I’ve been a little all over the map this last week in my head, so I’m going to get a little bit real and lay a little bit of it out here…you’ve been warned.
When looking at the whole self (mind, body, soul), one of the most complex parts of this journey, transformation, whatever you want to call it, for me has been that leg of transforming emotional wellness. I’m guarded in a lot of ways when I get into this area–sure, I’ll discuss issues of self worth and self esteem–what women (and even men) don’t struggle with those things? But there’s things too that go a lot deeper than that, and honestly, I don’t talk about it for three main reasons 1) I don’t have the mental capacity at this point in life to even have the intellectual conception of how to put words to it in order to carry a conversation–this is still a God-in-process project. 2) Not everyone would understand the construct. That’s okay–sometimes life is just a little to real for some, and I’m not at a place where that part of my story makes a difference in the grand scheme of the world, and because of that fact, I’m not going to put myself in a place where my effectiveness is minimized because of it. 3) There is a sad reality that the world doesn’t always see you as a new creation in Christ, that they see you as your past mistakes, the things that you’ve done, or what has been done to you, and place a worth judgment on those instead of focusing on the present and what you can offer in the here and now.
I’m pretty decent at acknowledging other’s feelings and even taking on the burden of feeling other people’s feelings (I’m not sure how I feel about the whole empath deal, but let’s just say I haven’t reached a verdict on the issue–in some cases I’ve experienced, I’m going with plausible), but when it comes to myself–forget it. I even have a memory of a conversation I had with someone where it was important that I be able to identify in that time what feelings I felt, and we sat in silence for quite a long time until I finally broke down in tears out of mental frustration not being able to put words to the emotions that I felt. I couldn’t tell the person how I felt–sounds silly, right? I fully admit that I am emotionally immature in some ways because life being life, but that’s not to say I’m not learning and growing over time, that conversation was what some days feels a lifetime ago and in other ways not, but there’s been good distance and a lot of progress in my life since that point.
This last week has shaken that comfort zone a little bit…which means, more growth. I was in a class that challenged some of my thoughts on feelings–more specifically, how I “feel” my feelings (which I admittedly don’t have a good perception of) and what I do with that information. The next phase of this discussion went into that of worth, again, something I can instill and affirm in others–but haven’t really invested the understanding to break through the walls in my heart and mind to fill that emotional bank account to understand my own.
I preach it from the pulpit, I tell people often, I have no problem to tell another person of their great and powerful worth for who they are as a child of God and what they mean on this planet…but here’s the real truth: I struggle very much in translating that to my own self. The idea of three simple words, “you are enough,” has the full capability of bringing me to my knees in tears because I truly don’t comprehend. I can’t explain it. I just don’t. People can tell me this until they’re blue in the face–I don’t know why I can’t let it make that 18″ mind-heart connection either and take hold of this one.
It brings me back to the insecurity of the very beginning of all of this, when I was at my complete breaking point in countless areas of my life and cried out to God that something had to change, but that I didn’t know what that looked like (who would’ve guessed redeemed health, weight loss, an insane love of running, incredible spark in so many other things too numerous to even list?! Not me!). All I knew was that I was living a hypocrite–helping others when I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) help myself. Quite obviously, that’s not the case any longer as I am so grateful for the great and mighty work that God has done so far and what is yet to come, and that I very much practice what I preach, but–there’s a but. I’m reminded again that I’m still a work in progress.
I’ve met a lot of goals, but I’ve got a lot still in many arenas left to achieve. There is work to be done, but God’s brought me to this time and place for a reason. I’m shaken at this point to tackle these things head on with a purpose–because He’s equipped me for it in His time. I may not feel secure or strong in my abilities or knowledge of what’s to come in God’s great work in me, but it’s not about my security or strength alone–it’s about my trust in an Almighty God who has called me to be obedient to His will. He hasn’t steered me wrong so far, so let’s see where the ride goes now?