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What are the passions?
"The passions are the feelings, the emotions or the movement of the sensible appetite--natural components of human psychology--which incline a person to act or not act in view of what is perceived as good or evil. The principle passions are love and hatred, desire and fear, joy, sadness, and anger."
(Compendium CCC, 370. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2006) The Compendioum's source on this topic is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Last week I revealed my neurosis with small, enclosed spaces. Specifically, the steam room in the ladies locker area at the gym I frequent. The fun continues. I enter the locker room and there stands a woman without a stitch of clothing on.
(Thought bubble over my head): Shit.
I apologize for the profanity, but it's my job as a writer to tell the truth as I experience it--and if necessary have a glass of wine to lesson the sting of how it feels to be judged or hated or both for writing what I think or in this case thought.
I'm an adult. It's a locker room. Why would I be shocked and embarrassed to see a woman who's clearly just come from the shower after an intense cardio workout. (A hygienical and courteous choice, I might add.)
The answer; I'm overly modest. I actually tried to tuck the sheet to my sides when I gave birth to my sons. Does this have something to do with my abusive childhood? Probably. Will I allow childhood trauma to deter me from entering the locker room? Absolutely not.
Imagine me trying to find a way to walk from the shower and to my locker privately in a room already deemed private. It doesn't help that the dressing room affords the square footage to populate China. I don't feel like I'm in a locker room, rather, a restroom with a toddler toilet in the corner and mounting uncertainty about the functionality of the lock.
New Year's phobia #2 to overcome: Remain calm if someone sees me in my underwear. Reminder to self: No one cares. Your dog never laughs when she sees you naked. Christ finds this whole scenario amusing.
What weird thing are you trying to overcome lately?
Baby steps in Christ,
Published on Monday, January 27, 2020 @ 4:34 PM CDT
I'm not a fan of small spaces. I learned this about myself years ago on an overcrowded elevator in the dead of winter. Picture a bunch of folks crammed side by side like a brand new pack of crayons. Now turn the heat up. Way up. And slow the elevator down. Way down.
I've been taking the stairs ever since.
I recently joined a gym with a steam room in the ladies locker area. My arthritic joints are very excited about this room. The limbic system in my brain does not share their enthusiasm. I'm embarrassed to say it, but yesterday I actually stood outside the steam-room and wondered if a person could accidentally get locked inside even though there's no lock on the door.
If this isn't weird enough, I stepped inside and outside the room like a small child playing with a revolving door. After more rounds of this than I care to confess I bravely stayed for 3 steamy anxiety filled minutes. (Baby steps people.)
I will try again and again to show anxiety who's boss. I will be kind to myself with every attempt. And I will laugh because humor is my mode of survival when I feel small or boxed in or both.
My joints are praying for my brain.
What new thing will you try this year?
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams (or in my case--steam) in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19).
Published on Saturday, January 11, 2020 @ 10:12 PM CDT