How to Remember Yourself

I am listening to the We Can Do Hard Things podcast titled “How to Remember Yourself” with Sara Bareilles. Oh my, with Glennon and Sara both being 4s, they are saying some things that really resonate with me. Like, how do we learn to cope when we know the world is chaos? And that is not going to change. So much of what we have to trudge through is fake and it is hard to ground knowing that. Sara is beginning to lean and relax into the fact there really is no ground beneath our feet. Art is her grounding.

But she has had to learn how to get the help she needed to be released from what taking on so much pain can do to your mental health.

Abby Wambach asked a great question, and that question is why I writing this post. She asked Sara if she would ever choose to leave the cocoon on her own and become a butterfly. Abby is a 7 on the enneagram, so her way of being in the world is way different than Glennon’s (and mine). She will notice Glennon having a moment that she needs, but she also wants Glennon to fly. Life has to go on too. She said the world is in need of you to become a butterfly now so it can experience what she has learned all this time in the cocoon. I felt that. That felt like a direct message to me.

I am afraid of communities. I have not always been this way. I used to go all in so easily when I believed in what we were doing. But now my family has been burned more than once by communities, in completely different ways, so anxiety freezes me up afraid to try again. Seminary highlighted the trauma I was carrying in my body from the first betrayal—along with childhood wounds I need to heal from as well. Thank God I did so much healing work there before the next blast came—which was NOT due to seminary or church. It was a place I least expected it. None of us even suspected that one coming. And we could have been warned. That is the sat reality of the type of systems we have set up. It is time for change.

So now I am back in my cocoon again wanting to never come out—except I really do not want to stay in the cocoon either. I still have this fire that wants to participate, and I know it has to be done communally. I am slowly coming out, but not so unguarded this time. I am going to need to find new coping mechanisms to trust again and not take things out on people because I am carrying too much pain—and pain that does not belong to me too. It is hard to see suffering all the time and feel powerless to it.

When I was in Texas, I had these beautiful butterfly and dragonfly earrings. I lost them in this move to Oklahoma.

Dragonfly earrings. I love my sweatshirt-ironically I am wearing it now-and my tree of life necklace in the picture too. And Elsa’s crown. So much life.
My butterfly earrings—and Elsa snowflake necklace. So much life.

I tried to replace these earrings, but they are not available. I found bees and elephants designed similarly instead. But the more I reflect on the earrings I found, they are the illustration I need for this season. I am working on not stinging like a bee but instead being a pollinator to help people’s allergies from the experience of bad theology for way too long that is in their bodies. I am also an elephant creating a fierce circle around my family until we are done healing, but I also want to make a pathway in the dense forest to create a path for others who have been denied. Both species, bees and elephants, are endangered. So are people like me—people not afraid to be human. People not afraid to live this brutifal life, as Glennon calls it, and live it fully.

I need an Abby to push me and tell me it is time to become a butterfly. The world needs to experience what you have learned in your cocoon.

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