I woke with a bit of a struggle this morning, wondering why, yet again, I'm feeling draggy and dogged out. Thankfully, my husband tagged me for a morning walk, so I threw on some shorts and tennis shoes. We had to catch our exercise before the north wind showed up and dropped our temperatures 40 degrees.
I half-heartedly said my affirmation before heading downstairs. This 30-Day Miracle challenge feels a bit like a roller coaster, but I'm up for a good ride with adventure and heart-stopping drops, so I press on. I figure I'll get some revelation in my day that will shed some light on where I need more insight.
As a one on the Enneagram, being out in nature is super important for my well-being, so you'd think I'd make it a priority. I don't. I used to, but something shifted inside and it's harder and harder for me to make myself do anything.
That being said, if someone asks me to go do something outside, I will say yes. I like companionship and comraderie. I may have even said a prayer recently about how I wanted to get out and exercise, but I just needed a buddy to help motivate me.
So when Lee woke me and invited me to go for a walk, I noted that as a sign that God is up to something good since early morning walks are not a norm for us these days.
I have been talking to God about this Dark Night of the Soul that I seem to go to every. single. night. I can have a great day, go to be full of joy and gratitude, and wake in desolation. St. John of the Cross describes this movement of the soul from consolation to desolation as a necessary passage initiated by the Lord in order that we might mature.
This is not something I necessarily want to hear, but I do think there must be a component of this in my journey. St. John says, "Through the dark night, pride becomes humility, greed becomes simplicity, wrath becomes contentment, luxury becomes peace, gluttony becomes moderation, envy becomes joy, and sloth becomes strength." This brings some clarity and a deeper sense of awe and gratitude, strangely enough.
I love Yogi tea, especially the messages on the tea bags. Tonight, mine says, "Your potential self is infinite." Brene Brown writes about the "stories we tell ourselves," those things we tell ourselves to make sense of our lives. The problem comes when those stories aren't true. When I go through dark nights which bring about dark mornings, the story I'm telling myself is not one full of joy. It's usually some version of self-recrimination, regret, or fear over some past event or an imagined one to come.
Frankly, I need to change my story. If I'm in a Dark Night of the Soul, the way out is to deepen and mature and grow up and find the true story which is always filled with grace and hope. The way out is to focus on what God focuses on.
I may be wrong, but I think God is speaking to me through my tea bag, giving me a glimpse of what He sees when He sees me, a woman full of potential and infinite possibilities. Knowing this helps me change my story to align with the one He tells when He talks about me. I wonder if it goes something like this…
Hey, Holy Spirit…have you seen what our girl Heather is up to lately? She's really catching on to some things we hid just for her to find out. Did you notice how excited she was when she got the revelation about perfectionism? We could literally see the wheels turning as she started to connect the dots. Oh and did you see how hard she is trying to get these daily blog posts out. She sure has come a long way from when she would reread every post a million times to make them perfect. I mean, we love her writing and we are all about a well-written story, but we are more about it getting written than we are about the grammatical perfection of her blog posts. It's just great to see her making progress and lighting up as she hits her stride. We love watching her shine….
Do you know, this little exercise of imagining what God might be saying about me is creating some major shifts in my heart as I type. I don’t know what it is that I've just hit upon, but I think I'm going to meditate some more on this…maybe get a visual on what it looks like for Him to rejoice over me with singing while I stand in front of my mirror and say my affirmation before going to bed: