How to Design Your Own Liturgy of Lightheartedness
The Decision Fatigue Chronicles Vol. 4
One of the most delicate balancing acts I’ve tried is one of knowing when to step all the way in and when to jump all the way out—in writing, in friendship, and mostly, in parenting. The stakes always seem high, the list is always long, and shame, fear, and regret don't take one minute off.
To counter-balance the decision fatigue that often comes with caring (or in my case, over-caring) I’ve been imperfectly practicing my own liturgy of lightheartedness, inspired in part by the following concepts:
Benevolent Detachment: John Eldridge defines this as releasing everything and everyone to God. You empty your soul of all the chaos and the clutter so that you can then receive something of the presence of God. We do not do this cynically. We are not checking out. Rather, in love, we release everything to God.1
Holy Indifference: From St. Ignatius of Loyola, this does not imply a lack of care but it does means being detached enough from things, people, or experiences to be able either to hold them or release them depending on the leading of God. It's a matter of having the ability to maintain an inner peace even in the midst of outward uncertainty.
Interior Freedom: Described by Jacques Phillippe as a space of freedom that nobody can take away, because God is its source and guarantee.
So how do we practice these? We cultivate a liturgy of lightheartedness.
Liturgy of Lightheartedness: Rhythms and practices we can engage that help us to detach in a loving way and to care without carrying, thereby increasing our chances of experiencing an interior freedom.
(This may be the first time I’ve ever used thereby in a sentence. Did I do it right?!)
If you are in a season of caring for someone and you’re finding it difficult to discern where their life and needs end and yours begin, here are seven questions to ask that could help you design your own liturgy of lightheartedness: