Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Doing Nothing For Lent

(c) Holly Stanley

In a world where productivity rules and efficiency is king, intentionally leaving the margins blank seems counterintuitive. We text while waiting in line-ups, read on the toilet and respond to emails while watching television. I've become so accustomed to doing that I have a hard time not doing. Just lounging on the couch without music or television, a laptop or telephone, writing or reading seems totally foreign to me. And yet this is the place where dreams are made, this is when we are most creative, and it's also when we are most likely to be receive revelation.

We don't need to carve out more time for rest, we need to use the time we have more restfully. Multi-task less, go for walks without the iPod, sit and stare out the window for an hour. Do nothing, intentionally. And do it every day.

This is my plan for Lent.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I Am Who I AM

Sometimes, the hardest thing to be is yourself, nothing more and nothing less. The past few years I've been peeling back layers of my personality and getting to the fruit. I am coming to accept that I am who I am. Social stuff, even close relationships, weren't easy for me and I have battled feelings of inferiority for as long as I can remember. I didn't think anyone would like me just the way I am. I feared being found out -that people would eventually realize what a fraud I was. If I spent an evening with friends I'd spend the next 3 evenings picking apart every "stupid" thing I said or did. I despised my own words and feelings. I rejected my own story. 

But something really wonderful has been happening lately: I am seeing myself as a child of God and fellow sojourner -just another Bozo on the bus really! 

This perspective of brotherhood heals me in a fundamental way. We are equals. No matter how pretty she is or how intellectual he is or how much compassion or creativity or success they have, I am an equal.

Nowadays, when I catch myself being completely myself there is a quiet freedom that teeters on joy. I can ask questions when I am uncertain without being afraid of looking dumb. I can share my view, even if it's unpopular, without fearing judgment. I can tell my story without feeling shame. Why? Because when I tap into that perspective of brother/sisterhood and seek to share honestly and humbly, I have no facade to maintain or persona to defend. I am no longer speaking to impress, I am simply sharing/engaging without an agenda. At that point, I simply am who I am, nothing more and nothing less.

Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”