Rough day...

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Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:05 pm

I've been working as a volunteer chaplain at a hospital for a few years. This "job" almost didn't happen. The volunteer director told me when I showed up that they did not allow volunteers to work in this capacity. I told her that I had professional training, that I had done this work in a paid position in another state full time. She said that didn't matter. So...I immediately left her office & walked over to the Chaplain's office. I asked the secretary if I could speak with him. It so happened that he had an opening, so I was able to meet with him on the spot.

I explained that I wanted to work as a volunteer, that I had completed both internship & residency programs in chaplaincy, had x hours of seminary education, an "A" average in all coursework, & excellent evaluations from my supervisors (I had copies of these evaluations with me, along with proof of all stated credentials). Told him that I'd worked in a very rigorous environment, in a Level I Trauma Center, did over-night-on-call duty, etc. I look petite & "delicate," so wanted to convey that I have stamina & work hard! He said that he was impressed & would love to have my help. He talked to the Volunteer Director, & I was able to start the following week.

Fast forward three years later. I love working with the patients, but the Chaplain & I have no chemistry. I asked him from the start to please let me know of continuing education events, good books, etc. He doesn't. He keeps me at arm's length, engages in minimal conversation with me. Just "reports" facts about patients, really. It's disappointing. I enjoyed great rapport with the many clergy people I worked with previously. Had warm, generous, enthusiastic mentors.

Yesterday I went into the office to check my in-box. The secretary pointed to three gifts for me (from patients I'd visited) that were too large to put in my box. There was a flower arrangement, a box of candy, and another small box. At this moment, in walks the Chaplain. He said, "Is it Christmas around here?" The secretary said, "Well, for Treasure it sure is!" Ah...the look on his face! "All of that is for Treasure?" "Yes." "From who?" he asked. She told him the particulars. I didn't even know until then just who the gifts were from.

He asked me to come into his office & he grilled me. He said he thought it was unusual that I get gifts, cards & notes so often. He seemed to think I was doing something wrong to get these things rather than doing something right! "Isn't this a sign that I'm making a contribution here?" I asked. "No. I think this is a sign that this needs to stop." "But, I can't make it stop," I said. "Yes, you can. You just won't come back here again."

So, I was fired from my volunteer job. Just. Like. That. (Fired from a volunteer job! Has that ever happened in the history of the world?).

Btw, I am not permitted to work as a chaplain in a paid capacity in this diocese, because I am female. When I lived in another state, the situation, the entire church climate, was very different. Anyway, it seems the door has slammed shut. I was stunned & hurt at first...but I'm okay now. It just stinks. Rough day! An important chapter of my life has ended.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby randomguy » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Thanks for sharing that, Treasure.

Reminds me of some Byron Katie quotes I liked when situations seemed ridiculous.

“It's not your job to like me - it's mine” - Byron Katie
“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it... it's just easier if you do.” - Byron Katie
Do the yellow-rose petals
tremble and fall
at the rapid's roar?
- Basho
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Re: Rough day...

Postby rideforever » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:14 pm

Wow, that is really sad.

Perhaps you could try sending a letter to the new Pope and see if he would say something ?
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Re: Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:23 pm

Your feedback is appreciated Randomguy. Thank you for the uplifting reminders.

Thanks, Rideforever. I knew you'd understand.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby rideforever » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:36 pm

Well, I can't imagine anything more sad really. I hope you can find another place to spend time with people.
I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small
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Re: Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:00 pm

I completely understand how silly this must all sound to some people here--my "religiosity" and all. I do appreciate the Private Mails & the comments here that acknowledge my feelings & concerns. I really do have a happy, sunny disposition, & don't usually indulge in feeling sad, but I'm on a roll here...Surely this is all really boring to most of you. Sorry.

I've decided to stop going to church. For just for a while I hope, as I really want to go to church. I'm not angry about church with a big C, but I'm just so over trying to make church with a little c work here. I've been giving it my best for six years, & I need a break. What used to be so magical & rewarding & restorative is now just a downer.

