both worlds connect? I’m gonna go process this question now – I will give my soul permission to feel and to question and to mourn…and I feel relief and peace with the honesty I am showing myself and I’m excited for the outcome. One thing is for sure – I feel like I am unmasking the poverty of my materialism and unveiling the ingredients of the wealth of what it means to live kingdom moments that liberate the soul.
Here’s the song “Beautiful Letdown” by Switchfoot: