With the removal of my pride and ego comes a deep sort of apathy. It’s not that I no longer care about others, it’s that I realize I had been caring about them for the wrong reasons. My cares and concerns came from a place of worrying about how I would look if I stopped appearing to care. What remains when all of that is removed is a more or less blank slate that waits for a spontaneous call or urge to move charitably.
If I choose to imagine myself digging down deep into the well of my soul for nourishment, I find a lot less busy activity happening. The need to be going about some type of business or endlessly reacting to what is happening in the world isn’t there anymore. There is a reminder of how important it really is to remove the beam in my own eye before I start fixing other peoples’ motes. There is no longer an insistent need to control things: to control the narrative of what is happening around me, to control what I will be doing when I die, to control how my son will end up.
It’s not a leaving off of responsibility, but a leaving off of an illusory sense of control where there never really was any. I don’t stop acting as a being in this world, but I do stop acting unless I am deeply moved to act in the moment. Furthermore, I can’t expect everyone to always understand why I am behaving the way that I am. Sometimes, people may grow disgusted with me, and expect me to act more responsibly. Other times, people may question why I chose to act when I did.
So many of the things that I have constantly worried about over the past few years don’t need to be worried about. Concerns about who is or isn’t going to hell, especially concerns about my own soul. My quest to find a welcoming community in the form of a church or worship group, my longing to make a few new close friends who I am as much their confidant as they are mine–such as the ones in high school and college were, but these are people of God–can now be seen as a disturbance in the waters of a much deeper well. The part of the well in which I need to be spending my time is much deeper than all of these frothy temporal concerns that used to be the objects of so much of my obsessions.