Sometimes we are not ready to hear the lessons. We get busy, or we try to talk ourselves out of what we have learned.
I’m very guilty of this. I can read it, hear it, be preached it, be told it by someone I love lying in bed at night, hear it and read it again. I still get stuck.
Sometimes the messengers show up in the form of people in line for the cashier. Sometimes messengers show up at church, or driving to work and I hear them on the radio.
Sometimes Almost every day a messenger arrives in the form of a 5 or 6 year old human I share my classroom with.
I am not very open to change, it turns out. I mean, I think I am. I can change my furniture around. I can buy groceries at a different store. I can eat at a new restaurant. I can adopt a pet. I can go home from work in a different way. What I forget is that all of those things are still slightly challenging for me. And they are really just trying variety, not accepting change. The baby steps of trying variety are a positive move in the right direction, though. Getting out of my comfort zones is good practice for accepting change.
Real deep and lasting change, though? Phew. Way harder to accept. Learning to deal with my own emotional baggage and my own emotional responsibility in relationships? That is like taking on a field of Spartans in terms of the personal effort it takes to admit my mistakes, my deficits, my self-sabotaging behavior. I know how to treat myself and others like shit. That’s not hard. It’s very easy to do. Treating others and myself with the respect and care I would give a newborn baby, well, that’s much harder.
I told my therapist recently that changing some of these behaviors is like learning how to walk. I have no idea how to do it, but I want to walk so I will keep trying. The horrible things I say to myself in my head, well, that synaptic path is well-worn. I know exactly how to feel bad about myself. I have spent a lifetime accepting that I am a messed up human and that I don’t deserve the best.
Switching that gear is hard.
One of my messengers is my massage therapist. She is an angel sent to help heal me. Today she told me that I need to stop thinking, and that my thinking is keeping me from growing. I need to listen to my body, she says. I wanted to scream, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW!” I don’t need to know how right now. I just need to practice sitting still and checking in with my body. Stretching. Letting my body tell me to do what I need to do. That is much easier said than done. I am an adult at 47, and I still sometimes wait until the last second to pee. Sorry, TMI. A lot of that has to do with being a teacher and a mom, but still, sorry.
Another messenger is my pastor. He somehow says exactly what I had to hear at that exact moment in order to grow. On Sunday he talked about gratefulness and miracles. He asked us to sit with someone that knows us well and discuss, “what is something that you have experienced that you are grateful for? and if you are really brave, you will ask a friend ‘what is something I am not noticing and accepting and being grateful for?'” I told my friends that I realize now that things that were hard in my love relationship were huge gifts. I look now at how much I grew and am still growing because of the relationship I have.
So of course, #youknowwho is also a messenger. He is the most gracious at accepting me filled with faults and bad habits. He just keeps loving me. [I don’t know why.] So, every day I just accept that he loves me as my imperfect self. And I try to be worthy of it by letting him love me, and loving him back.
Another messenger is those that read my blog. Many of you have reached out to me in some way to tell me how you connect with me, how this blog helps you think, accept your own journey, fuels your own thoughts. For those of you that have told me this, I am hugely grateful. What an indescribable blessing to have an impact on someone else.