Wednesday, November 11, 2020

"and when I don't belong..."

"and when
I don't belong,
you say
I am Yours..."

Lauren Daigle's "You Say," was the fire that drew me to her side this morning -- as the first snow of the season, fell gently on the last of summer's roses.

Some days I wake up without a sense of belonging in the world. Not just in big abstract ways, but in the details of the day. I look in the refrigerator for something to eat and nothing seems right -- and not just "not right," but foreign. I walk out the front door and I feel detached from the community I have loved and cherished for decades. I feel like a stranger in a strange land.

I have to yield a sense of who I am based on context -- the where I live, who I know, what I do version of my self-- to something invisible and indivisible in me. This lyric from Lauren's song really spoke to me this morning:

“The only thing that matters now
is everything You think of me..."
It doesn't feel disorienting or disassociating when I yield to this one "thought of me," but I actually feel more connected, more fully engaged, more at peace with my place in the world. I am able to sit for hours and hours in my office and feel the presence of a community so inclusive and universal that all those feelings of "not belonging" drop away.

As I was pondering this line her song:

“You say I am loved,
when I can't feel a thing..."
I realized that it does not feel at all personal for me. How often do we pray that our children, friends, colleagues, neighbors, strangers on the border, or soldiers and refugees in a far away land can actually feel that they are loved -- truly, viscerally loved, deeply held, completely protected and defended.

How many times have I felt empty and bereft of love in my own life? Too often. But no matter how loudly it feels like that emptiness is echoing in the cavity of my longing, it is not true. And I can know it is not true. In fact, I can actually prove that it is not true.

For example: I, myself, am filled with love.  Even though it may not feel that it is coming at me, or towards me -- from someone else at that particular moment -- but it is always radiating from within me. My love for my daughters, my love for beauty, my love for honesty, goodness, innocence. These are always there -- ready to be called up as a reminder that I am not "without love" in my life.  This is consciousness of the presence of Love, is the I AM of divine Being.

Mary Baker Eddy gives us such clear direction in our search for identity, belonging, an invariable sense of who we are in the world -- and how we fit -- when she wrote:

“How shall we reach
our true selves?

Through Love."
What God -- divine Love -- says about me, or you, is all that matters. Everything else that might be said about us is lovely -- or not. Whether those voices are from others, or just the false voices that hiss in the night.  Either way, they don't matter.  They can just as easily bring us joy and comfort one minutes -- and the next, drive us to our knees with the weight of insecurity and self-doubt. They are fickle and unreliable sources.

But we are not limited by those voices of admiration -- or dismissal.  We each have the right to ask ourselves, where is this "message" of grandeur or smallness, belonging or emptiness, success or failure, love or fear -- coming from. If God isn't saying it to us -- we can question it.  We can decide to sit with those feelings a little longer, and let them instruct us in compassion, or we can listen more deeply until we hear the voice of divine Love reminding us:

“you are not alone,

what I say about you
is all that matters,
and you are Mine..."
It is enough to lift us up, to dissolve our fears, to humble our ambitions, to walk us forward...

offered with Love,


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