help me to surrender my timeline the sequence of my plans the ideas of who my people need to be when i am overcome by expectations and this ticking clock can i trust in your miracles and your majesty that your vision is brighter, greater, wider than what i can see when i sink in my disappointment and fear can you remind me that against your plans for me, i am exactly where i need to be when i feel oh help me to find power in that ability to experience what it means to be human with a god who will catch me even still
when my heart feels stacked with lamentations, i reach for the salve of your psalms, the refuge and the mirror, i have permission once again to demand and expect revelations and proverbs that crack me, the parables can transform to new meanings once again, the good news can penetrate the spaces in me no letter no song no commandment can reach, in the beginning and till the end it is your quiet hovering spirit that lit up the dark
i feel vulnerable and naked when i talk about faith & god like the utterance of god is immediately followed by a need to prove their existence this pressure closes me up does the opposite of what i hope what if i cannot fail what if risking is enough what if pressure is an illusion what i hope is that my presence mirrors the presence of god that my steps and my words and my actions reflect a miracle of being that was only possible by a love so grand and unexplainable it transformed me into what i was made for i continue to choose god i lack proof i lack evidence i lack a satisfactory reason yet this i know god made me different whole open hopeful all things i felt were not a part of me when i felt apart from god and so even when these days i feel that my whole, my open, my hope are fleeting and faint and i stand a fraud the risk is the still choosing still believing still expecting i beg and i plea for god’s presence to wrap me again god’s presence to stare right into my fears to break my armor and my hold to teach me once again the act of surrender and sacrifice not from obligation but from a complete trust in abundance to give is to believe i have enough, more than enough to forgive is to believe i am you and you are me to love is to believe it is the only way we will make it to tomorrow
in the valley of the in-between after letting go of former things or finishing well something proper waiting for the next right thing inhaling the weight of this unpredictable life exhaling the fear of nothing coming again inhaling the emptiness exhaling the ambient loneliness ever present i find faint comfort in darling phrases this too shall pass the lord is my shepherd I lack nothing what is mine will not pass me by instead of accepting and feeding the wallow instead I dare to fan the flame of my pale faith until it deepens and darkens roots in my body so the truth of my enoughness has already arrived even if nothing is to change of my hope of what is to come is about to change everything
Nothing gets under my skin more than when evil and rudeness occur and perpetrators get away from it. From Putin’s ruthless egotistical war to Florida’s ridiculous laws against freedom of speech and sexuality to the men who never move aside and assume YOU need to move, I want to scream. I want heaps of coal to befall these evil doers. Underneath my demand for consequences is my lack of faith in God’s Justice and grace. I don’t fully believe God sees our hurt and our harm. I don’t fully believe that God has our back. I don’t even believe he fully forgives me when I’m the perpetrator of bad.
To believe in mercy is to believe in Justice
To hope for renewal and redemption and repentance is to hope for grace
To demand others be better is to demand for myself to be better. Can I trust that my grace and forgiveness and surrendering my need to retaliate will return to me, strength, love and greater clarity of the human condition?
The art of removing my armor and laying down my defenses requires that I first acknowledge and maybe even allow myself to experience the anger of being hurt/attacked. Even if that’s not anyone’s intention, and I want to believe it’s often not, my perception can overpower reality. Perception can become reality.
So then first, allow for the anger. I can’t run from it, I cannot pretend it’s not brewing and written all over my brows. I cannot ignore my anger. And it too shall pass when I’m too spent from living in that. And after the exhaustion and after a peek into another way of seeing the world, then, there’s a chance for something softer.
Then in my breath, I see my fallibility and tendency to push others then. Then I can see my survival tactics. Then I can see my fear that, if I don’t stand for myself, no one else will! That’s the lie: that we are alone and no one has our back. That’s the lie that’s been passed down from the beginning of time: that we must fend for ourselves because no one has a plan for us otherwise. That’s the lie I’m trying to let go.
In seeing how I have wronged when I feel wronged and when I have offended in my defending, then I can forgive myself and if necessary, ask for forgiveness. The latter is hard and I suck at it. The former is harder, and I overcompensate by doing more, working harder.
Maybe I’m best when I’m too exhausted to defend myself while at the same time, wise and compassionate enough to see everyone around me is just simply scared as well. We are all scared; now who acts out of love still, is the bravest of us all.
I have spent most of my life feeling like I need to protect myself, and showcase strength in a manner that feels on my skin. I have been taught and I have experienced a world that doesn’t have my life and presence as things of importance. Well, then let me show you I’m worthy to be respected. But this actually has only pushed people away, built my own guilt, and encouraged me to build narratives of fear & separation.
