Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Not Good Enough

      A classic quality found in both yogis and Christians is the striving to grow. We have this yearning to get closer to God, closer to a wall free hand stand, closer to that well of inner peace we just know is there somewhere inside us. To break out of the "upper echelons on mediocrity" (thanks Indigo Girls) and to soar is the desire of many of our hearts. We want to shine, to serve to stand on top of that proverbial mountain and shout "We made it". Well, what is it that we have made? Where are we going? What's wrong with where we are at? And does this blogger only have questions and no answers?

      When a student said to me the other day "I hate my arms" it was a no brainer for me to remind her that loving her body as it is now is often the path to greater health. But what about the subtler self abuses we heap upon ourselves? We think nothing of embarking on another cleanse, another self improvement project of making vision boards and plans for a great future. And let me be perfectly clear, I think these are all admirable and worthy activities. But what ground are these self improvement projects blooming in? Are we striving to grow because we are not good enough or simply because we want to be better?There is a difference. And taking on endless self improvement projects because "we are not good enough" is not only self abuse but it often ironically enough impedes our growth.

     Look outside your window and look at a plant for a moment. The nature of that plant is to grow in the direction of the sunlight and it does. Imagining for a moment that plant had thought capability. Can you imagine a pretty daisy thinking it needs to grow because it is not okay as it is? Of course not, the daisy just rests and grows. For years I have been pondering Romans 12:1
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

     I get the part about offering your body as a living sacrifice. Simply put if we feel God is telling us to do something and we have inner peace and that something does not disagree with scripture then we should use our body to obey God. Maybe we need to walk over to someone, or use our mouth to encourage or our arms to comfort. Our bodies are meant for God to use. The last part about renewing our minds I also "get". The cliff notes version: toxic thoughts = toxic life. But the middle "do not conform to the pattern of this world" is what I had to mull over for years before making any headway. For years I read it as plural "patterns" and that was easy....don't do what most of the world does. Don't be a bully, don't be a pervert, don't be a glutton...But then one day I noticed that pattern was singular. Wow, if there is only one pattern of this world and God does not want us to conform to it I sure want to know what it is. So after months of meditating on this what came to me is that the pattern of this world is dissatisfaction. We are hard pressed to find ourselves satisfied with things as they are, with ourselves as we are. Always needing to gain or lose 5 pounds, to read that book, to paint that wall. These are great activities but miserable and counterproductive as driving forces for our lives. So today I want to tell you "You ARE good enough". You and I are not perfect and every human being could use some polishing I am sure. But the beginning of growing towards the sunlight comes in resting in who we are today. Being okay with who we are is not an invitation to stagnate but rather it is the gateway to the mountain top
So shine on child of God, because the truth is today you are shiny. Today you are awesome and the more you rest in that the more you rest in Truth. If you want to improve then I applaud you but please let the desire for self improvement gently flow from self love and self satisfaction. The desire to contantly self improve beacuse we are not good enough is simply not the way to grow into the beautiful flower you already are.

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