Following your dream
may make you enemies.
When St Teresa of Avila decided to devote her life to God, she was about 40 years old.
She decided that she needed to live a secluded life, become quiet, focus on prayer.
She then tried to create a rule based on this, and to recruit novices.
She had always been popular, and now she was surrounded by enemies. Very few agreed to stand by her.
A small number believed in her Rule, of poverty, prayer, silence. They felt that she had found a route to God.
But others accused her of being a zealot, misleading other people, even a witch.
I am writing from memory, and I would ask you to check the facts for yourself, but I understood that her life changed the day she adopted the new Rule.
This made little sense to Teresa. She had been popular when she had chatted to visitors, neglected prayer, and gone on vacation.
Now that she was actually trying to live as a nun, and become genuine, she had lost all her friends.
How could they not see that she regretted the past? That she wished to honour her vocation?
She prayed for her enemies. But I do understand this story.
I tried to defeat mental illness and lost all my friends.
They hated the lack of progress, the start-stop life that I lead, the need for rest.
They could not understand why I could not recover in months.
I still have the dream to survive mental illness, but I live without friendship, support, encouragement.
For the most part I do this alone.