undeserving

I know what I’ve done:

bought lies on sale,

broken all the rules

ignored the wise

and followed the fools.

I know what I’ve earned:

the scorn of many.

the laughter of foes,

the whips of soldiers

lots cast for my clothes.

I know what I deserve:

to be roughly hurled

naked to the street,

blood rolling down from my head

in red streams to my feet.

In spite of all this

all the hatred I’ve earned,

all the shame I am due,

the consequences of my life,

have been carried by You.

 

COMPLETION

It is popular to pay lip service to New Beginnings.  New jobs, new homes, big moves and big changes have their own hype and energy around them.  They each offer a new and unique opportunity to step away from what has been and create what will become.  New Years Days have always been met with hope and joy and promise for me.

But what about the baggage?

You know what I mean by baggage.  It is the residue of old hurts and old disappointments, the coping mechanisms that they activate in us that then become defensive pieces of armor welded to our personalities.  This baggage-armor is heavy and we are naturally fused to it.  It takes action akin to surgery to remove it.

And so, new beginnings bring new hope and ideas of walking away from the old, but do we really?  How much of the old poison is carried over like extra vacation days?

Introducing the concept of COMPLETION.

This year, before even making my resolutions, I have applied myself to letting go.  But it isn’t something I was born knowing how to do.  I researched it, discussed it with wise people in my life, and worked through some very practical steps that were recommended to me.  My findings were that it is not a short process and it is not worth doing if not done thoroughly.  It involves the complete purging of ones’ emotions around the issue, taking the lessons out of the soup, and finding gratefulness to close the chapter.  New Years Day 2012 has found me prepared like an athlete working her way through weeks of training for a marathon to let go, complete, and move on.

I have spent the better part of this afternoon and many afternoons leading up to this writing out every emotion and purging myself, driving through this process.  I have isolated circumstances and protagonists of 2011 and those carried over from before and vomited page after page after page of written words.  Words carrying weight that have sat on my bones and joints and festered in my organs like a cancer.  The process began weeks ago and layer after layer has been stripped revealing my clean and healthy essence in place of rough and calloused armor.  By no means is this process fully complete.  But I am excited to find that there is soooo much space once you defragment your emotions and choose what you’d like to save! 

The New Year finds many a home spotless and expectant.  There are festivities and celebrations all over the world.  Desks are cleaned on the last day of work for the year.  Garbage is taken out of the house.  All in preparation for a fresh start.  But what of hearts?  What of minds?

I challenge every one of my readers to face this year with confidence.  Complete your grief processes and the cycles of disappointment as best you can.  Forgive where that is called for.  Chip away at your callouses.  Purge yourself of your baggage.  And offer the space that you have cleaned out to the will of God and new opportunities.  Face the adventure of your future with space.  Space for love, space for joy, space for adventure and space to grow.

Travel light!  Happy New Year!

5 Little gems…

… dug out of me in Life Coaching sessions that have surprised me.

  1. I am not a commitment phobe as I have always thought, but quite the opposite.  I am a commitment junkie.  Totally addicted to the stuff.  But, as with all addictions, this one is terribly unhealthy.  I over-commit and then drive myself into the sick-bed/the grave/some form of insanity in order to get the impossible done.  The worse thing that can happen to me in these commitments is for me to succeed.  Because then I set a new, stupidly-inhuman goal and go all out to kill myself to meet that one too.  And succeeding this, there is always a new level of insanity to conquer.
  2. I am hiding myself in work.  There is no balance.  Time poverty has been taught to me and accepted by me as a virtue.  If I keep this up there will be no humanity left within me for other sentient beings to relate to!
  3. I hold on to hurts.  Doing this only succeeds in hurting me longer.  This is not a surprise to me as some of the other five gems have been but I have historically had No. Clue. At. All. how to let things go.  It isn’t natural for me to forgive and forget those who do not actively and contritely seek my forgiveness and forgetfulness.  I have to teach myself how to do it.  Follow a difficult and disciplined process to purge myself.
  4. I am in love with my own essence!  Falling in love with myself and my own gifts, my own unique reflection of God himself, is a process that is bringing me much joy.
  5. I have let myself go.  My wellbeing is way down on my list of priorities.  Something has got to give.  Panic attacks and migraines, drinking and breakouts, insomnia and weight fluctuations are all pointing to abject neglect.  My neglect.  Of me.  And this has to change.

