Full & Slow

2013-09-27 07.28.07

When 72nd is particularly slow in the morning and I am stopped on top of this bridge…what a view!

There was a blog that I was reading a few weeks ago whose tagline was:  “Life.  Full and slow.”  I can’t find it back, but those four words have been etched into my soul.

Sometimes I wish I had a different life.  Sometimes I wish my days were slower paced.

2013-09-24 19.22.02

Homemade chicken noodle soup. Homemade. Made at my home. By me.

It’s not that I can’t handle the pace.  I can, and I’m good at it.  It’s just…it’s not without its cost.  Mostly costs to my relationships, which is terrible.  And increasingly, costs to my healthy habits, which will lead to costs to my well-being and happiness.  Which is also terrible.

I live in extremes.  God has invited me to pursue balance.  I thought this was just a 2013 thing…but I’m going to need more time.  I’m going to need to pursue balance for my whole life, aren’t I?

2013-09-23 06.59.42

A particularly gorgeous morning sky a few days ago.

Last weekend I had Friday off as well.  I brought home two huge bags of work.  They remained in the corner, unopened.  I didn’t feel guilty about that.  I felt bad for not feeling guilty, though.  As though I was lazy for choosing, after working 40+ hours in 4 days, to take three days to reconnect with people, to rest, to sleep, to enjoy my home, to visit other places.

First "salted caramel mocha, half syrup please!" of the fall  :)

First “salted caramel mocha, half syrup please!” of the fall 🙂

I refuse to give up.  I will be happy in my life, or I will choose a different one.  Any other option is unacceptable to me.  For now, that means that I will live at a pace that is comfortable to me.  I will live as many “slow and full” moments as I need.  I will run when I need to run…there is nothing in me that wants boredom or stagnancy…and I will walk when I need to walk.

My new love of being up early on Saturdays...or a Friday when I didn't work...I could have missed this!

My new love of being up early on Saturdays…or a Friday when I didn’t work…I could have missed this!

I need to believe that a life that is full and slow is more valuable than a life that is a constant, crazy, demanding race.  I need to trust that I am better in fewer hours when I renew myself in between.  I need to believe it with all my heart, because I need to be able to stand strong when others want me to run like mad.

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I can’t find a better love.

So…you may have stumbled upon my emotions last week.  I said there wouldn’t be an uplifting ending.  No silver lining.  No words of comfort to make it through a long moment of pain.  Just pain.

Less than two days after I typed those words, the uplifting ending became clear to me.

It was already there, in my words.

“Jesus is here, and he’s giving me space to feel what I feel.”  I said that because I didn’t want the reader to think I had forgotten.  I didn’t want the reader to think I was running away.  To be honest, I didn’t want you to think that if you reminded me about Jesus, it would solve my problems.  I didn’t want you to solve my problems.

Well, that thought is my silver lining.

I don’t want to be told to feel less.  I don’t want to be told that my happiness or my sadness is not important.  I don’t want to be told that what I care about isn’t worth caring about.  You wound me deeply when you do that.  I have learned to say things and do things that prevent people from doing that…or things that I imagine will prevent people from doing that.

If I believe that Jesus is with me, that his Spirit lives inside me, then the impulse is to pray that he will take away negative emotions.  That he will, magically and instantly, just erase pain.

But if I look deeper…  Isn’t Jesus supposed to treat me the way I wish other people would treat me?  Isn’t he supposed to love me in ways beyond my imagination’s ability to hope other people would love me?

Based on who I am, based on my deepest needs…  Sitting with me in my strongest emotions is the most loving thing anyone could do.  Not magically taking it away.  Giving me space to feel what I feel.

I have never felt so loved.

{A Space}

Sometimes…this is my place to feel what I feel…remember?

When someone needs space, they don’t usually need physical distance.  They need a space.  They need a place where who they are at that moment is okay.

{I really need who I am to be okay today.}

This has been one of those stupidly terrible days.  Everything in the outside world has been good, and everything inside my head has been terrible.  I’m mad at people for things that aren’t their fault.  I’m hurt by people who didn’t intend to hurt me.  I feel absolutely terrible about things that aren’t a big deal, and aren’t really my fault.  I feel like people are upset with me when they probably are not…at least, not as much as I think.  I feel like I’ve done nothing but cry since I got home, over things that aren’t worth crying about.

And let me be clear:  It’s ALL me.  There is no story worth telling hiding in the previous paragraph.

I hope I’ve hidden it well.  I hope everyone saw me have a good day, or at least didn’t notice me today.

It’s one of those stupid days when I desperately need someone, just one person somewhere, to make it about me.  And there is no one.  Everyone has bigger fish.  There is no one whom I’m willing to take away from their big fish to notice mine.  They should deal with theirs.

Isn’t that how it goes?  A person’s own biggest problem feels just as big, no matter how it compares to someone else’s biggest problem.  Even if it isn’t real.  Even if that person’s emotions are turning things into problems that aren’t.  It’s still very, very real to me.

I don’t know why I’m telling you.  Please don’t comment.  In fact, I’m disabling the comments for this one.  Just give me space to feel what I feel.  My whole entire life, I’ve been criticized for being too happy or too sad.  Too silly.  Too serious.  Too messy.  Too clean.  Care too much.  Want too much.  Do too much.  Feel too much.  Too much everything.  So today, I’m scared that if I’m honest, you will all judge me for feeling too sad.  But feeling judged has never changed anything.  Besides, I like it this way.  And where the damage came from isn’t as important as what I’m going to do with it.  So over and over, even since I was a tiny little girl who didn’t know what I was doing, {I reclaim my right to feel what I feel.}  Yank it back away from the voices of the past that live in my head.

Over and over, but still not nearly enough, if you ask me.  {More, please.}

This one isn’t going to have an uplifting, silver-lining, the-sun-still-shines-behind-the-storm, Jesus-is-my-comfort ending.  Today, I am sad and mad and scared and dealing with it by myself.  {Jesus is here, and he’s giving me space to feel what I feel.}  I’ll go to sleep and start over tomorrow.