It’s 3pm as I write this, and it has taken me all day to get going, well that is what I am telling myself, but the truth is a bit different and I suspect it has to do with personal expectations. So, what haven’t I done that I feel I should? I haven’t gone for a walk, haven’t been out in the world enjoying the sunshine, and yet only part of that is true, because the sun is shining in my garden, and I have enjoyed it.
So, today I got up when my alarm went off, I fed the cats, watered some plants, did my daily Tai-Ch exercise, took vitamins and meds, changed the water in the cat fountain, swept the floor and ate breakfast/ brunch, I am eating two meals a day at the moment, with a small snack in between if needed.
I then made another coffee, listened to my devotional, and have been reading and reflecting and writing in my journal. All the time I am dealing with the voice in the back of my head telling me that it is not enough, that I am not enough, that I should be out and doing more, and yet I know that what I am doing is helpful and healing, and that I will benefit from it in the long run. Yesterday I reflected on my need for Easter to unravel slowly, and I know that what I have been doing today is a part of that, in many ways I feel like I am returning to myself, and returning to God. Listening to a Brene Brown podcast today, where she said;
“Our connection with other people is only as solid and deep as our connection with ourselves. In order for me to be connected to you I have to know who I am. I have to be connected to myself, and I think what we end up doing is desperately searching for connection to other people when we have no idea who we are.”
I can really relate to this, and ponder my tendency to spread myself too thinly, trying to make connections everywhere, usually with the goal of pleasing or helping people, and then ending up by disappointing or frustrating them and myself, and ending up in a frazzled heap. To know myself is to know that I have a limited capacity for doing, and also to know that those stretched tendencies come from a place of insecurity because I am not connected either to myself, or more importantly to the divine within, which could of course be the same thing.
To be connected to the divine within means knowing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that I am known and loved by the God who dreamt of me before the beginning of time, along with all the other wondrous diversity of their creation. Somehow being connected to myself then becomes a way of not only being connected with God, but also miraculously connected to the creation itself in all its wonder and horror.
Jesus modelled this for us so well, knowing who he was and whose he was he took a towel and washed the disciples feet, challenging them to love and serve one another in the same way, and then again in the Garden of Gethsemane where he literally sweated blood in the agony of his prayer before accepting the route of the cross, God incarnate wrestling within God-self , and giving us a pattern to follow! Maybe when we wrestle with ourselves we are actually wrestling with God within, struggling to break through to the place where God welcomes us and calls us their delight!
But of course we have this treasure, this promise in jars of clay ( 2 Corinthians 4: 7), frail vessels, now I don’t know about you, but I always thought Paul was referring to rough and ready pots, maybe chipped and cracked, revealing the treasure, but what he wrote of wasn’t that at all, but a vessel whose surface was thin enough to allow a light placed within to shine through it. I reflect that perhaps I have thought developing a thick skin is a good thing, giving me protection from the perils of daily living, and so I develop a kind of armour plating, or wear masks so nobody can see the frailty of the truth. The thing is when I do that I obscure and even cover up the light, maybe so much that even I become aware of it.
Margaret Silf tells a wisdom story where a merchant, sorceress and warrior have to lay aside all that they think has made them strong before they can kneel to receive the precious water of life they have been seeking, for rather than it being an ornamented fountain, a majestic waterfall or gushing river, what they find is a small gurgling brook, so armour, magic cloak and bags of money are laid aside as they kneel. I wonder what I lay aside to receive, I know I have hidden behind doing, behind roles and behind the façade I present to hide what I see as weakness, and yet God doesn’t see it as weakness at all, choosing to put their glory within and longing for it to be allowed to shine out.
Today I wrote this in my journal, in response to the one who calls my name:
I am loved, in both my brokenness and my wholeness, in my shadows and in the lightness of my being, I am loved, along with the whole of creation, all is divine. All God asks is that I let their light shine through my life, that I drop the masks and live into the delight that they have in me. God says to all creation you are my delight, all is my delight, so I am their delight. How wonderful and how challenging that is, I will try to live into it, allowing resurrection to unfold slowly!