I warned you that I might write about my spiritual life from time to time- but I’m still hesitant. For some reason, even mentioning that I believe in God can be such a controversial subject! People either react with excitement or get super uncomfortable. Isn’t that a bit odd? Anyway, SPOILER ALERT: I’m going to talk about God, take it or leave it.
For starters, God has been tugging at some particularly interesting advice in my life lately. To put it simply: LET GO! Yep, the theme continues. I’ve been clutching at any threads that will allow me to have control over my own life. That’s just the thing! I don’t!
Here is why I’m holding on: I’ve mentioned a little bit that I sometimes have BIG fear in my life. Specifically, the fear of losing someone I love. It is the topic of all my nightmares and the cornerstone of every anxiety bout or worry. If I’m worried because husband isn’t answering his phone, deep down it’s because I’ve feared the worst. If I’m stuck in a panic because a bruise on my arm appears to be a blood clot (due to my extensive medical knowledge, obviously), the heart of my fear is seated in worry of putting Garret through mourning or pain.
Sure, any therapist will tell you that the reason for my fear is past trauma. I have experienced true fear of death in my life which has heightened my awareness that bad things can and do happen. One good friend of mine calls this the “Sh** Club.” Once circumstances in your life cause you to join, you no longer feel remorse for someone who is upset over a breakup or a rough day at work. That’s trivial pain to us members. Real plain dumps years of your life into a black pit. Having seen the bottom of the pit- I don’t want myself or anyone else to! So I worry.
Here is why I should let go: I am a tiny pebble floating down a river. Sometimes the river seems perfect and peaceful and I can soak up the sun when I’m beached by a sandbar. Other times its rough for me and my pebble friends. There are rocks, rapids, or trees that appear out of nowhere. We are tossed and turned, soaked and cold. It can be difficult so we try to hold onto branches or sand to keep our head above water. But God is there. God is standing from a very high vista point and can see the ENTIRE river. He can see that little pebble Elle is stuck in a rapid and can’t get out. BUT He can also see what I can’t: that just around the river bend, the water becomes crystal clear. If I can just make it through the rapid and come around the other side- I will be able to see the beauty of the teal waters and lounge in the astonishing sparkle of the sun.
I can’t see the big picture because I am just a small being in an infinite universe! Just as a child will get upset when her Dad tells her to stop playing the dryer- it is only because she doesn’t see what her Dad knows- That playing in the dryer is dangerous!
Let God: So in a prayerful request to God, I asked that he help me to let go and let Him take over. At first I resisted. I prayed, “Lord I want you to take care of my life, I want to trust you… but I don’t.” I feared that a closer relationship with God would leave me exposed to all the heartache in life. That bad things would happen to me, but as a Christian I was just supposed to weather the storm! I couldn’t let that happen!! So a small piece of me held on. I told God He would have to wait. Until…
While listening to a Timothy Keller podcast on the subject of submission, it dawned on me: I don’t have control of these things anyway! Just because I believe I have control, doesn’t mean I do! I can feed husband as many colorful veggies as I want but that doesn’t keep bad things from happening. I will worry with or without God. People who don’t believe in God weather just as many storms as people who do. At that moment I gave it all. I said, “God I’m yours, and I trust that your will is far better than mine.”
From that moment forward I have been transformed. I now know that every worry that comes my way, I can simply pass along to God and say “Thank you for taking care of this for me!” I trust that whether or not a rapid comes, God can see the big picture and will always take care of me. Just as Jesus endured struggle, in the big picture, God needed that moment to bring us to today. God loves us amazingly and will always do the best thing for us. We just have to keep in mind that we can’t see the big picture, but rejoice that God does!!
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?”
~ Luke 12:22-26
They say that you teach best that which you need to learn most. So for today’s post I’m going to teach myself a lesson with the hope of increasing joy in my life- here it goes!
I’m holding on. Not sure why. Didn’t even know I was doing it! But I am. I’m holding onto fear that I will lose someone I love. I’m holding onto the idea that my friends will ditch me the second I step out of line. I’m holding onto fear that my house will get broken into, that I will fail at my job, that I won’t be good enough if I cry. I hold onto fear of falling apart, of not being able to take care of my family and friends, or becoming unable to be taken care of by others. These underlying currents seem barely existent when I actually look at my life. I LOVE my life! I’m truly the happiest I have ever been. Right now though, it has become extremely clear to me that now is the time to be ok with all of these insecurities whenever they float by. Its time to own up to my baggage!! Instead of trying to leave my baggage at the airport (that’s illegal), I’m going to change it into luggage that is pink and by Kate Spade! (That would be my version of making lemonade with lemons.- I tried!)
I’m certainly the way that I am right now because of a series of unfortunate events that occurred in my past. I’m not going to go into those things here- this blog is about being happy! (Get it? Happy Yogis)! What I will say is that those events created a storm cloud over my life for a number of years. At the time, I believed that the end goal was ridding myself of all those negative emotions. I believed that I could fight pain, abolish fear, and get rid of negative thoughts. In essence, I believed that I was in control. Now that I’m on the other side I am realizing that there is no normal! I’m extremely happy and grateful and blessed- but I’m holding on. I’m holding onto my belief that by holding onto my sanity, I won’t be insane! By holding back my sadness, I will be happy. By holding back my tears and appearing “normal” on the outside I will seem like anyone else on this earth who has yet to experience tragedy. What is that?? Why do I have to be so altogether all the time? This is Marin County after all and people don’t even always wear pants here. Don’t I deserve a little crazy? (ok I will admit that I did take up singing at the grocery store from time-to-time, just trying to fit in). As an AWESOME friend told me: What we resist, persists. Ahhhh yeah, there is the lesson!
In a period of a week here is what happened to me. Talk about being given a sign!!:
- Day 1: Up all night, unable to sleep because of fear of a break-in. Why am I being so paranoid???
- Day 2: HORRIBLE nightmares. I work up crying my eyes out! Ughh… soooo tired. (Soooo jealous that Garret’s nightmares are always about T-Rex, snakes, spiders, or in one case – a racoon. Gotta love the guy!)
- Day 3: Give a YL talk that exposes some of my not so great moments. Instantly fear that I won’t be loved.
- Day 4: Started reading the book “Willpower.” He talks about an experiment where participants were asked not to think about a white bear. This resulted in WAY more thoughts about white bears. Oh yeah. There it is.
- Day 5: Girls night with an amazingly, beautifully, blunt friend who tells me I need to give myself a break. True that. Also saw the movie “Five-year engagement” there are some gems in there (for example, don’t ever leave the bay area, especially not to move to Michigan)
- Day 6: Good ole life coaching sesh that confirms the same: Stop trying to BE SOMETHING and just allow myself to BE ME- crazy insecurities and all!
ALL RIGHT! I GET IT! So here I am with this post and all. Right here is where I am. This is me, this is it. I have insecurities. FINE. I might not be able to sleep after watching Once Upon a Time. OK. I maaaay cry over something ridiculously small for no apparent reason (Why would they put milk in that chocolate anyway!?) SO WHAT! I’m loved, by God, by my family, by my friends. I think that’s enough. If they are all cool with that. I can be too. Just watch me…
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33