Some things already have!  Friendships, pastimes, focuses have all started to shift.  But more will come and I am very excited!

Cleansing Flood

There is nothing like sleeping in the rain.  And rain has not failed to fall for me.  Every time I lay my head down in Honduras to rest the rain meets the gurgle of the stream outside the window and makes for a beautiful sleep.  The windows are louvered and allow a fresh breeze in to sweeten the night and the stream is blood-red with the drain of the earth into it.  Always there is the sound of water.

Yesterday I bought two works of art to hang in my home.  One was a metal-worked thicket of leaves for my porch.  The other was a cross also of metal.  It is beautifully woven and will be put in a place of prominence in my home to remind me of my Father’s love.  Tonight the cross is wrapped for my journey home, tight in cardboard and masking tape.  But there are reminders everywhere.  The constant flow of water is music calling to mind the only never-ending grace.

No matter what I have done in my day, no matter where I have gone, how I have felt and what I have said His grace meets me like rainfall when I lay my head down to rest.

Isn’t it strange how it is the imperfect among us who forgive with the most difficulty?  It is also very amazing to find that imperfection in myself and feel grace rise to meet it.  I am forgiven – not necessarily by men and women around me and not necessarily by myself, but by the only person whose opinion is worth anything at all.  I am loved best of all by my God.

Rain of grace that washes away all imperfection...

Six Words That Built A Bridge

I am not in the business of holding grudges.  Probably because I’m not very good at it.  When it stops hurting I stop remembering it.  Mind you, some hurt stays fresh for a long time with no nurturing and wallowing.  Some earth-shattering hurts hurt forever.  I have yet to master the skill of how to forgive while I still hurt.  But once the hurt is gone I forget and it is over for me.  In the heat of the moment I explode like a firework.  But ask me two years later and I will have forgotten what the whole show was about.

Because I forget the hurt I sometimes forget the lesson and I will be open to a repeat-hurt later in life.  Which is why I don’t hold grudges, I burn bridges.

Now every psychologist in the world will say this is unhealthy.  I am by no means going to attempt to justify myself.  This is simply a statement of fact.  An explanation of what is.  I burn bridges and trust the decision of the self of my past rather than remind myself – the current self – of the hurt and re-live it all over again.

But things are changing…

I have a cousin, someone dear to me but very different from me in all but two respects.  Our anger is explosive and our bridges go up in flames.  Our differences have given rise to hurts and fights and misunderstandings and flames for years.  We have been bridgeless now going two years.  Family hurts are often the hardest to heal.

Yet she is mine and I am hers.  I have not chosen her – she was chosen for me.  The hot latin DNA that makes us who we are to each other is the exact same code that makes us flash like lightning.  The storm was magnificent.  No bridge survived.

Yesterday I sent her a message.  “Peace?”

She was not long at all to reply.  “…yea…life is too short…”

And with those six words a bridge was built.

© Brent Mclennon

Dear John

Today you, a gracious reader, gently reprimanded me for the raw vitriol of my morning post on Why Weak Girls Make Poor Friends.  When I stubbornly told you I wouldn’t regret it you banished me from the Shaolin.  Bless you.

The ironic thing is that this morning when I started my day it was with every intention of writing a post on the return to gentleness.  A deeper look at the last four weeks and the progress I have made in taking the focus off of the idol of an idea and putting it on the blessed present.  It was to look at the ground I have gained in forgiveness and healing.  Before my train of thought was interrupted.

For the first time in the Journey of the Hair I took a step backward, out of my disciplined and focused path to grace and back into the jungle.  I’ve been praying Psalm 35 and muttering “traicionera” under my breath allllll day.

This is not an apology.  Not yet.  Probably not ever.  But it is an acknowledgement.  A kick back to focus.  An end to the drama.  The movie is over.  The villains are slain.  Dead to me forever.

The post on gentleness will come.  Just not today.  Be patient with me.

Sincerely,

Grasshopper

You’re sorry… uh huh

© Brent Mclennon, Donkey otherwise known as…

After months spent crying and clearing my head

Erasing photo memories of moments now dead

You feel the obnoxious need arise

To message me and apologise.

You’ve flicked through your album of time spent fooling me

And in your own image dislike what you see.

My forgiveness you crave to clean off yourself

It’s not about me, it’s for your own health.

Please don’t come apologising to me!

It will only succeed in setting you free

And I am not ready to free you yet, so

Go live a little longer with your regret.