I think of blog posts all the time. I write them in my head on the way to/from work.
But I have been working so hard at letting go that which glorifies the busy, which takes away from the scant amount of time I have with my boys, which doesn’t fill my cup and though I love this blog, finding time to write in it hasn’t been easy.
But the intranet is down and I have been working on a blog post (in my head) for about two months and hey, I guess I’m ready to sit down and see what I can type out today.
When I became a mother, most of my child free friends scattered like the wind. Heartbreaking is an understatement and, after years of being in mommy communities, I am sad to say that this is the case more often than not. Anyway, I went searching for a community, a group, a tribe. I put on as many hats as I could, fell into connection anytime there was an opportunity, and two really lonely postpartum periods later I can say that I went about this all wrong.
I am a people person. I love to give when I can. I love to make meals, help out, listen, hold space – you name it. And while I am strong enough in myself to know when I cannot do these things, I still held the expectation that community means supporting others AND being supported.
It does not.
Community is all about what you can give.
Consumerism is all about what you can get.
Mixing the two is unhealthy. Though I do not believe I am co-dependent, I see many people in many communities who are. They give of themselves at the expense of their family or their own happiness/comfort. When you do this, how can you ever feel that the actions of others will match up? You cannot. It’s a trap. A very unhealthy trap that only seeds toxicity in your heart.
But God wants us to give until it hurts, right? I don’t think so. I think that self-care is crucial and BIBLICAL.
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:17)
YOU ARE THAT TEMPLE. It is that simple, but just in case you didn’t get it the first time:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)
You have to fuel yourself in order to fuel others. How can you ever hope to truly give of yourself if there is none of yourself to give? If you are scraps, hanging on by a thread, what quality of yourself can you give? There’s simply not an award for the person who gives at their own expense, so stop doing it.
Instead, fill yourself up. Be your own community. Spend time with those who are quality, caring individuals who know to fill up their own cups, too. Embrace those that come into your lives realizing that, as the metaphor goes, some will be leaves and others branches and others roots. Enjoy every person who touches your life in any of these fashions, and if you part take heart in your good memories.
If something is done for you, do not ask WHY NOT MORE? Do not compare what your brothers and sisters have been given for you do not know the whole story.
DO allow yourself to be sad, if you truly find yourself alone. Depression is serious and this is not to say that you cannot be hurt or upset. However, you can and should take action in this as well. If you do not have the support teeming from all around you, you must seek out support so that you can find the strength to fill your own cup and start over.
I have spent a lot of time mourning relationships that were not as deep as I thought they were, but this sadness has not brought me anything special or unique. It has only asked me to harden myself, which I whole heartedly reject. Instead, I will lean in to relationships as they develop and stand my sacred ground. I am here to be me, and to enjoy with others who value the me that I am.
I love giving and I absolutely support breathing into your community when you can. For you, perhaps this means community organizations over friendships. There isn’t anything wrong with that unless you are burning out and your heart is elsewhere. For you, perhaps this means taking things off of your plate so that you can have dinner once every few weeks with a friend or two. Whatever it is you decide, be solid in your decisions. Do not feel pressure to serve what is not serving you BUT do not keep score.
Life is busy for all of us. I will leave you today with my current mantra:
I embrace and welcome those who come into my life.
I honor and remember those who walk outside of my life.
I am grateful for my spirit that guides me to self-care and servitude for others
I love my dynamic community and will engage my most authentic self within it
I accept that which is meant for me and release that which does not bring light to my path
Wishing you love and light,