I'm tired of going to churches that look like airports. Pews, kneelers, a statue of Mary, votive candles flickering in the back of the church...I miss them all so much, I can't even describe it. I can forget about being greeted by a statue of an angel , or taking in the magificent beauty of stained glass windows. That's all frivolous to Catholics here. (I used to live in a place where the demographic was largely Catholic. It was a place that was challenging for me in many ways, but they sure knew how to do church there! ) When I try to talk about this, people just brush me off. I am told that my faith is immature if I need such things. I am superficial, misguided, out of touch with what's truly vital & important. So I've been marching into these places, trying to see things as others tell me I should. Trying not to long for the beauty that I regard as a portal to the holy. Trying to be "mature." Well, I'm not mature. So I am skipping the whole charade for a while.

Religion, in my case, is a romantic adventure. I don't mean sentimental or amorous. I mean I engage it through a point of view that sees emotion, & imagination, & individuality as primary; an approach that stresses initimacy, beauty, ordeal, the ordinary life & nature. Why bother if it is a sterile intellectual exercise resulting in mere security & complacency? I want a religious life that is an odyssey, a trek, a passage, a precious thing. Church is a stumbling block to all that for me right now.

I'm just whining. It doesn't matter.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby rideforever » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:45 pm

There is a beautiful catholic church here called St Bartholemew's. It a giant, built to the scale of the Ark. A tremendous place.

As you walk in you walk under a vast and green circular stained glass window. It was only later that I realised that this was the heart of the church.

The ceiling is very very high up. On the walls there are frescos with golden halos, there is something simple and earthy about just painting straight onto to the walls.

I used to go there when I worked nearby -it is always deserted- and take a kneeler to the front and sit zazen in front of the pews and meditate. And cry my eyes out some days.

In front there is an altar and candles and things. But, that wasn't what I was there for.

For high up, high, above the altar and etched directly onto the wall, bone white, was a vast cross shining through the ages ... shining beyond everything.

I would happy for them to take every single thing out of the church. But the cross, doesn't come off.

Some time after my mother died I brought my brother there and lay on the floor face down under the altar, with my cheek against the stone.


Hail Mary, Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee
Blessed are thou amongst women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus
Holy Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Now and at the time of our death
Amen



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I was proud, and I demanded the finest teacher
.. .. and when he appeared
.. .. .. .. I was so small
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Re: Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:55 pm

Goodness, gracious, Rideforever! It's hard to find the words. That church is magnificent! Extraordinary! One of the most beautiful I've ever seen!

Your pictures & touching story brought tears to my eyes. I hope that you & your brother found some peace & comfort there.

Thank you for the nice treat. That was very sweet of you!
(Okay, I know you macho guys don't like to be called "sweet."... That was very decent of you I must say!).
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby smiileyjen101 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:40 am

Ah, bless you treasure.

One must have compassion for the poor dear who could not share in the 'gifts' you brought to that place, and received from it.
If one limits their capacity for experience there is a finiteness beyond which life seems 'unseemly'.

The chaplain was projecting - knowing that his 'normal' work would not elicit gifts of appreciation above and beyond the 'normal' gratitude.

That you go 'above and beyond' in caring for others, maybe he saw as an uncomfortable reflection ON him and his capacity or willingness.

Sometimes we are the instrument of others' learning, and others the instrument of ours, sometimes we are innocent of the part we are playing in the background of our known playing. He will work it out, or not, as he sees fit to do. And you will do the same. There is no 'harm' here, only change.

So, bless you - sacked from a volunteer position!! :lol: priceless!!!

Absolutely where one door closes another opens. It's interesting your decision to distance (& I don't mean that reactively) yourself from the 'confines' of the church.

The whole world is a church, for me, and no religion better or worse than another. Churches themselves as buildings decorated or not are interesting buildings of man, - and yes ride, that one is stunning!! I'm not a catholic but while in Rome... :wink: I went to the Vatican, marvelled at the 'riches' in art and decor, but what touched me most - two things - one the worn toes of a marble statue, - caressed, touched so many times by human hands reaching out that the marble of the toes are wearing down - marble is so hard and cold, and yet the human touch is melting it, softening it, rounding out its edges, slowly, one by one by one - and I could not help but touch it, caress it, myself. It wasn't the statue I was touching, caressing, it was all the humans that had touched it, caressed it, before me, and all the humans that would touch it, caress it after me. So in a way, this stature brought us together not to revere it, but to revere and touch each other.

