I did not sign on to my time at Pendle Hill expecting ease. I expected moments of grace, which have certainly appearred. I expected to be challenged; I desire change, a letting go of old, less than helpful patterns. In seeking to be more present, closer to God, I expected some -- lots -- of internal resistance.
In a sad, worn-out way, the behaviors I seek to shed offered their own comfort. And the very real leaving behind of my community of friends and family is its own kind of pain.
It helps to see that being here is an intense, breaking down experience for many of the other resident students. I am not the only one crying, or the only one who is finding it necessary to take long naps. The itching of the poison ivy rash that covers much of my body adds a small element of hysteria to my emotional make-up.
I'm afraid of sounding ungrateful, but I also want to honor the complexity of my experience here at Pendle Hill.