Sometimes when we let go of relationships we loose the tangible expressions found in those relationships. For me, when my relationship with my dad went on hiatus (and it still is) I let go of playing the piano and taking care of my vintage '65 Mustang that we bought together in 1999.
Playing from my heart on the heirloom piano he gave me, or working on my car, brought up too much pain. Memories or even smells or the touch of the familiar ivory caused pangs of heartache.
Driving my car, largely out of necessity, I would "turn off" those feelings or automatic sensory responses because I had to drive it -- but over time it began to show signs of neglect and wear it previously hadn't known.
As the years accumulate and the space between my dad and I expands I'm finding myself cautiously revisiting familiar territory -- pieces of myself I dismembered.
Tonight I found myself tinkering away on my old mahogany friend, bought at the turn of the last century by my grandma. Out from my fingers came (stiffly and awkwardly) a familiar tune. As I plunked out the melody a chunk of who I am came barreling through my fingers. I remembered myself. Since Jesus has lately been talking with me about the connection between body and soul, it seemed perfectly timed -- how like Him.
It's not always easy to remember, or pleasant. But in the right timing it can be very, very good. My memory came bursting forth with joy and pain tonight, but I was ready for both and I am grateful.
Thank you Jesus for the memories my fingers hold. May you release the pictures and sound bites through my body's movement in familiar territory. Bring me back and move me forward to who you've created me to become.
I invite you to share:
What have you left behind in the fallout of broken relationships?
How do you feel about those sacrifices now?
Some days (like Wednesday) I wake up with a fire. I feel encouraged, hopeful, and creative. It's like magic; all cylinders are firing, right on time. It feels amazing.
And then there are days like today.
When I woke up this morning I felt like I had just survived a cycle in the dryer. Part low-energy, part despair. And, to be fair, not quite despair -- just a underlying feeling of "yeah, right"-ness in my mind, speaking cynicism over my dreams and hopes and projects. Some days I get stuck there (unfortunately). Luckily, I've learned and experienced Jesus still loves me there.
I've also learned...the creator of lies often overplays his hand.
This is something I learned from my spiritual director a while back. Basically, what I take it to mean is that life circumstances likely haven't changed overnight -- and yet when my perspective takes a nose-dive to despair, it's likely not a result of actual happenings, but rather my perspective has been altered, or tricked into thinking reality has shifted. When this happens I loose focus, energy, and clarity.
Saying this doesn't discount my experience of those feelings -- but when I know the truth of reality, and God's goodness, is unchanged underneath the negativity it helps me process through it more quickly. I can honor my emotions and the truth simultaneously. This is often where I meet Jesus, in the middle, on the journey, in the already but not yet. It's also frequently when he leads me to hope.
Although I may get stuck or tricked into hopelessness, if I take a breath and realize the source, I often find my footing again -- kind of like when Peter walked on the water, until he looked down. Jesus reminded him reality hadn't changed, and Peter was safe.
Where do you get stuck?
I'd love to know a bit about your journey, about what you think. Leave a comment below to share.