When Breathing Reveals How You Actually Feel, Not How You Want to Feel

This is my last week off work before I start my new job officially.  This week I have spent in silence, reading, spending time with friends, exploring different options for a new career, and writing. I have done yoga, Just Dance, and a mediation everyday this week.  I thought I would be feeling great today because of all of this, but instead I feel shook.  I am sharing this in case this helps anyone else on days like this.

At the end of my yoga session today, I noticed I am feeling very insecure.  I found myself desiring approval from people in a much stronger way than normal.  I know I should only seek approval from God, I tell myself this all the time- but some days I don’t know who God is, and I am not scared to say that anymore.

I realize I am feeling the weight of change in my life–New church, soccer club merger, new job, and living out a new theology that had been bottled up for several years. All are exciting changes, but all of these were and are a huge part of my life too.  It is no small thing to change, even when you love the change.  It is still freedom –even in moments like these when I feel the loss of what once was. (Although I am super glad to be rid of the theology I had before.  I wish more would let go now that the fruit of it has proven rotten).

Practicing yoga and meditation are not just about making myself feel centered and ready to take on the world because I am calm now.  They are also making me aware of how I really feel too.  Today is a day I want to crawl in a corner, and I want everyone to like me again.  It sounds so childish.  But Jonathan Martin wrote something earlier this year that is sitting with me now. (I know shocker it is a Jonathan Martin quote).  He described us all as that kid in the lunch room holding our tray uncertain of where to go.  We are all that fragile kid.  Vulnerability is easier to talk about once you think you are past the pain.  It is much harder to talk about when you are actually feeling very vulnerable in the moment.

Writing has been therapy for me.  I feel like I have been walking on waves after a long dark night, but I am falling in again because sometimes it is still scary or it just hurts.  I feel Jesus lovingly extending his arm to me through the people who are surrounding me every step of the way (old and new friends).  Being so uncertain can be especially hard when your life revolved around certainty before.  That’s why I wrote about what I know is true. There is truth we do know and I take comfort in it. I never want to go back to certainty though!  Please don’t mistake that sentiment. Certainty causes us to hold on, when the whole point has been to let go all along.  We can’t hang on to our kids as babies.  They grow up.  Every stage is amazing (well sometimes LOL), but you have to let go of one stage to get to the next. They will not stay the same, and thank goodness for that- even though it is a loss to leave behind what once was.

I have lost a narrative I once held onto for dear life for so many years.  I lost relationships over this too. Some are still there, but we don’t share the narrative, and that is still loss.  You never realize how hard you were holding on until the boat is gone.  I know so many are wading through this same exact feeling.  One of my favorite authors, Pete Enns, wrote about it on a day I was really not doing well accepting loss.  My current Pastor George says, it is important we experience and feel the losses on the journey.  It is a part of the story of life.  Wilshire knows loss too.  It is something being at a place that has gone through your pain as a whole church.

Breathing is important.  We need to be more mindful of where we are spiritually.  Yoga says things like this, “when you are feeling challenged, it is especially important to breathe” “We must breathe through the resistance”.  I can’t think of more perfect quotes for the times we are living.  We need to make sure we are using our breath wisely as we influence the Spirit of the moment we are facing – personally, locally, nationally and globally.

Don’t forget to breathe.

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