There's the new bakery in KC I'm quite enamored with. I'm a big fat sucker for pastry and iced americano's, so you add Anthropologie wallpaper and I will declare it my home. They will be my people, their recipes my recipes.
The second best thing to their cranberry orange scone is meeting my friend there for breakfast every other Friday. We've tried other places, but they can keep their crepes, I will be eating muffins like they're going out of style. I digress. These little breakfasts are cherished. It's a steady place for me to say the truth of where I'm at, without explanation, without "why", without pretense. In fact, when those are present it's typically met with a hard stare because who actually has themselves figured out?
My boss has taken his family to Colorado for the month for their July Sabbath. This means lighter work days, reading time, holiday, and lots of time to just look and see. My truth last Friday morning about what I'm seeing was that I am a whole lot worse of a person that I thought I was. Most of my wrongness revolves around the fact that I'm terribly selfish and incomprehensibly arrogant.
As I'm slowing down this month and finding myself feeling through things, part of what I've needed to think about is my busyness. Not just HOW busy I am but how I PRESENT my busyness, I don't think I'm the only one either. I tell people I'm busy like they should be impressed. I pack my schedule then tell people I don't have time because somehow I believe being busy makes me important. And the busier I am, the more important I am, and if you don't understand that then it's just because you're not as important as I.
See what I mean by incomprehensibly arrogant?
And I just doubt I'm the only, mainly because my friend was the one who said it first. I can only bet that you feel that too whether or not you think it. We live in a culture that finds elusiveness endearing. Tenacity and longevity are boring. To be interesting you have to be up and coming and different. Wearing a miniature bun on the top of your head and picking out the essence of acorn in your coffee. Or naming your child Symphony and protesting the gluten in your pasta.
Busyness, liking how you look, enjoying food, fostering uniqueness in children and being cognizant of health issues are good things to care about. They are terrible things to determine your importance. I tend to lean towards time management, likability, and introversion as being my qualifying factors. These are areas where I squirm and get tense when people try to engage them not on my terms. And when my friend said that about importance and busyness I just found myself saying, "yeah, I actually think that too".
I'm enamored with Dr. David Benner's works right now. This month I have read Surrender to Love and The Gift of Being Yourself. Both about discovery of God through the means of self-discovery. He asserts that God has created us so intertwined with Him that the better we come to know ourselves, the better we will know who He is. One of his encouragements to how to get to know oneself better is through meditation and reflection at the end of the day. Stick with me, it's not as Mother Earthy as it sounds.
He suggests that we practice sitting quietly for five minutes and just thinking about our day, remembering interactions as they come to us and registering how we felt about them. He reminds that this isn't an exercise in determining why we felt what we did, just in knowing THAT we felt it.
For the ten minute meditation he proffers that we should read the through the Gospels in short spurts, no more than fifteen verses at a time, and think imaginatively about them. Consciously putting yourself into the circumstance and wandering there for a few minutes.
Both of these practices have proven themselves extremely disquieting at first, mainly because there's no measurement. I can't gauge the quality of my time when I do this. I can only be there and participate. I am not responsible for or even sure how anything can come of such practices, but as I'm attempting to just show up I'm finding myself seeing Jesus to be a lot more tangible than before. A lot more capable. A lot more.
Right now, my truth is that I'm really bad. Sometimes I just avoid people because I feel like I'm only capable of ruining things. How surprising for me to find out that the truth about MY truth is that I can see that reality and not feel hopeless. Because as I am not responsible to know why I feel what I feel, I'm not responsible to change how bad I am. I just have to recognize it because in sitting with Him, I find it goes immediately and exclusively hand in hand with a need for Jesus. One that sees my horror and says that He's a safe place for me. He will help me to not be a ruiner. He will help me realize that to be busy is not synonymous with importance. He will help me to be present and slow down and rest and not try so hard. This month has revealed that I am actually not gaining any traction by doing so anyway.
I'm taking a lot of time to digest this. And I'm liking it that way. This is how it's seeping down deep in my bones, altering my DNA and redeeming my humanity. These are the moments where everything is the least controlled and I feel the most safe.