So yesterday I mentioned my latest visit to see Sassy-girl and how we are starting a new approach to convincing my muscles to relax and stop fighting against every attempt to help it feel better. And I mentioned my discovery of how I … I mean, how my body is so hyper-vigilant. (I did mention that is one of the rather important lessons I have learned from my massage therapist, right?)
Right. Back to Thursday’s visit. As Sassy-girl was heading out the door, she paused to tell me how good it was for me to notice the reaction of my body and to talk to her about it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well, duh! Who wouldn’t do that?” Well, that who would be me. Observant of myself I am not.
Willing to acknowledge my own need has not been very high on my priority list. Mother of six, raising my kids on my own for 13 years – if you count by legality, and going on 26 years if you count by the living reality of it. Growing up in rather chaotic surroundings with a lot of coming and going and moving and … you get it, right? The chaos of life in this fallen world. And my response has always been to make it better for everyone else. I have always loved, more than anything else, to see a smile on others’ faces, to hear laughter and cheer. It is my form of receiving approval. And so I learned well that the way to achieve my goal was to live focused on others and to ignore my own pain and turmoil.
And now I am having to learn to stop and pay attention. God has been speaking this lesson to me from multiple fronts – individuals, precious friends, my schooling, my personal counseling (which, thank God, is a requirement for my degree and forced my hand), and now even my massage therapist.
You know what that Sassy-girl did this week? She gave me homework! Homework from my massage therapist! Have you ever heard of such a thing? And you know what it was? Next time I go in, I have to be able to tell her what it is that nurtures me. Have you ever?! What nurtures me? I couldn’t even come up with a guess when she asked me that this past week. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry! Laugh because the notion is so preposterous or cry because I truly do not know what nurtures me.
Sure, I could have given her a quick “spiritual” answer. And it would have been true on one level. But it would not have been anything close to a thought out, truly considerate answer that genuinely reflected the sincerity of her question.
There are things I can think of. But even in thinking of them, I know they all have contingencies attached. And all of those contingencies are out of my control. I need to be real. I need to take time on this one. I need to be on my face before my Papi asking Him to reveal the depth of this question and to know the answer for me. I need to know the answer that is not dependent on what others may or may not be able to do or give or provide for me. I need an answer that is not contingent upon the weather or where I am geographically.
I need to know because wrapped up in the answer is the key to how I will best reflect God’s glory and bring Him honor. It’s not going to be easy, but I’m working on it.