Structure: Prison or Freedom?

The year of Balance and Structure. And I nod. Yes. This is right. This sinks down into my soft inward places and breathes a sigh of relief. 

Yes. 

         Structure. 

Without it, my energy to accomplish flies out into the ether — it’s scatter shot. So much of it wasted. And my energy is so precious. Years ago, I didn’t understand this was even happening. It never even occurred to me that I was pouring and pouring and POURING out my very life’s force – mostly onto the ground.

I was so misguided. I believed that I could heal people myself, just because I am a healer. I thought I could save them because I knew the Savior. I felt all the pain inside my self and out in the world, and inside the people in it, and was desperate to stop it. And now I see I wasn’t being a benevolent healer. I was trying to control. Everything. All the things I could feel – it hurt – and I just wanted it to stop. So without even thinking, I set to work. And I worked and worked and worked, and poured out energy into everything I saw – everyone in pain around me – like 1,000 sieves, the earth soaked in my blood underneath. 

I couldn’t tell what needed my attention, and what stole it. 

That was at least a decade ago. This morning I feel that way. Chaotic inside, pulled in 1,000 directions by things demanding my attention – and I haven’t even finished my coffee. In fact, it’s cold on the table next to me. I feel chaotic, and sad, and stretched thin. And all I can think is how much I want the softness of very early morning back – but I can’t get back to it because the sun is fully in the sky and the hardness of the world has already set in. I feel regret. And a little scared that my whole day is going to feel edgy and chaotic. I woke up this morning with an agenda list that I don’t want to accomplish. No that’s wrong. I want to accomplish it – because accomplishment feels so good. Rather, I realize I have sad feelings connected to the work I am doing. Frustrated feelings. Feelings of shame and rejection, and the uncomfortable needling pain of loss. 


And my mind is racing – searching on overdrive for a way to feel better. It tells me – CHECK ALL YOUR EMAIL!! CHECK YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS!!!! WRITE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO DO AND GO GET YOUR CHORES DONE!!!! AND GO FUSS AT YOUR KIDS FOR GETTING ON SCREENS BEFORE THEIR CHORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! COME UP WITH A NEW 5 YEAR BUSINESS PLAN!!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s like a death match up in here. A fight for my energy, my focus, my time. All of these things are so limited, such precious resources. And I sit here with my eyes closed, softly rolling my head from side to side, feeling the pull of stiff muscles, making my body relax instead of draw up in preparation for the blow I imagine is coming. Traditionally, in these moments I have done the thing that feels good to combat the chaos, not necessarily what makes it good. I would go pour another cup of coffee, pick up my computer, and begin to journal. And after a couple of hours I would have all my chaotic words spilled out on the page, and feel marginal relief, but it would be lunch time and the swirling list of things to do demanding of me. And now I’m starving and dying of thirst because instead of eating or drinking I wrote and wrote and wrote. My undisciplined efforts poured out and I’m still inundated by the chaotic grasping of a world I can’t heal pressing in. 

Structure. (read, FREEDOM)

For me structure always read “PRISON” and I avoided it with all my might. But how is a chaotic and Unstructured life not a prison? 

2021 is the year of Structure and Balance. And I nod my head and a soft smile spreads across my face and I breathe, YES. I have a lot to learn about how to live my life out loud this way – meaning, how these heart intentions show up on the outside of my body in a way that translates to the world in a practical and meaningful way. How do I let structure bring me freedom instead of mistaking it for the monster breathing down my neck?

The beautiful thing about all structures that stand for more than a day is that they all have super reliable, firm foundations. So I don’t have to panic about beginning to build my structure this very minute… instead I feel the peace and assurance that if I will, instead, get very quiet and still, if I will allow peace and to fill me, then I will be able to hear that still small voice from the deepest places inside me whispering not a to-do list — but, rather, whispering Inspiration. Hope. Love. Joy – and more peace begins to swirl around my distracted, aching heart. And I am restored and focused and ready. 


Deep Breath.


Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

So I Will Let the peace of God that passes understanding — guard my heart and mind. 

Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s