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This is the point where you wish you could quit :: on climbing mountains and metaphors

Here is how it happens: you wake up one morning and think, today I want to accomplish something. Today, I want to do something hard and a bit impossible for me. Today, I want to climb a mountain.

You are a bit deluded. And optimistic. (You are usually optimistic in the morning.)

After some rearranging of the family plans, you pack up your bag with bug spray and sunscreen, bottles of water and a change of clothes and then you head out. You drive alone and think about the romance of climbing a mountain: you think about standing at the top, wind whipping your hair as you gaze out on the world below, the conquering hero. You think about time to pray and time to think. Lately your mind has been unquiet, constantly thinking and wrestling and popping to one thought after another without ever really settling in to think well about any of it. Your mind aches with constant unproductive use, and so you’ve decided to give your mind a time-out by making the rest of your body ache with work.

You set out with a few others. You are out of breath within ten minutes. (This is going to be a long day.) What were you thinking? but you keep going and everyone passes you. A new group of climbers come by and then they are gone too. This will happen all afternoon.

You listen to a sermon on your iPod Touch. An hour passes. You are still climbing, straight up. The sermon ends, you try some music. You realise that this is not the place for other people’s songs, this is the place for your own breath so you put away the music and listen to the noise of effort.

You are dirty and tired but you’re doing it, one foot after another after another after another. You sit at the switchbacks to rest, to rub your thighs with relief, drink tepid water. As you walk, you pray and you think and you rest. Eventually you stop thinking about all the stuff you wanted to think about and instead you simply exist, with God, with your own breath, with your own physical body’s unbelievable strength. It may not be pretty but you are still climbing up and up and up. Slowly, through the rocks and the dust and the sweat and limitations.

Why is that something that seems so hard to you is seemingly easy to everyone else? The other climbers are simply ascending, cheerily friendly and sympathetic as they sail past with their breezy encouragement to keep going. Women fly by with flat stomachs in their neon running shorts, one woman has on false eyelashes. False eyelashes! You’ve sweated off your make-up, your face is red, your ponytail is wet with sweat, you have dust and pine needles stuck to your ass from the last time you sat down to rest.

“Don’t look up,” one man advises. “You’ll only get discouraged when you see how much farther you still have to go. If you must look around, look down, look how far you’ve come.”

Why didn’t someone tell you that at the bottom? because you keep looking up and feeling your heart sink. Still so far to go. Keep going keep going keep going until the halfway sign mark, then the three-quarter way mark. These markers are discouraging: surely you should be done now but instead, you still have so far to go. And your thighs are quivering.

You keep going.

This is the point where you wish you could quit. This is the point where, in every other part of your life, you would say “Good enough!” and walk away. You would say things like “I tried my best” as you moved on to something easier, something to distract, anything really. Who wants to work so hard? In your real life, you would peace out, leave it to the experts. Surely someone else can do this.

Starting something hard is way more fun than finishing it well. Only the pines witness the resolute courage to keep moving.

The only way out is up. You are in charge of your own rescue.

You keep going.

The last half is the real work. You’ve stopped gazing at the trees with wonder. You’ve stopped praying, stopped philosophizing, stopped writing lame blog posts in your head, vanity vanity.

You are on all fours, scrabbling up rock face, your fingernails are filthy and torn. One poor woman fell down in front of you. She landed in the dust of the rocks in a heap, startled and winded. You picked her up, got her water, stayed for a while but she wanted to keep going. You could tell she was embarrassed by her fall, embarrassed to be needing something from a stranger, even kindness.

You keep going.

You are longing to be done. Done done done. you want to be done. You quit you quit you quit. It’s been three hours of steady climbing straight up. Your mind is still at last, captivated by the effort of your heart and body perhaps, you are simply willing yourself to keep moving.

And then you break through the trees to the rock and you are there. The last few steps to the summit, and you begin to turn back around slowly, panting, sweating, aching, dirty.

You stand at the top of a mountain and close your eyes to the view for a moment.

You did it.

You did it. You climbed nearly 3,000 feet up into the sky by yourself.

It wasn’t pretty. It was terrible work. It took you twice as long as you thought it would. Everyone passed you, even that one guy who was seventy if he was a day. Everyone was better at it than you. (Part of you resented them for making it look so effortless.) You are so tired, If you could have quit, you would have. But instead here you are right where you wanted to be all along.

You stand at the top of the mountain but you aren’t cheering and high five-ing anyone like a few other groups: you are alone. You’re happy. Deeply profoundly happy, filled with joy and accomplishment. You stand on the rock and look out and think: I used to be there and now I am here and I did that on purpose.

