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worthiness & duality

Y’all wanna know what feels good?

Walking out of the past.
And, acceptance.

For me, acceptance looked like being able to reflect on something that’s happened and allowing it to just be what is – end of story. It’s quite peaceful and proof of the ability to simply take in an experience without allowing it sway your thoughts or feelings. Over the years, there have been times memories and reminders of hard experiences would land me in front of the maximize-everything-side of the mirror picking at every imperfection and beating myself up over the what and why versus saying “yea… that happened. It was hard.” and moving on because it has no bearing on today.

A few weeks ago a three year old memory of myself at dinner with friends, wine glass in one hand while fluffing a bomb twist out with the other in one of my favorite boomerangs EVER popped up on  IG. It that reminded me of one a weekend that was a high high and a very low low. It difficult to fully enjoy and fully mourn. I automatically smiled at the memory, blinked a few times at the hurt, then took a few seconds to enjoy all that hair again, lol.

I was over it.
You won’t know it’s happened until it’s brought up somehow or an
experience triggers the memory and it just passes. 
No bashing. No emotional responses.
No reliving conversations. No beating yourself up.
You just realize… “Hey.. that didn’t hurt this time!”

This isn’t obviously the same photo, but it’s the same day of the boomerang. And, I was SO. very. happy. so thankful. So proud of myself for hitting a goal………… while also dealing with an awkward, very hurtful dating experience that left me honestly feeling embarrassed, disappointed, unworthy, & confused. And, as someone who, at that point, very much struggled with feeling as if I had to work to earn love or a place, this was difficult because there was nothing I did that caused or could have changed what happened. (that’s a fact that’s been confirmed.) I walked into a weekend that was supposed to be full of celebration. One day I was high from achievement, feeling real worthy of it all and excited about a second day of fun only to walk through it ultimately  experiencing a rejection that completely blindsided me. Worthiness was shook.

I mean, I struggled with accepting grace because how are you not required to earn such an incredible thing? I could not understand that God loves me simply because I am his daughter. Because he created me. I struggled with understanding that doing more or being better won’t cause him to love, cherish, or want me anymore or less. That confused me ….. Who Am I to deserve something like that without working hard and crumbling under guilt and heaviness of mistakes? It didn’t makes sense to me and I know God wasn’t confused but looking at me like “You can’t earn it… that’s the whole point.” lol. Until I started really reading, comprehending, and trusting scripture. It started to click in my relationship with the Lord but there was still very much a disconnect in my relationship with people. 

Can you imagine that?
Resisting the value in the acceptance of a Savior’s love that welcomes and rejoices over all of you all the time while crumbling under the feelings of unworthiness at the rejection of another person?

I felt worthy because of people.
I felt unworthy because of people.
People had so much control over how I felt about myself.

All while loving a God who daily, consistently pursues my heart in a way that 
communicates how valuable I am. Who tries to get to me see that his love for me and pursuit of me didn’t depend on me. It wasn’t and will never be strengthened by any action and it won’t ever be revoked for any action. 

I couldn’t find satisfaction in people. 
I was too distracted to surrender to the satisfaction 
the Lord offered.

The Lord pursued me with the very thing that kept me unknowingly seeking Him 
the dissatisfaction & emptiness of the world.

For some reason, it is hard for us to grasp that we as humans are fickle…. that we aren’t unconditional people, lovers, friends, husbands, wives. While there may be consistency,  there are also conditions attached to everything. But for whatever reason, we can’t (at least I couldn’t) trust that our God when he has shown us again and again that he is consistent and unwavering. We struggle to trust that he can be trusted.

Aside from all of that, I also struggled with the validity of the duality of
two contrasting emotions.  

The incredible work promotion that happened collided with that awful relationship hurt was difficult to sort through and compartmentalize so that I could be fully in each space.

That picture reminded me that we are all truly just people trying to figure hard things, we’re all trying to navigate jumbled feelings, trying to walk the thin, blurred line that separates connection & vulnerability from rejection & hurt.  And everyone needs some dosage of grace and empathy every single day. We’re all just trying to do hard things as easily & comfortably as possible,  sharing our hearts without bruising our egos, experiencing as little embarrassment as possible while also stepping into something new, and admitting hurtful things while not feeling weak at the same time.

Everyone at any given point may be balancing a “joy and pain”, a high and low, and fullness of a really good day that is deflated by sadness. It’s tough to lean into either, too. I didn’t feel I could do either justice. I couldn’t be sad enough for my hurting heart and I wasn’t proud enough of my hard work. Emotions aren’t always easy to compartmentalize and we can do a really awful job of balancing the dualities and difficulties of life no matter what our belief systems are, no matter how good things may be overall, or how strong we are. Then, enter toxic positivity, or the concept that focusing on so-called positive emotions and rejecting anything that may trigger negative emotions is the right way to live life, and it’s “look on the bright side” way that keeps us from fulling sitting with our feelings to completely process them will never help either. Fun fact: Not embracing a silver lining or focusing elsewhere before fully moving through pain and disappointment doesn’t make you negative. #freeyoself

Duality is tough. I felt it quite a bit during infertility, divorce, annnnd even now in quarantine. Even as a single mama. As a person.  It can look like smiling & laughing because you’re so very glad your friend is expecting but bursting into tears hardly before making it to the car because you’re in the throws of infertility and a slew of negative tests and news. Or enjoying being “safe” at home because you get to actually spend time with your children while simultaneously plotting to disappear for 5 minutes because those same adorable children are rambunctious and seriously driving you to your wit’s end. Hurting when there’s so much to be grateful for doesn’t make you ungrateful just as being happy while also being sad doesn’t make you a phony. It doesn’t make you any less genuinely happy for your friend. It makes you human.

There’s always so much going on in one moment….. conflicting thoughts and emotions. difficulty in deciding if the Lord is leading you to trust your gut or step out on faith. wondering if safe is right this time or if leaving your comfort zone sooner than you planned will lead you to what’s best. who knows.

But, what I do trust is that when we keep our eyes on Jesus we will end up where he has planned for us to be a lot faster and with fewer bumps and bruises. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to learn to apply and that can take time.  but trusting His character, gaining the faith to be who we are IN Him, the wisdom to determine right vs not wrong but not best, and submitting to his time table is invaluable and hard. If it were easy, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to guide us….  and proof of his hand and presence wouldn’t be nearly as exciting or praiseworthy. It’s not easy but he can find assurance & peace in his love.

It’s His love for us that draws us to Him, causes us to value Him over the world.
It’s his love that allows us to walk through every circumstance with confidence.
His love protects, plans, provides, guides.
It’s intentional & focused.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble they will never fall, for the Lord holds them up by the hand.
Psalm 37: 23-24

Oh the joys of those who trust the lord….
Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
Psalm 40: 4 & 5






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