This is written according to my musings and experience - in no way I am trying to attack or offend; only to give a perspective and provoke some thinking about this subject.
You want to kick and scream don't you?
But you've been told that little girls should nod and keep their lips sealed.
They should only speak when spoken to.
They should only try be the best 'whatever' for a girl, they shouldn't want to be better than the boys to.
They should laugh when boys will be boys. Little girls shouldn't feel ashamed when a boy spies on her in the shower or 'accidentally' sees up her skirt.
If they kick your chair - tell them to quit it. Loudly and with confidence.
Hah. Speak up little one. Do not nod your head and tolerate it.
You do hit, run and kick like a girl - because you are one and they can't help but be jealous of the way your eyes sparkle when you've been beaten down and choose to get back up again.
There will be good guys in your life. I repeat: there will be good guys in your life. They'll make you get out of the house when you don't want to. They'll ask you how you're doing hours, weeks and years after dads death. They'll hold you close and they'll be with you and sit with you - they'll help you find your laugh again.
They'll tease you, and challenge you. They'll be there for you. You'll be so thankful for them. It will seem like you never even met a jerk. But you did - and they are still around. They just don't bother you like they used to.
hey eyelashes and toes, fingertips and funny bone, hey hair on my head and back of my neck.
I haven't felt at home very often. I've always felt quite out of place. And I'm beginning to enjoy calling you home. I feel like we're starting to get along. We are starting to love each other. To enjoy the gift of being intricately woven as we are.
We can feel so detached? Can we not? We run and go and stop and hurry and stop and go again.
Then we stop, we cease, we begin to rest and we feel heart beating louder, louder saying "I am here, I am here. Please remember me."
When we stop, we feel tired joints and achy limbs. We feel our souls sighing and our heart beating - oh so fast.
mind affects body.
We get sick, we feel sad, we feel lost. Often it is body telling us to listen... to me.
Often body is just used as a means to get places, to do stuff.
I once heard it said so poetically: that without body - there is no touch. No hugs, no tears, no hands grasped around a table to give thanks for nourishment to our very bones and blood.
Here we are - having to face what we have been given. Make peace with body, your body. The one you've been gifted.
I know - I can almost hear you thinking.
"Easier said than done."
And I agree. It is easier to say something and not actually believe it - not actually live as if it were true.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Practice. Practice until you get it, and then practice some more - because this is a lifetime. You will not be perfect with loving body today, you will not be perfect with loving the life you were given tomorrow.
You've been given these days. To enjoy, to delight, to find hope flowing through suffering. Most of all to be of service to friends and foes, to those you love and those whom you haven't yet come to love.
This, this beautiful thing pull it out of the overflow of your heart, of what you've been given. Keep your heart soft. It is much easier to discard it - to throw away your imagination, your feelings and emotions but I want to suggest a better way.
A way that you pay attention to doubt, you let fear say what he thinks - but then (and this is important) - you take a deep breath, you seek truth and you go on your way.
it could be
from what you think
but we need you,
do not let fear win
love is near
as close as your breath
breathe in, and out
but do something
you are something
maybe silence is
we need you,
we need what you have to say
the thing you are most afraid
we are waiting
we need you
tell the truth
is the answer
but we need you to raise your voice
believe in it
you have vocal cords
make something with them
we'll be waiting
and we cannot wait
what you have to say
I often neatly wrap my words up into perfectly, curated bundles before I hand them to you. I cater and tailor them just for your hands to grasp them, for out of your mouth the Oooh's and Aaah's - at my life. There comes a point where this is dangerous. This is when I try and judge the situation and do everything I can to make sure that all is in place, shiny and sparkling before I give it to you.
Life is not neat, its not tidy. Often our stories, feelings and perspectives are flawed. They have pieces missing and scratches here and there. They are imperfect - because you are not perfect. (And side-note: no-one asked you to be.)
You are already worthy - you do not have to twist your words to fit the situation, to just emphasise this, or to tweak that to sound like you have it together. Trembling under your breath, telling yourself again and again "It's under control...I'm fine." with some "Don't worry about it - I got it." Only to later be in the shower, beating yourself up for not having it together and also wondering why you re-packaged your story yet again.
Living in relationships with others is messy. It is up to you, up to me, up to us to tell the imperfect, messy truth. Not to air out all our dirty, tired, broken pieces that we haven't yet sifted through and looked at. But rather to offer up a piece of ourselves simply trying to say "I'm doing what I can, but I'm not perfect - I am not everything you want me to be".
Honesty is hard - yes. But it will bind us up, broken pieces and all. We all need to take a breath or two. Be honest. Be true to your stories. You don't long to be impressive, you long to be loved. And you can only be loved as much as you're known.
And being known for all the shiny stuff - that isn't true belonging.
Thats where the difficulty is in our culture, it is so much about being impressive but not about being known. On many occasions I have been envious of friends, of people on the internet and what they're accomplishing and where they're traveling to - only later to have one of them fall into my arms feeling alone and not cared for or to hear about a hard, hard time in a well-known person's life.
Here's a piece of my heart friend, I went to New Zealand for a year last year. And I've found myself bringing it up whenever I felt I needed to sound a bit more impressive and it always works. I loved New Zealand, it was an incredible experience. However what I didn't add was the part about the buckets of tears I cried and the uncertainties I went through that my people prayed, thought of and stayed on the phone with me through.
You do not need to go tell everyone - everything.
Find your people, your safe group, those that you can call anytime night or day and let them sift through the broken pieces with you.
The next time you see someone on Instagram or in person and it looks like they have the perfect everything and neatly wrapped up bundles of "I've got this" - just know that that's not the whole story.
