Monday Morning Musing

We discipline children because we love them and we want them to grow into the best person they can be.

When we don’t have discipline in our personal lives does it indicate a lack of self-love?

I think so.

It does for me, anyway.

If I look back on my own life I see unfinished projects, abandoned “diets,” inconsistent commitments and generally a “give up” attitude.

Most people would call this a lack of discipline. I don’t disagree.

But what if this lack is an indicator of something deeper?

Along with being undisciplined, I have also struggled with loving myself. In fact, in the past, I would even call it self-hatred. Is it any wonder I struggled with personal achievement?

Now, maybe for most of you this concept is a no-brainer. But for me, today? A lightbulb moment.

Because again, it’s about love.

The same love that makes us want the best for our loved ones, we deny ourselves. And in so doing, deny God the privilege to MOVE in our life. To LOVE on us.

Hmmm. This might need some more musing…

 

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Alright then…

Well then.

Apparently (according to the mom) yesterday’s post was a downer.

Hmmm.

I promised myself when I started this blog I would be ruthlessly honest in my writing. And let’s face it: I’m pretty blunt in real life, too.

Let me qualify: life is good. Life is hard. Life is joyful. Life is devastatingly painful. Life is love and laughter and tears and sometimes so icky.

Life is…

One day closer. And for that I give thanks.

To give you an UP after my downer:

 

 

The Bad Girl

 

 

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Do me a favour.

Take your thumb and place it right in the middle of your sternum. Below the heart. Above the diaphragm.

Are you doing it?

Okay.

Now press.

Hard.

I want you to imagine that spot. Right where you pressed your thumb to flesh. I want you to imagine a dark, oppressive pain. Not a mortal wound, but a chronic ache, a daily reminder of its existence.

This is my pain. Right in the middle of my chest. Most days? Hardly noticeable. Somedays? Impossible to ignore.

When I was a baby girl – just a toddler – I had a poisoning incident. Up until age two, I was a normal, happy, bubbly, little girl. But when I escaped from my bath and toddled out the back door and saw the can of BBQ fluid which looked so much like a can of soda – something changed. I went from robust health to critically ill in a moment. Because that fluid didn’t just enter my stomach. It’s trickled down into my lungs. A delicate system further compromised by toxic chemical.

After nights of touch and go, I was declared a miracle.  Sure, I needed some aggressive chest pounding therapy. Yet, healed. Physically. Except the lingering dark spots on my lungs. But healing.

However spiritually? I remained critical.

Although I recovered in body, my spirit took on lifelong damage. While healing my body, my tiny soul embarked on a new fight. A fight to belong. A fight to be accepted. That delicate time of childhood crushed by pain. A pain taken personally. You see, a child under five can’t reason the difference between physical pain or emotional pain. And somehow, little me translated excruciating physical pain into punishment. That I must have deserved the pain. I was a bad girl.

Physically I recuperated, but emotionally and spiritually I remained damaged. The damage to my lungs slowly healed, yet that dark, black spot remained imbedded in my chest.

The black spot has followed me throughout my life. When pain happens, an arrow hits me square in the ribs. And rejection. And disappointment. And failure. A reminder. An ache – heart broken, but I deserve it. I have been a bad girl.

My experience with the “bad girl” curse means shame and anger still linger. In any good, I still expect the bad to follow.  I’d like to tell you I’m all better now. But that would be a lie. The truth is some days it’s worse than ever. As time marches on and my circumstances don’t change and I make the same mistakes and I am alone and lonely and desperate and depressed – that damn spot is a reminder that I don’t warrant the good stuff. I’ve been a bad girl.

The question is: how do I rid myself of that spot? If it were as easy as a simple prayer, I would have been freed years ago. Maybe, like Paul, it’s my thorn in the flesh?

I don’t know.

I question: do I merit hope? It’s taken such a beating lately. It seems easier to tuck it away and accept that life is not abundant. Should I live without expectations? It’s impossible to not compare yourself to others and ask: “why not me?”  And when the answer is “no,” always “no,” – where do you go? What do you believe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Rejection

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Ah, disappointment. My old “friend” showing up again. And again. What will I do with you this time? Get angry? Sad? Bitter?

Nah.

I’m tired of being disappointed. So I’m choosing not to be. I’m choosing joy instead. Not happiness, don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT happy. But I am joyful. I am reminded daily of my blessings. And I choose to dwell in gratitude, not grief.

Rejection. That’s a tough one. But in the end, it’s not really on me. I give and give – sometimes too much. Better too much than too little. Little tiny lies imbed in me. “You’re not (pretty, thin, smart, etc) enough.” Damn those lies. I am enough. I embrace my beauty – inside and out. I own my intelligence and strength. And I’ve grown! Oh how I’ve grown!

Exhaustion. Being so tired of waiting on God. Waiting on your heart’s desire. Waiting on something that may never happen. Waiting on something you inherently believe you were made for: relationship. Yet continuously left alone. Lonely. Rejected. Disappointed. Exhausted.

And yet.

