At the beginning of teaching an aerial hammock class, I usually begin with what we call the "cocoon" pose. We all awkwardly hop into our fabric like a swing set seat, and then glide or tug the fabric up over our heads till we can safely plop them down in the covering. Then, our feet catch the edge of the fabric and we extend the fabric out past our feet so we are fully covered and most importantly,
That is what I want to talk about in this blog. What does it mean to be fully held?
For me, it has felt both liberating and uncomfortable at the same time. I have cried tears of guilt over it as much as I have rejoiced for it. Nevertheless, learning to receive is a different process for everyone, and I want you to know that you are not alone if it is hard for you to receive too.
If it is easy for you, keep showing [rather than preaching] to us how easy it is!
In other words, keep shining in the wholesome and compassionate ways that you are, leaving space for us to see a reflection on our own timing.
I cannot speak for everyone but when it comes down to it, the culprit and the thief of receiving is living in the illusion of unworthiness.
"God has to pass through the filter of how I see myself to show me how He sees me." Quote by Shannon Evette
Our responsibility is to heal those parts of ourselves and stop entertaining thoughts God is not thinking of us. In doing so, God can breakthrough and show us who we really are at the center of our core which is WORTH the cost of all the uncomfortable and awkward parts of jumping into that cocoon of receiving.
Yesterday, as my students were all snuggled in their cocoons, I began class with a word from God, "All day we carry. We carry our burdens and the burdens of others. In this moment, can you allow yourself to be held?"
The truth is, I ask myself this question daily. When I am struggling, embarassed and do not want to admit it to my partner, I ask myself, "Can you allow yourself to be held?"
In that aerial class, there was a woman with a sweatshirt that said "WORTHY" on it in big capital letters. I chuckled on the inside because I knew God sent her to me.
All day I had been plagued by some terrible, offsetting anxiety that made me want to hide. He was saying "Let Me show you, in big and apparent ways, how I desire for you to see yourself."
The ironic thing is this: I hear from people so often, "You seemed offputting when I first met you. You seemed intimidating."
This has always shocked me but I am also aware that I have been in survival mode pretty much my whole life and guards have rightfully been put up.
If this message is for you too, I am honored to pass it on.
Sometimes, our messes are meant to be carried together, collectively, in a way of saying,
"Your mess is also mine. I will carry you."
Recently, I have been realizing how unworthy I feel of receiving true, genuine friendships. To be quite frank, they have never been easy for me For the few that have remained loyal, even when my messes are revealed, I am forever grateful.
I remember my best friend sitting front row for my entire divorce. She even came with me to tell my parents because I felt so ashamed to be the second person in our entire famiy lineage to be getting a divorce. She said, "I will carry that with you."
It has been brought to my attention that I have given myself the same role in friendships--the carrier-- and rarely ever allowed myself to allow a friend to carry my mess.
I felt guilty and almost as if I was physically hurting them. I would tell myself stories like, "My mess is mine." I could not see that my mess needed to be carried too--that revealing my sorrows was not going to drown them. Additionally, I need to trust their ability to actually carry it.
When Jesus came to me in Hawaii of 21', I felt relieved! Finally! Someone is going to carry my mess for me! But slowly and gradually, Jesus kept sending me friends and family members who I felt so vulnerable with...it is an awfully-feeling miracle! LOL...all jokes aside, I am serious. Being vulnerable feels awful but it is a miracle when it happens for a tough exterior like myself.
Although Jesus is the greatest burden carrier of all, he does not want us to miss out on the beautiful human experience of friendship and partnerships that carry one another's messes--the divorces, the depression, the suicidal thoughts, the miscarriages, the addictions, the abortions, the trauma, the family issues, the grief--we all have messes...
I swear I am not obssesed with the author Shauna Niequist but at the same time, she writes in a way I can understand and today the chapter God had me read was "Your Mess Is Mine." Anyone else get Vance Joy vibes? I have loved that song for years and now, it rings and sings even more profoundly in my heart...
Because the next time I sing it, it will not be from the perspective of me carrying somone elses mess but it will be a song FOR my mess being carried so lovingly by the people God sends into my life in this messy but beautiful season.
"Because that is what we do; we carry the mess together. Your mess is mine."