I've been away from home since I was 7. From home school to daygirl, weekly boarder to full time boarder to a year across the world in NZ. And I still struggle, I still miss the dogs constant need for attention and walks. My mum sauntering in for breakfast and asking if I want tea. To my brother and his excitement to watch a new NCIS episode with me.
The ordinary, everyday moments are those I most hold close to my heart these days. When I miss my dad, its not me wanting to be swimming with a dolphin with him (although that was AHHH-MAZING). It's rather wanting to hear the sound of his motorbike coming in for a meal, a nap or to 'puzza' some tea outside.
The memories and photos I love more than anything are the ones where my dad is holding me upside down for the dog to lick my face or when I was little and every night I would climb onto him on the couch and get a kiss and a hug before bed (or the few times when I forgot to say goodnight and he would wake me up for that everyday, ordinary but beautiful ritual).
It's times when I would hop on the kitchen freezer and talk to my mum while she cooked dinner or when dad would push my brother and I on the tyre swing with giggles and urging 'Higher dad, higher' and that feeling of childlike joy as we were swung high into the sky and down back into the safety of dads grip.
The reason this has been coming up for me is because I get wrapped up in other things, I get pulled and swayed and go along with the crowd. I spend too much time comparing and looking at the lifes of others rather than living my own life. Rather than being present in the HERE and NOW. Of putting my phone down and looking into the eyes of those around me. Words like hurry and hustle, words like chaos and control are not ones I want coming out of my life. But ones like grace, simplicity, beauty, connection and presence are the ones I want to define what others feel in my company.
I will not look back and regret having put away my phone, turning off the TV and shutting down constant noise of the internet. I will not regret going out of my way for a stranger or a friend as well as paying attention to what my body and heart needs. I will not regret caring for people and caring for myself. I will not regret working hard, resting hard, loving hard and fighting for people and things I believe in. I will not regret doing things that light me up and encouraging others to become the best versions of themselves.
I will not regret being fully alive, feeling my emotions without letting them drive me and breathing in and out; surrendering beautifully and waking up and going to sleep with intention and peace.
Pitter patter. Pitter patter.
Its pouring now.
Onto the pavement.
Whoosh, the wind is howling.
It is mighty.
You hear the rain on days like these.. and a gentle peace settles over your soul. It is welcome. You take a breath in..and out. I think to myself why are there days that rain feels so needed? Maybe its because the ground is parched and has been waiting for some drops of water to bring it back to life. Maybe its because when it really pours down, you feel that it is letting go, it is letting it all out. Much like us, it needs to release its angst, its weariness, its tiredness, its enoughness.
It reminds us that life can be really hard and that sometimes a release is just what is needed.
Because sometimes the sun feels obnoxious when the whole world is hurting. The sun can feel somewhat like putting a bandaid on a gunshot saying "You're fine, don't draw too much attention to yourself."
I sometimes feel a struggle in my soul. Somedays I feel as light as a feather, other days I feel shame setting in. I feel it taunting me, I get moody, I withdraw. It makes the shame worse. I want to sleep the day away.
It feels exhausting putting a face on when your soul is hurting. It feels fake to be so weary but answering "I'm good, how are you?" ..so as to not burden the person asking the question. It gets tiring. This mentality of "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, get on with it".
I'm not sure where we get this mentality that God flinches when we talk about uncomfortable things. Jesus sees it all. He sees whats on our heart before we even consciously perceive it. Every thought. Every intention. I've found such freedom in bringing every thought, every emotion, every intention to Abba. He sees it all & loves us despite of all of the muck, all the yucky stuff we don't want anyone else to see. Our father sees. And He wants us to bring it to Him. Processing with Him is the most beautiful thing we can do. He wants all of us. Not just the tidy parts.
I feel lighter these days. I feel like I'm seeing the world with more colour. I notice and thank Jesus for the love notes in form of friends, 'coincidences', answered prayers, memories, songs & seeing long ago friends. The cloud feels like its lifting. For the first time in a few months, years even. I feel like I'm returning to myself, I feel like a kid again. Laughing, finding delight, my heart is so happy. And I feel grateful for the rain & I'm beginning to welcome the sun, in its glory. It breathes hope these days.
There are times. Last night even. That it feels like the cloud has come back. I have nightmares & it feels like I've lost myself. I've lost my dad all over again.
I ask friends for prayer. I breathe. I thank Jesus that He is always so close. I whisper 'help' to Abba. He holds me close. I feel loved. I feel adored. And when I feel so shaken, He comforts. It doesn't always go fully away. But I see his fingerprints and His love everywhere these days. And when I don't I seek it out. I seek beauty. I look over journals and see how He has his hands all over my life. And that even when I falter, even when I stuff up, even when I feel the cloud coming back, even when I miss my dad with everything I am, even when I can't get out of bed... -
He whispers to my soul "You don't ever have to do this alone, I'm right here. I never left' And I smile because loving Jesus is the best adventure I've ever had and He sees it all and loves me still. Delights in me even. I feel seen. I feel heard. I feel close to my Abba. I feel Holy Spirit all around. I stop in awe at how good Jesus is. He keeps getting better and better. Or maybe I'm just learning to see Him better and He was this amazing the whole time?
At first I was numb, dazed, confused
Three seconds later it was like a knife down my throat
Cutting me from the inside and out
Will I? Will we be able to withstand this?
Oh the pain of losing someone; you cannot fathom
They tell me it was an accident
Cups of tea to soothe the pain
Tissues all around us, just dry up all your tears
But you see I haven’t stopped crying since
Your whole world changes,
Waking up day after day in agony
While the rest of the planet moves on to day to day life
Flinging “You’re so strong” comments into the air; missing my broken, bleeding heart
P.S this is the about the day of my dads accident. I have my down days like any of us but I don't feel the way I did years ago. :) I am however very familiar with pain and still working through things. I struggle with my bit of anxiety & depression. More on that to come.