This is a topic I scribbled in a notebook before I even started the blog. It was a fall-back topic if I needed something to write about. Today I’m writing about it because it is genuinely on my mind.
Back in the Spring, after church one day, I stopped for a quick chat with our minister. “Your spiritual mommies are so proud of you.” She said to me. Spiritual mommies? My mom had been in for a visit the week before, was that what she was talking about? I can’t remember if I asked or the look on my face asked for me, but she announced the names of two women in church that I had been in book group with and had a strong connection to. I thought of the encouragement they give me nearly every time I am in their presence. I have to admit that sometimes when they compliment me I think to myself that surely they are confusing me with someone else. I’m not sure that I’ve even met this person they describe.
So Rev. Jean got me thinking about the spiritual mommy concept and I actually think that within my church I now have four. I sat with one of them on Sunday. When the service was over she hugged me and said “I love being in your essence.” Wow. This wise, beautiful, loving, strong, spirit-filled woman loves my essence?
Aside from my “spiritual mommies,” I have other cheerleaders. I have a partner who quietly watches my success and then announces that he always knew I could do it. I have my writing fairy godmother who sends me emails after our Wednesday meetings and cheers on my work, reminding me to keep going. There is the occasional awesome soul who gets goose bumps when I share an idea I have or a project I’m working on. There are those who read what I’ve written and express how moved they are. There are those who hold a vision for my “career” that even I can’t conjure up.
I don’t know if in the past I really recognized my cheerleaders. I think we often choose people in our lives that we want to support us and get disappointed when they don’t. I’ve been there too, sharing my dreams and goals to no avail. I’ve learned that I haven’t completely let go of a desire for approval from certain people in my life, but I have let go enough to see the loving support all around me.
My cheerleaders are wonderful! They give me confidence when I am lacking in that department. They hold the high watch of my dreams when I am feeling frustrated and rejected. They see glimpses of the best in me and aren’t afraid to tell me so. I am so very grateful for all of them!
I’m writing this post right after finishing “I’m a Pot,” so of course James’ comments are still fueling my inspiration here. In the last comment he wrote, in reply to my friend Renee, he mentioned our brokenness. He said that it is important to learn to live with the brokenness and know that we all participate in it.
So on one hand, I’d agree with that. It is important for me to accept the people, ideas, and things I judge as wrong (or broken). I can’t change other people. I can plant seeds and share my own personal attempts at change and growth, but I can’t make the change happen in someone else. Change is something that comes from within and eventually manifests outwardly. As time passes even the things we call broken change. United States History is a perfect example of that. If no one had ever dreamed of the possibilities of change, many people would still be in shackles both literally and figuratively. So if we just accept the brokenness without trying to fix it, or at least fix it in ourselves, aren’t we being complacent?
I do not claim to be perfect, but I am no longer afraid to pat myself on the back and encourage myself. For the most part, I prefer this to be a positive place on the web. What good does it serve for me to come and talk about how broken I am? I like to work through that stuff on my own and tend to share the story once I’ve learned the lesson. I believe we are all souls and our essence is good. I believe growth and development is the goal. We’re not supposed to be born perfect or be always perfect, but I also don’t think we’re supposed to wallow in being broken and spend energy searching our world for brokenness. When we hit a wall, we ought to look for a way over it. When we see something “bad”, we could ask ourselves if there is a way we could help.
Everyone views the world through their own set of glasses. What is ugly to one person is beautiful to another. There are countless stories of “broken” people doing amazing things. We can’t please everyone, but we should be allowed to be comfortable and happy with ourselves. Our kids will grow up and start their own lives, our spouses, parents, siblings, and friends may not always stick around, but we can never get away from ourselves. With that in mind, what’s wrong with looking for the perfection in our lives, even in the brokenness? What’s wrong with identifying the positive changes in ourselves and encouraging others to do the same?
They arrive in our lives
Pick us up,
Dust us off,
Dry the tears,
from the shadows that loom ahead
They’re there because
far off and lost
too scared to see the path
they give us the strength
help us move through the world
unafraid of the corners and dark places
hold our hands as we face them
dare to walk the darkness by our side
shining their light
leading us ever closer
to that which will
So there is a song that the instructor always plays in the class I take at the gym. I like the song, but it always gets me thinking. It reminds me of the past. So today the song comes on and I think oh no, I really don’t want to hear this today, I’m done with that. Almost as if she could read my mind, the instructor walks over and says “That’s not the right song, today is a NEW DAY.” Then she played that Celine Dion song. I got chills all over and almost started to cry. It is a new day!
I’m coming out of the funk. I’ve written some stuff down and emailed it to some very safe people. It will take a lot more courage than I have right now for me to post it on this blog. But I got it out and I feel better. I go back to North Carolina next week to spend a few days with some wonderful friends. I hope to see a little of my family too. (Hint Hint) My friend is pregnant with twin boys and we are throwing her a baby shower. A while back she sent me (and my 2 other friends) a wonderful email illustrating how much we have all accomplished. She pointed out our successes in education, relationships, parenthood, and careers. It meant so much to read. I was grateful for our success and for her optimistic encouragement.
Everyday we are accomplishing something new. Each tiny step we take is leading us to our next great success. The journey may not be easy, and the steps my seem useless at times, but when we get to where we are going we should be able to look back lovingly at the completed puzzle. The pieces fit, all of them. They make us who we are and allow us to embark on another new day.
Here’s a song I found on youtube, since I really didn’t want to post the Celine Dion song. This was actually the first time I’d ever heard this one…but it fit perfectly for this blog.