I love the sunrise imagery of God walking through the dark forest as a lantern, coming toward us, lighting the day. Its this image I pray on during my morning pause when my heart is open and vulnerable. It’s the image I see in my minds eye when I’m afraid or unsure. I rest in the hope that light is coming toward me. That the sun will warm me, and like a flower, I will bloom.
Over the past four months it has felt like the universe was holding a storm cloud over my life. I don’t feel like I have been able to breathe or catch a break. I’m cleaning up other people’s messes, preparing for graduate school, dealing with my dad’s death and estate and most recently learning my job is up for elimination.
I closed up within myself defeated, angry and anxious. The messages around me are, “Suck it up.” or ” Just power through.” or my favorite and straight from my dad in a dream, ” Just keep going to work.”
Not once did I ever feel that it was okay to take a break to pack up my dads house, or to finish all the legal work that goes along with an estate. When my dad died unexpectedly from a heart attack, I got a week off.
I was paid for 3 days. Our world has it so backwards.
When I mentioned to a few people that regardless of my elimination I was considering a break before school, I was met with push back and reactions that made me feel shame.
SHAME. For asking for a break to heal my heart.
SHAME. For asking for what I need.
SHAME. For not working a full time job for 5 months when I have been diligently working since I was 14 years old and already have 10 credits lined up for fall and an GA position that pays a stipend and for school.
I am not going to buy it. That shame does not belong to me. I will not allow those messages inside my head.
If my dad’s death taught me nothing else, it’s that this life is short and not to be taken seriously. Work hard, take care of things that are important and love your people. I will be working hard for the next 5 months, however it won’t be 9-5 and it won’t be behind the desk. I will be doing the emotional work of sifting through my feelings of no longer having my dad with me, the physical labor of emptying a 10 acre farm and taking a summer class to lighten my course load at the end of my program.
You can have your shame and judgement back.
Blooming is about looking over a sunset, anywhere in the world and knowing where home is. Knowing that your people are home. Grounding down into your roots and feeling that this place is temporary.
Understanding that attitude is a choice and that being positive isn’t always an easy and natural state.
Blooming means opening up when it hurts and being vulnerable when you feel like building a wall. New people and new relationships are hard and there is no shame is moving at your own pace.
Blooming is letting your friends take pictures of you in glasses with no make up on and deciding its your heart that makes you worthy, not how you do your make up or hair.
Blooming is offering grace to yourself and your journey, even when the world is not so willing.