I’ve got a whole lot of hurting hearts on my heart as I write today. People with grief I don’t know how to touch are on my mind. People who find resonance in Jeremiah’s words when he said, “I wish I hadn’t even been born.”
I’m praying and I’m wondering what can be done. I’m praying for that illuminating moment we all need from time to time, that hand beyond us that touches the deep places inside of us that no one else can get to, no one else knows the way.
It’s akin to the way I can smell the ocean one moment but I know I was just standing here in my home the moment before. I can hear its waves while I was out in that convenience store parking lot over by the pier that goes on and on. I was just doing those ordinary things while the extraordinary never quit whispering right there beyond me for even one moment, that gentle roar.
I feel I want to make a run for it and never leave that place again and at the same time I feel this crazy sweet spot right where I am, in all this happy chaos that is straddling mundane and out-of-this-world in every single breath.
It all of the sudden seems kinda like (and completely different than) that one time when I sat in that little room. “I know I love my family. I know I want them.” I confessed to my counselor, “but all I can think is, let me run away.”
After careful listening, making sure I wasn’t pursuing an affair or had anything else to hide, he gave me a “script”: four days (minimum) away by yourself.
“What about the anger, what about the loneliness that feels so deep?”, I needed understanding like I needed to smell that ocean again, like it was the first time.
He told me at that point I had no way of fully realizing how truly physical my problem was, more than the emotions attached felt. First things first: rest. be alone.
He originally said a week and I told him how crazy he was to even suggest the possibility. We compromised at four days, but in reality, my husband (Jay) and I were only able to pull off two at the time. Then, six months later, another two and now we have a way of it: rest. be alone.
It’s not perfect but it’s better and we’re living by a kind-of general rule that sounds like this: don’t be arrogant, even Jesus took time away on the mountainside away from the crowd, smelling the waves.
I had a mentor who had basically told me the exact same thing a year or so before but it felt impossible. Jay lived in a different state due to his job and I was holding down the fort with five little ones under 10 years old with another on the way. We all have our reasons, real ones. Sometimes “real reasons” get in the way of real possibilities though.
Looking back I can see I needed nothing more than a weekend away to myself but in pride I said no. I thought I needed to be there when Jay came home, I thought this, I thought that. Who did I think I was? Super woman?
Funny thing about us human beings, especially us moms, yeah, I’ll say it: we ARE “super women”. BUT when our definition of that exceeds the definition of the Son of Man, fully man and fully God…you know that guy who liked to camp regularly over at the Mount of Olives?…we’ve gone wrong. We’ve gone terribly wrong and the consequences are real.
It’s funny how and when things hit us. For many of us, it’s safe to say, we have to hit a wall, a crisis of some kind before we “get it”. I don’t know who all needs to hear this today, but I know there were several people in my life who mentioned my own need for rest to me before I *heard* it in a way that translated to action.
So maybe I can be one of those people for someone else today? I really want to bandage the wounds and know how to touch those untouchable places. (But I’m just over here remembering the ocean, oh and my own needs: don’t be arrogant, even Jesus took time away on the mountainside away from the crowd,…those waves. )
So, while I’m doing that I will tell you this: I know you love your family, I know you want them. Love them by taking care of yourself.
No time or money to sit on the mountain until the truth of all you’re straddling gets clear?
I know. Me either. That first assignment from my counselor that I had to cut into a fraction of what he knew I needed wasn’t possible until after several more weeks. As I waited, the hope of it was a substance I held to, but so was beauty in the “ordinary”. I felt beauty a very real invitation to rest my soul. Can you feel that? Even if it’s a far away whisper?
I love this quote…
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Take a walk. Take a drive. Let the moments add up. Moments in stillness can be found even in the crowd. Even in the convenience store parking lot by that pier that goes on and on.
Thank God there’s no lack of beauty around us. And one them is this: each other. We’re not alone in this. I felt like a terrible wife and mom for the feelings I had, I felt lost to who I knew myself to be, who I wanted to be.
The first person I told how I was feeling inside laughed at me, (seriously!) but the second took me in earnest and so did the third and fourth. I needed what each of them gave me, even the laughter (though I didn’t like it at the time!). The first many times I felt incredibly embarrassed, but the act of bringing it into the light brought me into the light.
I could hear myself, my needs, my desires, my loyalties: right ones and wrong ones. And even though I knew I was standing right there at home I could hear those waves again.
Being super doesn’t mean being impenetrable, death will bring that soon enough. Being super means love, it’s that simple. And you’ve got that.
Persevering with you today, in love, much much love!
Psst! Golden Nugget: My favorite find this week, Emily P. Freeman’s blog! If you’re looking to attune your eyes and heart to beauty, a place to “let your soul breathe” as she says, look no further. I love her vision.