Some time back, in book group, we had a good discussion about ‘the committee’ – the group of negative voices that live in our heads and demean us and remind us of every failure and how stupid we are, etc.
In the midst of that discussion, we also talked about how ‘spiritual practices’ (like sitting in stillness and keeping the Sabbath) can help us ‘walk out of the committee room and close the door.’ Spiritual practices help us learn how to walk away from the negative self-talk and into freedom and being loved.
At one point I offered an idea for a t-shirt: don’t join my committee, be my friend! We laughed about the idea, but the more I think about it, being able to discern between ‘committee’ and ‘friend’ is an important spiritual discipline. Recognizing that someone or some situation provokes ‘the committee’ into action is an important step in learning how to walk away into freedom and love. I believe with practice (recognition, stillness, Sabbath, etc.) we can keep the doors to the committee room closed and live more freely as those loved by God.
And not only do I need to discern about the voices within and those that are coming toward me, but I have also realized that I have a choice in the life of those around me: committee member or friend? Sitting in stillness is teaching me how to be more friendly to myself and a better friend to others.