When I left the monastery, I was leaving something I loved but that I sensed was on loan to me. Some people are called to a monastery and some are called through one.
It is hard to remember to do the mourning over the loss of the choices which we do not make even if the choices we are making are exciting ones which seem to be the way forward in the murky fog of discernment.
When I left the monastery, some friends from outside the cloister gave me a small sack of marbles with a note that said “We hope you leave here and learn how to simply play!” I kept those marbles in a small bowl under a lamp which is always kept lit and which is in the center of the house as an icon- a constant visual reminder- pointing to a new way of life with the permission in it to “play.” Play-fullness does not come easily to me but I love to do it and, when I decide to, am good at it! Time for play-fullness is so important in a day.