Gratitude. Joy. Beauty. Strength. These things take precedent over the sin and lies and sorrow and darkness. I walk in them.

And belief.

I am a gorgeous, vibrant daughter of the Most High God. And it is His will I am walking in.  Always.

Thank you God, for protection. For Your will above my own. For You, only,  first in my heart. sacred-2644537_1920

Thank you for this Sacred Mess. This path. I choose to walk daily in Your way. Take this sacred mess and make it Yours more and more.

Holding Hands

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We live in a world that takes everything to extremes.

Success is measured by money and power. Talent is determined by worldwide fame. Physical touch means sexual intimacy.

In earlier years, I was a driven person with over-reaching expectations for myself. I believed my spiritual maturity was validated by my outward appearance, relationship status and/or worldly impact. Something drove me to want what I could never achieve and that something was certainly NOT God. Always pushing myself into a societal mold (even a Christian one) did nothing but increase my anxiety until I was ripe for a mental breakdown.

In the last few years my definition of success has changed. I’m no longer driven by the old rules. I’ve found myself completely in love with a new way.

Unhurried.

Unambitious for worldly pursuits.

Unashamed.

Post-modern society doesn’t have much use for the slow, soft and gentle. The minimalist. Where “enough” is not hoarding, but a sufficient amount for the day.  We are constantly in a rush to be “something” and do “important things” – with no idea what those are.

I find myself enamoured with new things. The quiet of nature. Hours of silence. Driving to work in intercession. Longing for more, but content with what God gives. And even taking joy in the wait.

Success now means obedience and the fruit of the spirit.

Talent is using the gifts He gave me for His glory.

Touch means conveying love and hope and grace in the simplicity of holding someone’s hand.

 

P.S:  This post came from a quiet drive home from work in the midst of a snowfall. Maybe not the best time to let your mind wander, but it is what it is. I admit it: I miss holding hands with a man. Yet, what a delight to know that when that happens in my future I am able to give and submit and love in ways I couldn’t have a few short years ago. To God be the Glory. Only and always. XOXO

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ghosted

Have you ever been ghosted?

For those who aren’t familiar with the term “ghosted” is when someone you are in a friendship or relationship with abruptly stops contact with no explanation.

I’ve been ghosted. And it was the worst.

Ten years ago I made morning trips to the local dog park. My dog, a golden doodle was still a puppy and needed a lot of exercise. If you don’t frequent dog parks, you should know you meet a lot of different people there. In fact, I met “The Amazing Kate” there – still a good friend to this day.

One day I met “Matt” – not his real name for obvious reasons. Matt was a sports reporter from out east. He had a rambunctious dog, who loved my pup, so we often met up at the park and walk laps. I admit, I did entertain the idea of romance with Matt – he was super funny, quirky handsome, tall and well-employed. However, his spiritual life was not what I was looking for in a potential boyfriend and I was happy to remain his friend.  I introduced him to some of my friends, continued our chats about life and basically grew into buddies.

Then one day I get a phone call. It was Matt. Could I meet him at the corner of such-and-such and pick up the dog and take her to the dog park with me. You see, Matt had gotten into a car accident and the dog was in the car with him. She was stressed and needed a good run. Of course, I could. I picked her up, gave Matt a supportive hug and went off to the park.

After a good run, I took the dog back to his place, along with a cup of comfort coffee. He was stressed too. When I got to the house Matt wasn’t alone. The ex-girlfriend was there. The ex-girlfriend which he shared ownership of the dog with. A quick exchange and thanks for the coffee and a door shut in my face.

Okay then.

The next day I went to the dog park as usual. Matt was there, along with the other regular dog park folks. I went up to ask how he was doing and he didn’t reply. I asked again – maybe he didn’t hear me? This time he turned around and walked away.

Huh.

Obviously something was up, so I gave him space. Later on I texted him. I received a reply, “Leave me alone.”

Um, what?

From then on Matt did his best to avoid me at the park. And although we weren’t dating, I was a bit heartbroken. I had made a friend and for some reason unbeknownst to me, I lost one.

Ghosted.

At this point, I didn’t want to continue a friendship with Matt, but I felt I deserved an explanation. I knew one wasn’t coming. I suspected, at the time, it had something to do with the ex, but who knows?

And wow, did this hurt. I would say it hurt worse than several of my romantic breakups. Why? Because of cowardice. I had thought well of a person and they disappointed me. They took the easy way out and left me high and dry.

Oh don’t worry. I got over it.

Yet, still, it challenges me to be brave. I would never want to hurt someone in this way. Be direct. Be honest. Chances are saying “no” – to relationship, a job, an opportunity – is going  to hurt anyway. But at least show them why.

But what if you are on the other side? If you are being ghosted?

Place that relationship in a jar and put the jar up high up on a shelf. Let it gain some dust. Let it rest. Maybe, one day, it will be taken down from the shelf, dusted off and opened up. But for the time being, put it away.

Then straighten up. Hold your chin high. Walk on.

You, my love, are beautiful and worthy. It’s not about deserving. It’s about self-respect.

Walk on.