On Distancing

Social distancing. The mantra of the entire world for the past six months, and probably also for the next six months. Maintain six feet of distance from people you don’t know, unless masked and even then… Just in case they might be carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Distancing applies also to those of us concerned with spiritual formation.

Not the “stay away from other people” distancing. No, this is the “stay away from emotional entanglement” distancing.

For example, one might see a situation that makes them mad. That’s a reaction. It’s understandable. But allowing that emotion to live, and grow, and fester until it shapes our life turns it into our new god. It rules our life. It reflects in our face. It infects our relationships.

Learning how to step back in order to gain a new perspective on the situation. Learning to see ourselves from outside our body. Learning to deal with our negative emotions by gently easing them along. These lead us onto the path of spiritual maturity.

These lessons are practical. When I learned them (although maybe still not a master), I both learned how obnoxious a youth sports coach and parent I was and also how to deal with it and grow up.

Social distancing will help keep us healthy throughout this pandemic. Distancing from situations that cause perpetual angst in our hearts will keep us spiritually healthy throughout life.

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