Can I trust that my worth is secure by surrendering my need to self-protect? Can I hear all the words and see all the actions from eyes of compassion and grace? Maybe they are not against me. Maybe they are simply hurt and you came across their path. Maybe your lack of defenses will be a connective strength…
Today a man was very rude to me, and I felt my body tense and go into anger. My thoughts built tales about him. I was so angry that he got away with being so mean to me. Already feeling like I missed my fast… I took a breath, and slowly let go. What was under my anger and within my stories? My sadness. My fear. My ability to still hope and still go about life not expecting rudeness. That was an exception. That was not about me. My response is about me.
I really wanted to stick to my personal challenge of writing daily blogs for advent. When I missed one last week, I justified, explained it away by saying it was my sabbath. It wasn’t a trickery. It made sense in the moment, and I really liked how that explanation bloomed out of my own mishap.
However, trying to write this week has been hard. My brain feels uninspired. My heart felt uninspired. Maybe I had used up my week’s worth of inspiration creating that 11:11 album. I listened to it on Tuesday and was sobbing myself; it does work having someone cheer you on when you feel like you’re crushed in the dumps. I skipped + missed writing the last two days. I didn’t have much to say. And I already felt like my last post was being phoned in. Why? What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to prove to? I think it becomes a bit inevitable that you feel responsible to the community that might read these posts, and I guess I didn’t want to let you down. So if some of the last posts were eh, I’m sorry. I’m trying. Why didn’t I just say, I got nothing to say…?
But today I do have something because last night I got rejected from a writing lab I really wanted to be in. I’ve been working on a screenplay for 4 years and for this Sundance fellowship, I pulled 3 all nighters to write 5 personal essays and complete the 2nd draft. That week in October, I worked from 8a-4:30pm, had rehearsal from 6-9pm, and worked on my application from 9-3am. It was hard, and it was glorious. I felt motivated. I felt like this is what my life can be full of — meaningful civic work, acting projects that are important, and creations that could change the world. I was really excited and I sent in my application. And I waited for the last two months.
Before the no, you have not been selected, I felt hope. I felt possibility. I felt excited imagining the people on the other side seeing my story and my heart. I felt excited about a future where I could have collaborators that understood how I saw the world and where I want to take this world. My waiting was full of possibility + hope. And the no came and the flood erupted. Duh. You suck. Of course, it would never happen. The sadness. The frustration. The desire to just stop working on this story because very very honestly I may just not have what it takes. I’m sad. And I’m disappointed in myself. And my mind starts to even wander into places of comparison — why does SHE always get it? why do people like THEM get these? people like me…never…
Sometimes in the waiting, you do get an answer, and it brings up feelings and beliefs. How can these answers, which we want, getting an answer, be more helpful than harmful?
Maybe it’s a sign to take a break. Maybe it is a sign to stop altogether. However, this I know. It’s an opportunity to embrace the feelings and question the harmful beliefs that come up. It’s an opportunity to invite the right people into this heartache or tough moment. It’s an opportunity to reevaluate the deep deep goal. For me, I wanted the validation that I am good enough of a writer and I wanted a community to collaborate together with.
Every answer in this lifetime of waiting is an opportunity to witness what comes up, what we care about in this world, and who we can share. We can’t do this alone. We can’t. We are made for community.
The faith of possibility and fulfillment walks hand in hand with the risk of disappointment. The taste of disappointment reveals what our heart wants. What our heart longs for gives way to the the potential of promises coming true. And like that, we are back at the beginning. We all experience this cycle of hope, lack, and hopefully deeper awareness of self. When the unnecessary fall away and we get to heart of what we really need and want, it expands our terrain of hope. Maybe, it’s not that we dream too big, but that we dream too small because we forget our own capacity to hold. Maybe we have to dream bigger. Maybe we have to realize, our hunger is deep and that makes us even more attentive and active.
Don’t settle. Want more. Hope for more. Pray for more. Dare to feel the lack which leads to that magical moment of satisfaction.
Today’s waiting feels heavy and unfair. Today’s waiting entices me to compare my life with others. Today’s waiting makes me want to eat my feelings so I can get to tomorrow and hope IT HAS ARRIVED. Today’s waiting is really forcing me to be present in each moment. Today’s waiting made me sensitive to the arrival of the most meaningful gifts that I might not have fully felt if I wasn’t in this present state. Today’s waiting reminds me that I can rest in my waiting. Today’s waiting reminds me that maybe this right now is part of what’s to come. It’s already here. I’m sensitive. I’m expectant. I’m hopeful. And it’s all about the ways to build up that hope.