Shredding the Soul

Shredding the Soul

by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM                                   Ireland                            20.06.2024

The other day I was handed a large box of documents to shred. It is a boring, monotonous task but I did learn a lot about myself and life’s journey!

The first task was to discover that the documents were all stored in files. Each file was neatly labelled. Just like my life, I thought. In my mind don’t have my own life stored up in my memory in separate files? There is my early childhood, school years, staring MMM and studies, then Brazil Part One, the six years in Dublin and then Brazil Part Two. Each part of my life is encompassed, or bound, by life events or geographical moves. Now I am being called to open up the boxes and see what is inside.

Next, I had to remove each document from its plastic cover. Umm, I thought, how often in life do I hide myself away “under plastic” to preserve the status quo. Protection may be necessary for a time, but just as I am now shredding these documents, at some stage all covers are off and we present ourselves naked before God.

Then comes the difficult bit. In order not to destroy the shredder, it is important that only paper is put through the machine. So, all staples and paper clips need to be removed. I discovered that somebody in the past was trigger-happy with the stapling gun! Instead of one staple neatly at the corner, the staples could be all over the place. What are the staples in my life, I mused?
No ready answer for this one. It could be the unhealthy relationships that I insist on maintaining, like right now with chocolate when I am pre-diabetic. Or staples could be the temporary crutches I use to get through difficult situations. Either way, to be myself, I need to let go of the ‘temporary fixes”.

As I guide the sheets of paper into the shredder, I think of how God will ‘recycle’ me when my time on earth is done. Yes, my body will go into the earth, but the true ‘me’, who I really am, will be recycled in the loving embrace of God’s love.

Now, thank you God, for giving me a boring task if it brings me to a greater awareness of myself and your presence in my life.