John Donne penned:
“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main…”
There is so much negativity in the world and in the community. There can be so much that can come against us that seeks to tear us down, hurt us, diminish our confidence and self-worth. Sometimes it’s a struggle just to survive the next few hours of the day. Benign situations that are guised as sweet sincerity morph into sarcastic condescension.
Run! Run away, my instinct screams!
Close the door and shut out those demons!
It isn’t that easy. There are bills to pay. Meetings to attend. Facades to maintain. Promises to keep. (Sounds like a Robert Frost poem.)
No, I’ll retreat in my mind where you can’t touch me. I will build a sanctuary where you cannot see and you cannot claim. When you attack and criticize and claim and control and seize and justify and manipulate and chastise, I will retreat to my sanctuary. You are not allowed there as it is mine. You are not welcome. Actually, you are not welcome in my life, but I tolerate you. But the day will come when you will be out and my sanctuary will be real.
For now, I must read John Donne’s words with knowing frustration. He’s right, but I don’t have to like it.
“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8.