It’s just a greeting card. How hard could it be to write in it and send it off, right?
But for me, there’s a deliberation process, because to me it’s not just a card. It’s my words, from the heart, written to someone I care about. And for whatever reason, I can’t usually make myself sit down in the middle of a busy day and dash off a message in a greeting card and feel good about it.
I have to carve out the right kind of space for something like this. I want to be in the right place, the right space, to write, whether it’s a greeting card or a column. The right space is important.
I’ve written about writing spaces before, but this is a little different. This is more than just finding the right physical space. It’s about finding the right mental and even emotional space. And in this case – the case of writing out greeting cards to loved ones – the right spiritual space as well.
I didn’t realize how important this was until recently. I would procrastinate when it came to writing out things like greeting cards. But now I see it wasn’t procrastination, but a matter of not having the right space.
I’m reading a book right now that helps me make my point. In his writings on “Interior Freedom” from his book with the same name, Jacques Philippe says:
“In every encounter with someone else, however long or short, we should make him feel we’re 100 percent there for him at that moment, with nothing else to do except be with him and do whatever needs doing for him. This is very difficult, since we have a strong sense of proprietary rights to our time and easily tend to get upset if we can’t organize it as we choose.”
Guilty! But at the very least, I’m aware of it, and I’m trying. And that brings me around again to the greeting card thing. Even though the writing of the greeting card implies time and distance, I retain that same sense within me that if I am writing such a card in the middle of busy, I am not really focusing. I am not giving that person the attention they deserve.
If my heart is in the wrong place, the words I write will be wrong, too. I can feel that. It’s true.
So lately, I’ve been bringing some of the greeting cards I want to send with me to the chapel where I spend time one evening hour each week. As I sit there at the feet of Jesus, I pull out my envelopes and cards and write what’s on my heart. There are no distractions, and I am there with the person; really there. And it feels right.
It’s just a greeting card, I know, but to me, it’s part of my heart I’m sending off in the mail, and I want to feel as if I am looking that person in the eye as I write. I want them to feel my heart, and not the distractions around me.
Being in the right space to write, as I’ve found, can make all the difference, whether it be a tome or a small thank you card. And I’m glad I’ve discovered this and that I have a place to go to offer my best attention to those deserving of it.
Q4U: Have you felt this dilemma, even with the simplest writings? How did you solve it?