Hey there bloggy friends! I’m a bit late with the “dirty laundry” I promised last week, but I’m here. I’d say I’m late because it’s been busy around here, which would be partially true.
"The Gap" is that space between where I am and where I think I should be. It is the space (that sometimes seems ever so wide) between who I am and who I think I should be! It’s when you get stuck in that discouraging place in your head of feeling like, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you do and give, you are just not enough, and that what life has handed you is not enough, or even down-right unfair.
Here's an idea of some of the things that go through my mind when I'm stuck in "The Gap":
You're so unorganized - everything is a mess around here. And, these girls are so sweet to leave such kind comments and send such nice e-mails, why can’t you just be like everyone else and stay on top of replying to your e-mails. And, why can’t you just have a “normal” blog where you post all kinds of pretty sewing projects – why do you have to do this stupid “Soul Food”. If you didn’t waste all those hours writing – you’d have a lot more fun, sewing posts to share. And, who are you anyway, your life isn’t perfect – it’s far from perfect. You can't even stick to a shedule, much less a diet . . . . And, then there may be there is some ruminating on old hurts and wounds, unfair situations, some frustration that I'm not as good as the people I admire so much in the world . . .
Does this sound familiar to any of you? Do you know anybody who thinks like this?
1. It can be very discouraging (paralyzing if you get stuck there too long), it wastes a tremendous amount of energy that could be better spent loving and enjoying life;
2. we miss the blessings and gifts, both those we are meant to give, and those we are meant to receive; and
3. when my mind is distracted by all of this negative mental chatter, I am not present to really relax, hear, enjoy and love the people in my life.
Generally, I fall into “The Gap” when I don’t take proper control of my schedule, and self-care gets thrown to the bottom of my “To Do List”. I stop getting regular exercise or taking adequate time for reading, prayer and journaling, or taking time to do things that I really enjoy (like sewing and embroidery).
1. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Teilhard de Chardin). This simple thought reminds me not to take this human life too seriously (it’s really short by comparison – and it's meant to be enjoyed).
2. I am not indispensible, and nothing is really that important. The truth is that, if I died tomorrow, the sun would rise and set, the moon would come out at night, and everything that needs to be accomplished will be accomplished – whether I’m here or not. It’s not me and my to-do list that keep the earth spinning on its axis, it is a Source far greater. So, it's okay for me to relax - and not worry so much.
3. Everything in my life is good and perfect for me. My particular personality, my strengths, my weaknesses, all the joyful times and all the painful times, the many blessings and the many trials I’ve had in my life and in my relationships – all of it has been, is, and always will be perfectly suited to teach me, to grow me into the woman I'm meant to become. It is perfectly suited to bring me right where I need to be - right here, right now, in this perfect, present moment.
As I begin to quiet myself and move self-care back up on the “To Do List”, I realize that I’m not perfect – and that’s okay (it’s called being human). Sometimes life allows me to reply to comments sooner than others – sometimes life doesn’t – and a “Thank You Giveaway” will have to do.
As for not being more organized and scheduled and skinny– well, there are other things that matter more to me like enjoying time and good food with family, and cultivating inner beauty, and so my time and energy are more focused on those things - and that's okay.
As for not being perfect, and still writing – well, I’ve read hundreds of books on life, love, and spirituality that have so transformed my life. And, there is not a single author I know that is perfect. Yet, I am so very grateful for the love and wisdom they have shared with me through the tough times in my life – so grateful they didn’t wait until they were perfect to write.
You see we can fight who we are and where we are in life. We can make ourselves, our work, our husbands, our kids, and everything else bad, unfair, and wrong. We can be angry and frustrated, and make ourselves miserable. Or, we can choose to embrace who we are and where we are in life as part of a greater plan. We can open our hearts to valuable lessons, the things life is trying to teach us in both our own human frailty and the human frailty of others – lessons on unconditional love, peace, rest, joy, meekness, forgiveness, acceptance, trust, gentleness, humility, and surrender.
Oh, and as for why I write these Soul Food posts – well, I write for you, my bloggy friends. I write them so you know that there is someone out there who understands, so you know you're not alone. I write to share some of the things that have helped me on the journey – in hopes that it might help some of you. I write for my children, who I know will have dark days, too. I write for Studly, my Beloved, with whom I get the joy of sharing this jour . . .
. . . . . (WARNING: Sap Limits of this Blog Exceeded) . . . . . .
I’m seriously thinking of having this old Chinese Proverb tattooed on my forehead
“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
What do you think – do you think a tattoo would look good on me?