I’ve been doing more clearing of my dad’s flat. Today I lifted box after box in and out of my car – to be collected by our local community store who help set up the homeless in new homes, off to a charity shop donation centre, and then to the local dump.
It was as I was moving the final box the short distance from my car to my front door that I felt the base bow and give way, the whole contents falling onto the lawn in a rush like the cistern water in a flushing toilet. I had interwoven the flaps of the specially ordered packing box but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t strong enough and collapsed under the strain of the weight it was carrying.
I admit I swore. Several times. Loudly. Until I noticed the neighbours nearby.
I was tired from all the heavy work. I only went back to yoga a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t built my muscles back up yet. Every joint below my waist still aches.
But perhaps my spiritual muscles are also a bit weak at the moment. If they weren’t, I might have reacted with more grace and patience.
I think weakness maybe comes from two possibilities: either from inactivity (perhaps if I’d been exercising more regularly I wouldn’t feel so stiff now) or from overstraining. If we take on too much we are all liable to collapse under pressure that is beyond our capabilities. Like my box, we need reinforcement – physical help from others, spiritual gaffer tape to compensate for our limitations.