In my path prior to the Journey Within, it was brought to my attention that I needed to love myself. Which is interesting to walk out when you are your own source to set what that will look like and how it will play out in real life. I sought good counsel from friends, resources and a few counselors (yes, plural- there is a list… God bless them all for working with me in that season).
One day I realized one way to love myself is to put on my seat belt before I started to drive. (I usually put it on when I came to my first complete stop.) Over time, I got to where I more often than not didn’t wear it at all. The car I drive has a seat belt that is moody and not easy to buckle. This was compound by the size of my midsection resulting in a lot of effort and some acts of contortion to fasten the seat belt.
I can now say as of a couple of weeks ago, I find it easy to buckle! My midsection has decreed enough that fastening my seat belt is now an easy normal part of preparing to drive. Leading me to see the seat belt was not moody- that was me in denial and blame shifting. *sigh*
Though the seat belt story is true and a point of gratitude each day, there is a bigger reason I set the stage with this story. The real issue is safety.
Last week I was driving from time with a friend. As I reflecting on the conversation, I realized the core issue she was processing was a safety issue. I thought of the times I was slow to tell the truth and noted that it was because I often didn’t feel safe to. Then I thought of a revelation I had a few weeks ago of how often I lie to myself when it came to food, diet, unpleasant tasks, etc. “Tomorrow I will fill in the blank.” Hoping saying will be enough to act on it but knowing full well I would not follow through.
That is when this core shaking truth hit my heart- I am not safe with myself. I have not been a safe place for me!
The lack of self safety echoed around in my head the rest of the day with no real answers but piercing truth.
That night I shared this revelation with my husband. He replied that he didn’t intend to be mean but the lack of safety has been reflected in the care of my physical health over the years that has resulted in where I am. Oh, that hurt. There was no judgement in his words- just a truth I had not looked at. My physical body is an indicator of how safe I have been with myself.
Where do I go from here?
I started and continue by being grateful I am no longer figuring this our on my own. The biggest contributor to my lack of safety were the awful things I thought about myself, said to myself and then numbed myself from which perpetuated the cycle of self-hate. But I am in a new place and have presented myself as lacking to be forgiven and guided by grace to self-love. The next day I read the following as a part of my Thin Within study and saw I am in a safe place in God. He will kindly and lovingly guide me to being a safe place for myself, as it is the original design.
Psalms 139:5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. (New Living Translation)
Part of “where I am going” with this revelation came from the same person who confronted me about my addiction. She recently poised the following questions to me. If, like me, you find that you have not been a safe place for yourself, the questions may be a starting place for you too. The questions she asked me are to help me focus on my growth in grace. And growth of any kind needs a safe, nurturing environment. Walk in courage…
* You have a beautiful self… how are you embracing it?
*How are you owning your feelings, attitudes and behaviors?
* Are you celebrating and giving thanks for the amazing brain you have, your body that gets you around, your skin that separates you from others?