You Are Not Your Struggle
It's been quite the week. I feel like lots of my (self-assigned) assignments got pushed to the side to create space for others. I was tempted this weekend to be frustrated by that, recognizing that the output goals I had for myself were not hit, yet I was present to gratitude that I had created the space to BE WITH people. After a week of heavy-hitting conversations with lots of people about identity and authenticity, I wanted to share one of my key reflections.
You are not your struggle...
It's easy to become encumbered. We think of ourselves as what we do. We think of ourselves as a product of our circumstances. I'm inclined sometimes to think that the current expression of me IS me, but this isn't true.
We all have scripts and stories that play out in our heads. We have a whole committee of voices that SOUND like us even as they accuse us, so we think it IS us. It's not, it's just our brain.
We have material facts of our lives that can feel limiting and confining. We have roles, obligations, tasks, and challenges. It can feel like we are merely the sum of our actions towards these projects and possibilities, and it becomes especially defeating when we find ourselves not succeeding. It feels okay when we've got our shit together, but it sucks when we're playing catch-up. WE ARE NOT WHAT WE DO.
Whether you are clouded in anxiety or depression or you are on top of the world... YOU ARE NOT YOUR STRUGGLE!!
More than likely, the real you is IN your body, stuck in your head, hidden in a foggy mirror of your own subconscious programming just WAITING to come out and be expressed in the open.
In studying theology, I learned how both cataphatic (affirmative) and apophatic (negative) statements of the divine can be important for our understanding. THIS IS ALSO TRUE OF OURSELVES. We use the cataphatic to remind us of who we are, and we use the apophatic to remind ourselves of who and what we are NOT.
You are not your struggle!
There's a story in the gospels called the transfiguration where Jesus goes up on a mountain and becomes bright and shining to his disciples. This past week, I've felt like the disciples. I've seen people GLOW! I've tasted and seen the glory that is in particular people I know. The beauty, the grace, the power, the creativity... I have been blessed to SEE this! It wasn't that these people (or Jesus, for that matter), suddenly became luminous, it was that I had eyes to see what already was!
You are a luminous being.
Maybe you're where the disciples were following. Maybe you're in a cloud of fear and anxiety. Please know, it's okay if you're there. Know this as well, that you are not that cloud of fear you find yourself in! I'll say it again...
You are not your struggle!
If you're feeling the weight of fear and are in a particularly challenging place, just remember, that struggle isn't WHO you are.
Continue in courage and know that you are INSIDE, just waiting to be expressed. If you're not in that struggle, consider that you may be being invited to hold space for someone else who IS there.
I love you. I see you. I believe in you.
To being our full, authentic selves,