Bombed-out and rebooted
Gavin Thomas Murphy runs a website called Gratitude In All Things where he looks to Ignatian Spirituality for strength and inspiration.
I know I wasn’t alone in the shelled-out, disorientated state. The trauma of Covid-19 was clearly seen after a year of coping and doing what was necessary to keep my head above water. I had many psychological and spiritual tools to my belt – from meditating to running to spending time with family – but my strength and resilience was dwindling day by day. I wondered how long I could keep it up. I wondered how long I could survive.
I opened up to my family at dinner time and they were supportive and attentive to my needs. One sister advised me to take the weekend off from work. Another sister encouraged me to contact a friend. Other family members just listened. But what I really needed to hear came from myself: to visit my local church across the road and pour out my heart in the quiet space. I mostly visited on Sundays before the pandemic, but lately I’ve been nudged to visit more frequently.
I sit down toward the centre of the church and let my pain and anguish out. I have no prayer or meditative method. I don’t need to sugar-coat my life experience. I put my hand on my heart to help me say exactly what I want to say. I try to be myself in the company of God along with a few parishioners who also come to pray. I sit back on my seat and hug myself to help give the love that I need. I close my eyes and relax my neck and head. I enter a different space: a space of contentment and calm, a space with more than enough conditions to be happy.
My walks back home, with a gentle smile on my face, tell an Easter story: an awareness of the bouncy presence of God in people, the weather, events and circumstances. The pandemic has pushed me to the edge. It has tested my inner strength. It makes each day a serious challenge. But it has also invited me to connect with my local community. It has shown me how to be more authentic and human. The church space reboots me and plunges me into a deeper relationship with God. I hope that your peaceful place – wherever it is – reboots you too.