This summer has been a busy one. I worked full time, sometimes while at overlapping jobs, and I was taking summer courses. I Was also trying to hang out with people from my time at Belmont who were in town for the summer, and I was trying to hang out with new people from MTSU so that I’d have friends on campus. Oh, I was also trying to go to church every Sunday that I wasn’t working, and I was trying to meet with people from various church traditions in order to help my own personal discernment this summer.
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? It was.
Through all of this busyness though I realized that I had put myself on the back burner. I wasn’t caring for myself the way I should have. I was burnt out with many things in life, and I would get crabby with people who were only trying to help and be nice. I was being a complete turd to people. So, I decided that I needed to care for myself.
One way that this manifested itself was through finding a new job that would allow better flexibility with school, and that was more accepting of the fullness of my life – meaning not uncomfortable with my queerness and Christian identity.
Another way looked like letting go – saying no to things that made me uncomfortable, saying no to worries, saying no to doubts, saying no to this lie of a story that I had been telling myself in my head. Obviously, this is a continual process of letting go. I just recently brought on a spiritual director, and I have been going through all of this with them.
They recommended that I change this story in my head through repeating affirmations and creating healthy aspirations. It started with writing a biography – one you would want to be read before you come out on stage. (This was quite difficult for someone who is not one to brag!) I also had to define how I wanted my relationships to look. This looked like defining boundaries, communication strategies, and what I want in a partner. This was also quite difficult, because this is not something that I talk about at all with anyone (besides my best friend). Let me tell you my list has changed in the last few months, and it is wayyyy more strenuous. 🙂
Then came the affirmations. I thought they were going to be a bit weird and out there, like standing in the mirror and reading off a list of things we appreciate about ourselves, and in some ways it is exactly this, but it also SO MUCH MORE.
For example one of my affirmations is: My identity is based on who I am becoming. I live in the reality of my future self, the already and the not yet.
I always get stuck up in how I am perceived by people, but this takes that burden off of me. This is all about changing the story that I’ve been telling myself. I am letting go of that close-minded, harmful story in order to hold on to my belovedness and sanity, to be quite honest. I am choosing me. I am choosing my belovedness. I am choosing my joy. That way I can also share that love and joy with others in every way.
I don’t need to be liked by others because I love myself. I don’t need anyone’s approval because I approve of myself. I am enough. I will always be enough, for I am always in the presence of God, and nothing can change that. You too, my friend, are always in the presence of God. God is in every atom of your being. How would your life change if you believed that everything you did was in the presence of God, of Love, of the Holy? I’m starting to see the changes in my life, and I couldn’t be happier.