“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” Matt 5:5 MSG
I was thinking about how readily we absorb as our own whatever are the social norms that we are surrounded by,
and how if we don’t do that mindfully, we run the risk of completely discounting any experience we feel that lands outside.
Why does that matter?
Because if we don’t deem valid whatever it is that we feel, we will experience a sort of tension that can make our minds and hearts sick.
And that is because in that tension lies very little space for whatever it is that exists and then rises within, to tell its story, and moreover, move beyond the limits of that story.
In that tension lies untold stories, squashed feelings, and pain that is offered no space to mend – nor, for that matter, is it offered the opportunity to come to new understandings.
I think when you boil it down – therapy is often the exploration of these sites of tension and mental unwellness: I feel this way, but something else within my context tells me that I shouldn’t – and this tension hurts – so what do I do about that?
How do I get rid of this tension when my story, my sense of who I am, doesn’t fit with the way things should be?
I think maybe if we want to contribute to coming alongside our very own self in a way that brings life, we need to be willing to cast aside for a sec,
whatever is the social norm (however right or wrong we believe it may be), if and when we notice it contrasting with something within us.
That will help ensure that we don’t inadvertently place some sort of ill-fitting expectation over our story that, for whatever reason, has fallen outside the bounds of whatever is our ‘normal’ – and subsequently drives us away from the reality of who we are.
I think maybe healing and mending and growth and, even the opportunity to come to new understandings is something that can only birthed out of the kind of openness that is more concerned with creating space for whatever is ‘other’ to first *exist* – in its difference, rather than in its similarity – no matter how ‘wrong or right’ we think it might be.
Learning to do this, I think, is less about trying to box our own and others’ feelings or experiences in to a right or wrong box (which I think we and the social discourses that we are surrounded by will, as long as we are alive, always do),
but simply making a conscious effort to give whatever is being felt the space to breathe, rather than become increasingly pent up, and thus, wreak havoc as a consequence – both within ourselves, and within our relationships with others.
I think whatever happens beyond such efforts holds the potential for magic, and particularly when practiced in relationship with a human ‘other.’
It is a mystery, a risk, but it is one that opens up the space for a deeper, more honest connection with both ourselves and others (and God, for that matter) – and that is a mission, that I think, is well worth its while.