This bean vine is ugly, has been since July, and I didn’t pull it because my mother in law once told me: “if they are still flowering leave them be. They will produce when their ready, even ugly things bear fruit.”
Lately I’ve been feeling like this vine looks, tired, useless, brown, and used up. I am a go getter, which is short hand for I’m in constant motion, there is always something to be done, started, produced or conquered in my world. This is what sustains me, or is it? Since my brain bleed episode in August, I have had tons of time to reflect. I’ve started questioning my own value and to revisit how I view my own life. Where do I draw my value as a person from? Does my value come from what I accomplish, how I am perceived by others, the way I look or dress, the people I know or associate with? Who am I at my very core?
Very deep thoughts here and lots of tears because I realized this weekend, while I am great at helping others live lives of joy, I am not always good about following my own words. Just imagine the courage it took to say these words out loud. I am a spiritual director! I believe to my core that we are enough, we are valued just because we ARE. Yet I have lost touch with this core belief for my own self.
This isn’t the first time this has happened. Over my life I have experienced many seasons of self-doubt, we all do. Often self-doubt takes the form of questions: Will I make the right decision? Did I make the right choice? How do I know I’m on the correct path? Other times self-doubt is the voices that repeat old well-worn false story lines in our subconscious: ‘You never get things right?” “Really, that was your best effort?” “You’re not very pretty or you’re weight is up, or you’re not being very nice or you are not a good cook or you’re housekeeping sucks (by the way my housekeeping actually does suck, I hate it!)”. The accusations of not measuring up go on and on. This spiral into darkness can continue into a full out anxiety attack if I allow it to consume me by listening to the negative voices tracks in my head.
There is another way though. I can flip all those negatives into positive sound tracks. Yes, I have made mistakes and I’m resilient, I have recovered from them. In the process of coming back, I’ve learned valuable lesions, I’ve learned how to not make the same mistake twice, how to trust my instincts, how to listen to my heart, not my head. I’m not perfect, I’m human as hell and I’m better now than I was 10 years ago!
I have always loved listening and creating space for others to be heard. I have learned to love deeper, be kinder, honor others values and my own, most of all I’ve come to love myself as I am. I still hate house cleaning and that will not change, but I LOVE to cook for family and friends. I love to garden, flowers and growing things bring me joy. Live music is sheer delight to me, as are sunny days.
Even when we feel in adequate, useless and at the end of our rope there is so much hope and value to be drawn from us. We can grow and bloom, setting fruit just like these beans.
For today I will claim victory over those old recordings, I am replacing them with new ones. I hope this lasts, yet I know the reality is I will slip and fall again, it is part of life. For now though I will be like the bean vine, not the prettiest or the best but producing ripe succulent fruit to be savored and enjoyed with others.
How do you experience the past, is it gift or foe, or is it a mixed bag of nuts? How do you rewrite the ever present negative voices of your past? Do you sit in the sun or walk in nature? Do you paint it out of your system and head? I’d love to hear about your experiences with emotional baggage, and feeling less than. Until next time remember no matter how exhausted and wrung out you feel The Great Spirit can use you in amazing ways!
Are you interested in learning more about spiritual direction and coaching? I am expanding my practice and opening my schedule to accommodate both day and evening appointments. If you are interested in sitting down to have a conversation about how direction might help you move forward, shoot me an email or call me, I would be honored to share my life’s work with you.