Body, Mind, and Soul

We are told to love ourselves.  We are told to stay healthy and eat right.  We are told to exercise.  We are told to go to church and to find a good community.  Because all of these things are important.

But I think we get too focused and forget the main point.  Love yourself.

I set a New Year resolution to go running and do yoga four times a week.  And I’ve done great.  My mileage is up, and I am stronger.  I look better.  I feel better.  But I’ve also been opening at work almost everyday and not sleeping the best.  So some afternoons I’m just tired.  And the last two or three weeks I’ve felt almost under the weather, but not quite, so I’ve napped, and then not felt good enough to go out on a run.  My boyfriend tells me it’s fine, and that it’s good to give myself a rest, but instead I beat myself up over it.  It depresses me that I’m so tired, and I’m so tired because I’m depressed.  I keep feeling like if I miss a day of exercise, I will be fat.  I’m terrified to lose my routine again.  It’s like I forget why I’m doing it in the first place.

I want to be healthy.  And it’s so easy to just focus on one realm of health.  It’s so easy to focus on clean eating and an exercise routine, but then forget to nourish your mind and your soul.  It’s easy to get caught up in a mantra of a having a healthy mind, but neglect your spirit and body.  It’s easy to beat yourself up if you miss church, so you focus only on that, but forget that your body is a temple and your mind a control center.

I am one, whole person.  I have a mind, a body, and a soul.  (Some would say I am a soul, but that’s beside the point.)  I’m not going to get fat if I occasionally skip a run because I’m exhausted.  My happiness is just as important as my appearance.  And no one hates me, especially not God, if I want to stay home and sleep in on the occasional Sunday morning.  Church is for community, not salvation, anyway.

Love yourself.  Body.  Mind.  Soul.

Runner’s High

Driving home
Like driving drunk
Feeling like I might throw up
Light headed
Wondering if I should even be driving at all
But I’ve got to make it

And I’m not under any influence
If anything, above it
My feet struck pavement
Nothing struck me

I breathed deeply
Moving freely
Now on my way home
Feeling a little queasy
Needing a shower
Feeling my name called
Falling out of this runner’s high

Nobody’s Story

Nobody’s story is simple
To get to where you are now had to come from somewhere
Even growing in perfection has moments of misdirection
Every stained glass had its broken moments

The one who has it all together had to learn to stretch to wrap their arms around the broken years
The one who shines so brightly in the light has trouble falling asleep at night because of fear of darkness
The early riser, morning conqueror never fell asleep in the first place
The one so quiet and concentrated has learned to gather scattered thoughts to keep from going crazy

We try to put everyone in a box
Believing no one can understand
That everyone’s life must be easy
Because you can watch them breathe while you feel as though you’re suffocating

Things don’t go to plan
Because the chaos of the universe already has its order
As we try to grasp it we fall apart
Developing a story to be told

Nobody’s story is simple
To get to where you are now had to come from somewhere
So tell it

Snowy Sleeplessness

It seems I have forgotten how to sleep.  And it would be so easy to blame in on the snow, because the white blanket outside makes it seem like there’s light out forever.  Maybe I need darkness.  But really, when I shut it all out, there is darkness.  So why am I still awake?

My life is pretty great right now.  Even with all the bad in it, I am content.  Because there is so much good in it as well, so much to be thankful for.
Yet I still feel that prickle in the back of my mind.  And maybe it will always be there.  It’s not something I’m going to act on, because I am so much stronger than this, but it’s still there, as if it’s waiting for me.
My heart aches for it, even with all the harm it could cause.  So let’s talk.
Sometimes I wish I could slice myself open and disappear.  Maybe because that would be so much easier.  I wouldn’t have to worry about making it then, because I would have already made it.  I would have already arrived.
I thought my life would be so much more than this.  I thought I would have my book written, or some spoken word recorded, or maybe I would be living in England pursuing my Masters.  I hoped so much for simplicity and success.  But in all honesty, maybe I’m not ready for that.
I’m here because, after all my striving, I am finally learning vulnerability.  I try so hard to push everyone away when they get too close.  I can’t ever let anyone know what’s going on inside.  I am so out of touch with my feelings, that whenever I feel anything at all, I bolt so that I don’t get hurt.  I hate getting hurt.

I feel like I have been lied to.  I feel like I am being constantly misunderstood.  I feel like I’m being taught all these things that I have already learned and developed my opinions on.  And then I am being talked down to like I know nothing at all.
Intruders come into my life and touch all my things.  And I’m paying them to be there.  And being lied to about the price.
I am being asked to simplify my faith, and then given examples that make it more complicated with extra details.
I am given lessons in theology like it’s not something I went over my freshman year of college.
I’m saying I’m better than any of this or smarter than any of this, I just want to be heard.  I just want to be understood.  I just want to be asked what I really think, and then not told that I am wrong, because I’m not wrong.  How can any of us even be right if none of the answers we can know for certain?
How did I end up here?

There is someone I could so easily go back to.  Someone who doesn’t need to talk or ask questions or know me.  Someone who just wants me to be there.  But they are so bad for me.  And there could be someone new.  But I’d never let that happen, because having real feelings could cause real hurt, and I’ve never been good enough for a Christian guy before.
Because even with all my knowledge, with my studies and my writing and my music, there’s just something wrong.  I spend too much time putting someone else’s supposed projections onto my identity, that I never stop to ask or believe what anyone else thinks.  Because every time I get my hopes up, they get let down before they can be crushed.

This isn’t who I am though.  This isn’t where my identity lives, I just let it rest here for a while.  I want so much to be someone different, someone better, the best possible version of myself.  But instead I’m stuck here, being forced into some box and expected to play the part of someone I’m not.  I was never even given a script.

So come find me here, because I’m waiting.

Lullaby

I want to fall asleep in the arms of my Savior
I want to breathe in deep, the scent of His warm embrace
I want to dream of dancing with Jesus
And wake up to find it’s real

Why can’t I realize that nothing else matters?
There is hurt deep inside of my soul
That can only be purged by letting go
Of everything so I hold nothing but the hands of my Savior

I want to sing out His name at the top of my lungs and not care who hears me because I love Him that much
That is such a small thing compared to His arms stretched wide on the cross saying, “I love you this much.”

Everything I do should glorify Him
Because He is the reason I do anything at all
But yet it seems His name is scarcely on my lips
It’s like I’ve forgotten why I even came here, why I even do this.

I could spend hours on my knees and it still wouldn’t be enough
I could hug a thousand children and it still wouldn’t show His love
I could fast for forty days, but my hunger wouldn’t be satisfied
Can I even fathom who my God is?

He is every beat of my broken heart
And He mends its every fracture
He is the air in my lungs
And I need to breathe Him in
He is the blood in my veins; He flows through me
He keeps me alive

God, I would ask You to sing me a lullaby, but You are my lullaby
You write my bedtime stories
You sing me to sleep