I’ve been doing hard work. The hardest work of my life, thus far. Many days my brain is exhausted from the processing. Other days, I can just enjoy where I’m at IN the process (nothing short of a miracle). The self-examined life is a powerful one, but it takes crazy courage. It also takes a conscious level of acceptance for the messy middle. I wanted to use the word tolerance there, but tolerating your life is not the same as accepting it. Tolerating and making peace with, are at different ends of the spectrum. In fact, I am no longer at peace with being tolerated, or putting up with it in any capacity. That’s white-knuckle energy that grips frightened, when it should be unfurling with invitation. Love does not tolerate — it embraces.
My journey has primarily been about integration: learning to put both arms around the pieces that I can hardly reconcile; creating a safe house for the parts that are terrified of the big bad world; composing a true storyline that doesn’t edit or censor. Living out of your one whole heart is not for the faint of heart — that’s for dang sure.
Last night I plopped my tired self on the loveseat to do some freelance work. I have been anticipating Brené Brown’s new Netflix release, so I played it in the background. What I find attractive about Brené and the nature of her research, is how entirely human it is in nature, yet supported by fact and statistics. I admire her life work, as one of the benefactors. I sincerely connect to her message. (She studies shame and vulnerability – two things that resonate deeply for me.) I also enjoy the musings of many contemplatives, namely Christian ones. I feel we can only know ourselves rightly within the context of knowing our Creator. If I don’t circle back to the original design, I find I’m just spinning my wheels while trying to reinvent it. There is a solid design already in place; I just need to work from it, tying all the scraps back to it.
I see a pattern of circles. (I even did a photo theme.) It can be the dizzy of spinning oneself into an aimless whirlwind, or it can be like a May pole, lacing together with each loop. Sometimes the circle is the arms that are reaching round, welcoming back the fragmented pieces. Or it’s the roundabout that leads me back to the beginning, times infinity. Other times it’s the band of believers who take brave steps inward, forming the safest sphere. In all of these dynamics taking shape, I see a design come together. It really is a strong design. It works. It translates. It even transcends.
I think we’re all cut from the same cloth. We come fully loaded with defects and variables, and are looking for something bigger (and better) than ourselves to identify with, become one with, live and love wholly from and for. Integration over toleration is my new mantra. Let’s walk each other back home.