Sunday, July 30, 2017
There's a phrase that I've been meditating on quite a bit since I read it in the latest book by Julie Gillies - From Hot Mess to Blessed. At the end of each chapter is a section with the heading, "Your Personal Proclamation - Say It. Know It. Believe It." Chapter two's personal proclamation ends with, "I will walk through life with authentic dignity and holy ease, and I will value myself because I am precious in His sight."
For days after reading page 53, I find myself silently repeating the refrain, "authentic dignity and holy ease." So caught up with the potential impact of these five words, I consulted Merriam Webster (my favorite dictionary) and found that "dignity" may be defined as "the quality or state of being worthy." As a human being, I have worth and value - dignity - simply because I am. I exist.
As it pertains to a relationship with God, and as one who believes in and puts her trust in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, knowing that my spiritual worth is based on how God sees me "in" Christ allows me the perfect balance of that definition. My life is hidden in Christ. God does not see me without seeing His Son and all of the righteousness inherent in Him.
I am IN Christ; I am worthy. That worthiness gives me the right to "walk through this life with authentic dignity." I have not always done that. Even though I was raised in a pastor's home and grew up in church, I hid an awful lot. Once, I even hid under a pew in the sanctuary! I hid myself. I hid the things I was ashamed of. I hid because I believed my worth was conditional upon my behavior and even my secret (hidden) thoughts. Even now I have to remind myself that sometimes thoughts are just thoughts and not an indicator of my character. Some thoughts just land on us. It's up to me (and you) what we do with them.
I hid when I felt ugly because I was ashamed. I hid when I felt pretty (too much attention and again...shame). I hid when I was broke (embarrassed) and I hid when I had plenty (again, embarrassed).
A hider is not authentic. A hider does not feel worth in just being.
It's taken me a long time to be okay at being "me." Too many years were wasted in camouflage - not the kind I'm prone to wear today like when I wear my favorite hat! (That's another story for another day). The camouflage I wore was of an invisible fashion designed to prevent very many people from seeing or knowing the real me. And the reason for that type of camo usually stems from self-protection. If I am not really seen and known, I will not be rejected and hurt for being the real me.
In retrospect, I can look back from childhood through adolescence (and unfortunately, beyond!) and share things said, things done and things I most likely misconstrued to mean that "just me - the real me" was "just not quite worthy." Not worthy of inclusion, Not worthy of friendship. Not worthy of a seat at the table.
Before this reeks of a pity party, I need to add that I have no doubt many of you could share much of the same. Your history may sound a lot like mine with the exception of the fine details. We've all faced the "not enough's" the "too much" the "almost" the "if only's" that feel like a big ol' pile of rejection. After all, people aren't perfect and we're all guilty of saying some really dumb and thoughtless things to each other.
Usually, those dumb words are more about the "dumb word say-er" than the one to whom they're said. It would behoove each of us to recognize our little issues and seek healing and lasting wholeness for ourselves so we don't thoughtlessly dump those on another. Seriously.
I'm going to continue to mull over and meditate on these words, "I will walk through life with authentic dignity and holy ease..." for awhile longer...and I haven't even talked about the "holy ease" part, yet!
I imagine that if at any time throughout my day that I am physically walking - on my daily walking workouts, walking the dog, walking across a store parking lot, walking to my mailbox - triggers "I walk in authentic dignity," how that might impact my thinking, my interactions, my relationships!
To live with the rock solid belief that you have TRUE WORTH has the power to change everything that needs to change for you. EVERYTHING.
I choose to believe it. Will you?