07 May 2015

Acedia

From Wikipedia: The Oxford Concise Dictionary of the Christian Church 
defines acedia (or accidie) as "a state of restlessness and inability 
either to work or to pray". Some see it as the 
precursor to sloth—one of the seven deadly sins.

With the new year came a deep sluggishness in my being.  I was just out of all of my "want-to".  My normal activities and habits weren't happening.  Sometimes it felt like nothing was happening.  All I truly wanted was to lay on the couch and check out.  But that wasn't an option most days.  There was laundry and dishes and groceries and volunteer work that needed finished.  Although I was able to function (which is a strong distinction between acedia and depression in my opinion) my heart was far removed.  

When I came across acedia in April, it's use, history, and definition illuminated my struggle. I am a highly self-motivated person, and achiever, and a do-it-myself kind of gal.  This detachment had me both concerned and asking why.  I tried to embrace it and just let the pieces sit where they wanted.  But at the end of each day I would lay in bed and tally all of the "should haves" and "ought tos" from my day.  Although I tried to embrace the relaxed lifestyle it is not for me and left me with guilt, frustration, and lacking. 

Near the end of March I figured I had tried the "embrace" theory long enough.  I decided that I needed to just start.  Start something.  Start doing the things I loved even if I didn't "feel" like it.  "Pick up a book, anything, and just read!" I would tell myself.  (Well ... maybe it was more of a demand, but I am totally ok with that.)  I made myself unpack the camera and go somewhere and use it.  I forced myself to go outside and just walk.  I have been prodding myself to write again.  Next on my force-list is sewing a project.  Start.  Just start being you.

I can't say that making myself is eliminating the acedia.  But what I can say is that making myself is awakening and reattaching me to my inner self again.  It is helping restart much that was shut down.  Much is coming alive again.  I feel that the coinciding with spring is somewhat divine.