Sunday, January 30, 2011

{on belonging}

We all care about belonging. It's an inherint part of our makeup. Those who don't feel the need or desire for belonging often don't have the ability to tap into compassion or love. But why now and why discuss it? I think it's an important focus of development at least for myself anyway.

Yesterday, I quite honestly had a meltdown. Not a bitter rash of nasty words, hyperventilating or road rage. I had tears that wouldn't stop flowing and I struggled right there and then to figure out what my big deal was because I can't handle not knowing why I do something for no reason. So pushing my normal assumptions of lack of sleep, lack of a good lunch, hormones, no sunshine aside, I just sat there as I drove around town (I do alot of good thinking while I drive or for that matter shovel, which I've been doing a lot of lately). I came to realize more and more powerfully that I struggle with vulunerability in a huge way. Because I know that if I didn't struggle with it I wouldn't have been crying about my inability to ask someone for help when I really really need it.

I am a research minded person. If you can't measure it, it doesn't exist. There has to be a reason for a reaction (therefore my quick ramble through my mental list) you are strong, you can press on, you can make it and don't let anyone else step in your (mental) way of keeping you away from your destiny. Only, sometimes the strongest need a lapse of brevity. Sometimes, as Samson found in the book of Judges the lion must be slain so the sweet can come out. (Judges 14:5-20).

So I have been contemplating alot lately about the sweet, contemplating on the way that the wholehearted live. What is the difference between me and those others that live in the same world I do but live it with more passion, peace and strength of character. The researcher inside me got to work. Which of course brings me back to vulnerability. Vulnerability seems to be the core of shame and fear and our struggle for worthiness. But it is also the birthplace, it seems, for joy, creativity, belonging and love. We as a culture numb vulnerability. You can't selectively numb emotion. When you numb you numb the other healthy emotions of joy, gratitude and belonging. Why do we numb and how do we numb? Do we numb through food, drugs, alcohol, avoidance, anger, sleep, work? And why do we do it in the first place? Is it easier then facing the past? Easier then looking at a future that doesn't have any answers? Sure it is. It is easier but I say that it is a slow killer. Let's just take this from personal experience.

Vulnerability is the key to the entrance of a real heart that beats deeply inside you. Offering it up deeply, without reserve will allow you to find out what it is that you are numbing. In my experience, when you ask people about love they tell you about heartache. When you ask them about belonging they'll tell you the most excruciating stories about being excluded. And when you ask them about connection they'll tell you about their lack of connection and their loneliness for it.

That brings me to shame. Shame and fear are the direct result of us worrying about our ability to connect. Are we worthy? Are we ready? Are we what they want? Are they what they need? Connecting is an excruciating vulnerability. It opens you up to evaluation. And who enjoys the thought of being that translucent, especially when fear and shame are the vocabulary that rules your role in belonging? 

So there are three things I found that offer insight into your sense of worthiness and vulnerability (this was a long car ride).




It is my experience that those who have the courage and are willing to let go of who they thought they should be to settle into who they actually are found the compassion within themselves to let others live their lives as well as their own and ultimately it came back to those people feeling more connected.

So long story short, I learned something on that drive and hope that in your pursuit to find some peace about your role that you don't beat down the same path over and over again. Address the facts, take into consideration your past and your character, then do an inventory on why you are numbing and how. Let it go, let it heal, let this be the year of freedom from your emotions.

So why was I crying in the first place? In the Word of God it says to fear the Lord God alone. When in reality most of my life I have been more fearful about the words of man, the attempts of man on my life and the struggle I have always had of pleasing man (aka people) in order to make the life of that person easier less chaotic and in other words carefree. What I discovered was that in my attempts to bring peace to other people I lost out on peace for myself because I cared too much over their opinion to rule my life in fear, shame and isolation. In Psalms 56:3-4 David the Psalmist cries out to God in his love saying, "But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere man do to me?" When you don't like something you have written you erase it right? That big eraser goes after those words of man, causing friction, a leftover of rubber. Only God can erase the bad in your life, the evil that was done when no one else was watching. And even though the friction is uncomfortable and burns, He blows away the rubber into the wind and you are given a new slate a new approach and a new way of thinking. So face the demons. Remember that you are NOT alone and instead recall that if God is for you who can be against you. Pull yourself up (like I had to do) and know that you were created to be seen and to be known and that you are enough just the way you are.

Be enouraged and take heart! Happy weekend!


Related Posts with Thumbnails