I don't even know/remember who it was supposed to represent... ( :wink: thinking about it now, I 'guess' it might have been St Peter - doh!!)

The other was the Silent Chapel. Phew!!! I went in to sit and yes to meditate, to get away from the intense 'touristy' throng of the place, far from 'relief' what I did find was all of its history too, all of those who had prayed there before me, tears rolled down my cheeks for the entire history of the church and all who have been touched by it - they call it the 'soul' of the Vatican. It kind of felt a lot like that. http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Altars/B ... rament.htm

The whole world is creation's creation. What is 'judged' and not allowed in the churches still lives on in the 'whole world' and you are 'stepping out' into it ---- eek!! Your skills and attitude is a gift to the 'whole world' and now 'may' by the grace of life and your willingness, be available to those who may not have been in the same place as you before.

Adventure alert!!!

:D
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
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Re: Rough day...

Postby Webwanderer » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:14 am

One door closes, another soon opens. Keep your eyes open and enjoy the moment.

WW
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Re: Rough day...

Postby Onceler » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:33 am

So sorry to hear the news, Treasure. I think of all the people who will miss your positive spirit.....
Be present, be pleasant.
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Re: Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:13 pm

Smileyjen, I so enjoyed your beautiful post! Girl! You had me blubbering all over the keyboard. But then when I got to
smiileyjen101 wrote:So, bless you - sacked from a volunteer position!! priceless!!!
I was laughing out loud!

Your experiences in Rome sound amazing, look amazing. Lucky you! The Silent Chapel, & your experience of it, sound wondrous. Your heart-felt appreciation of it reminded me of how I felt about my visit to St. Paul's Chapel near Wall Street in NYC. I visited March 11, six months after 9/11. It is adjacent to "ground zero," but not a single window was broken! I have to say, that was one of the most amazing days of my life. Oh, how I felt the presence of the holy! It's quite hard to talk about, I usually don't talk about it, as words truly fail. I can say It was an honor & a privilege & a blessing to be in that space on that day & to help serve lunch to the firefighters & other workers, & attend a prayer service there. (At the time I lived in Pennsylvania & NYC was a 2.5 hr. bus ride away.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Paul's_Chapel

I love your view of the world as church. Beautiful, Smileyjen. I've always said that the library is my "other" church. I guess for a while it will be my primary church! I love your take on things, Jen. Thanks again!

Webwanderer, I appreciate your optimism & encouragement. Your good vibes are appreciated!

Onceler, that is such a nice thing to say. Thank you. I know that you know the hospital where I received my training, but I won't say the name of it here. It's a really remarkable, special place that I will always have a soft spot in my heart for.
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby SandyJoy » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:01 pm

Well, what a lovely thread.

I love all the Love!! Nice going girl!

I don't know anything about religions, have no religious education in the worlds way, I never belonged to any church--but apparently your boss knows even less than I do---- I am a bit like Jen, my church is everywhere--- when I was a little girl we lived at the beach ---Summers were heaven and I would go the beach every day. Sunday mornings when the neighborhood kids had to go the church I grabbed my beach towel and headed for the ocean. That was my church, that was my connection to God right there in the hot warm sand and crystal blue pacific. I was on my own a lot. My parents were artists, my mother a philosopher and dancer and my dad was in the Hollywood film and movie business ---Life was pure bliss. :lol: Church and God went with me everywhere I went---what a fortunate kid that.

But, I do know a few things now and one of them is this---In the days ahead, when the flowering begins, those who ran with the Child will be part of the flower and the seed.

-- we all love you very much-- :D

I wrote you PM so go check it out---

Sandyjoy
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Re: Rough day...

Postby treasuretheday » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:01 pm

Oh my goodness, SandyJoy! I appreciate your kindness more than I can say! Beautiful.

Just when I think you could not amaze me more...you amaze me more!

Details of your Private Mail will remain private, of course...but I will say here, as I haven't gotten back to you there, that your words touched my soul deeply. Goodness, dear friend, you have offered me so much. I will try to take it all in!

With much love & gratitude,

Treasure
Life itself is the proper binge.
-Julia Child
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Re: Rough day...

Postby Yutso » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:35 pm

treasuretheday,

I am sorry for your loss. I am so sorry for the injustice you have encountered. There is so much injustice in this world.

Sadness.
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