It was Gabrielle Roth that once said, "Your body is the ground and metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopedia, your life story. Everything that happens to you is stored and reflected in your body. In the marriage of flesh and spirit divorce is impossible."
The old mindset (flesh) refuses to die, while the new mindset (spirit) continuously challenge its course of actions and highly detestable behavior. It's like a love hate relationship between them both. And so the constant fighting makes it all the more possible for spirit to say to the flesh (body), 'enough is enough! You are not my master and how I feel on any given day is not driven by your desires and your selfish motivation. I refuse to entertain you any more.'
That brings me to my "crash landing" today. I thumped and I 'hit the ground' hard just feeling so overwhelmed with everything that life was dishing out at me. It was a climax. Not the kind of climax I anticipated for my vacation. But it was. One final throw down and then it was an instant divorcing of flesh from spirit. My body immediately fell apart. My heart tore into pieces. I became weak. I felt unloved, uncared for, unappreciated, even rejected. It was a tidal wave of emotions as I wept uncontrollably.
And so the many questions as I later began to evaluate myself follows:
Did I set the level of expectation for myself and for others too high? Did I even take into close consideration that those who I often would look to for support and to whom I rendered my service to are also comprised of the same flesh and spirit and that the arm of flesh fails us?
Did I set myself up for the 'crash landing' by constantly giving of myself to others, thinking that if I only dug a bit deeper each time and give more, that somehow things would be different, and that I would be accepted into the fellowship with those whom I constantly give of myself to?
Is it a sign of weakness to let my humanity show when the going gets tough? Did I let my guards down this time? What might my body be trying to tell me about how I am living my life?
Still, it is not a good feeling when you give to the same people all of the time and you get nothing back in return. That's like withdrawing all of your cash resources from the bank through the ATM and then there is no income to bring your account back to the desired level. So you are constantly in the red, in deficit. It also deviates from biblical principal of sowing and reaping. You sow by the giving of your tithes and offering, through your faith, praying for others, through you service to others, to name a few, then it is natural based on that principle for you the sower to expect a harvest in return.
But as I relied on a very loving, supportive and wonderful friend to rescue me and pick me back up, I see how life must go on. I grappled with the realization of two choices before me - choose to wallow more in self pity or move on in life with positive and realistic expectations and the anticipation that as morning breaks into day, I will rise and my joy will come once again. Today ended another chapter in my life, but I also witnessed the beginning of a new one.
My experience provided me with a perfect opportunity to do as Deb Shapiro alluded to and that is, to explore the extraordinary interplay of energies between the many aspects of my personality - my needs, unconscious reactions, repressed emotions, aspirations and fears. With the functioning of our physical system and its capacity to maintain itself, she said that we soon realise how very wise the body is. Further, she highlighted that our body (flesh) with its intricately detailed systems and operations, portrays infinite intelligence and compassion, constantly giving us the means to understand ourselves further, to confront issues we are not looking at, and to go beyond that which is holding us back.
I am hopeful. And these are the insights that I have come up with as a result. They may not be entirely new, but a timely reminder:
- God uses what you consider a bad time to make it a good time - all things work together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.
- You were created to make a difference - making a difference means you will go through various processes in life. Processes inevitably are associated with some degree of pain.
- Be yourself no matter what and not what others want you to be.
- Remind yourself of your purpose and by all means focus on that.
- Focus on your strengths and prune out your weakness - dead branches on a tree hinders growth and fruit bearing.
- Remind yourself that you are not alone, everyone else at times face their own difficult circumstances. Look for the blessing in helping others, love and support them even while you are in your crucible moment.
- Be resilient and demonstrate courage and self-control in the face of adversity and stress. You do not want to 'scare' away those who would willingly reach out to help you. Accept their love, support and care. Do not attempt to go through it on your own.
- Shake off anything and everything that has the potential to be fatal to your faith - faith without works or the evidence is dead.
- You have the power and authority to command your day and to create an environment for birthing, change and transformation.
- God places you in certain environment to build your character, to strengthen your faith and spirituality. Trust Him to fight the battles for you.
- Celebrate yourself and your accomplishments, however small they may be.
What challenges have you faced recently in your own life and how did you cope with them? As leaders, what do you do when everything around you begin to fall apart and those you lead are looking to you for guidance and direction? What insights came as a result that you would like to share to bless and inspire someone else?
Thank you for your presence here at EMB! As always,
Live on purpose!