You take off your shoes, peel off your socks and simply sit in the wind, looking out into the world. It takes an hour for you to realize that your mind is quiet at last. Maybe it’s because you did all your praying with your feet and your muscles and your dirty hands today.

reposted from the archives

Continue Reading · journey, Out of Sorts · 19

My Weird Childhood Faith Isn’t So Weird Anymore

lightstock_146024_medium_user_5073617

received the gift of tongues when I was just eight years old. An older woman in our small charismatic church introduced us Friday night Bible study kids to the idea of a “prayer language.” I don’t remember how my teacher explained it, only how she gently placed her hands on our heads, one after another, while quietly praying in tongues herself. My mouth filled with syllables I didn’t know and didn’t understand; I lifted my skinny arms to the ceiling, and I spoke in tongues like a mystic.

I was raised in small charismatic churches in western Canada, long before the Internet made it easy to keep tabs on what other Christians were up to. I grew up believing that our experiences—speaking in tongues and then the interpretation, healing, miracles, prophecy, words of knowledge, and faith—were utterly unremarkable.

As I look back on my childhood, although the gifts of the Holy Spirit were dear to us and we deeply believed in their practice, the real difference was that we expected God. We wanted the wild and the untamed Spirit to disrupt us. We lived out of an assumption of God’s good gifts and overwhelming love. We yearned to see the Kingdom come on earth, right here, as it was or would be in heaven. We figured that was what God wanted, too. Believing power would come from on high to see the lost found and the sick healed and imprisoned set free, our church operated on a first-name basis with the Spirit.

Later, when I began to spend time with other Christians outside of my tradition, I discovered that we were considered fringe. A bit suspect amongst the establishment. People thought charismatics were dangerous, the weird ones, controversial. Who knew?

Over the years, I’d seen my share of damaging abuses done in the name of the Spirit. I’ve been on the receiving end of some weird practices. I look back on some of the things I used to believe and cringe a bit. Think of an over-realized eschatology, and I’ve probably heard it preached beautifully.

Anytime I get defensive about how charismatics are mocked or stereotyped, I am presented with something like this article from Charisma “news” referring to Donald Trump as “God’s Trumpet to America,” and I have renewed sympathy for cessasionists. In my upcoming book, Out of Sorts, I write about how I’ve learned to make peace with having an evolving faith, which means that, like most of us who grew up in some form of Christianity, I’ve had to sort through what I was taught and figure out what I want to carry with me and what I want to lay down. Being a charismatic provides a lot of material.

Read the rest of this article at Her.meneutics, Christianity Today’s Blog for Women….

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Continue Reading · faith, Guest Post, journey · 0

Somewheres

Somewheres

It might surprise some people to know that I’m a keeper of secrets. Many secrets, in fact. After all, I’m a blogger: by vocation, an over-sharer, a navel-gazer, an over-thinker with access to a medium. And yet there are vast swaths of my life that never make it to the public eye.

And the parts that do show up here or in a book or even on Instagram often only show up after I’ve wrestled the power away from them and I’m ready for my narrative to emerge for Everywhere. I heard Nadia Bolz-Weber call it “writing out of a scar, instead of a wound.”

***

But we all need somewhere to say the private things, the vulnerable things, the scary and true things, the victories and the defeats. “I need to say it somewhere,” we say. We’re wired for it, we’re wired for community and relationship, for connection.

So then the temptation is to say it Everywhere or to say it Nowhere.

Instead, I’m learning to say these things to my Somewheres.

***

I wonder if it isn’t easier to be honest on social media because we have curated our brand. Every one does it: by their likes, their groups, their filtered photos. We project an image of ourselves out into the world and then we want to interact with the world from within the boundaries of that image. It’s neater, tidier.

Because it’s the people who have access to the un-curated version of ourselves who might tell a different story.

My tinies might tell a very different story about me as a mother than what I’ve put online. My friends would be able to tell you that the whole picture of who I am doesn’t show up online, that in some ways I’m both better than that and so much worse than the public Sarah. Aren’t we all?

As Walt Whitman wrote, “do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.”

I need somewhere to be large and contradictory. Don’t we all?

***

A while ago, I wasn’t doing so good. I was struggling for a few different reasons. It was tempting to stay utterly silent and keep on until it resolved or until I got over it, as is my usual method.

I’m an INFJ (if you’re into that whole Meyers-Briggs thing) and in times of conflict or difficulty, we withdraw – big time. We go deeply inward and don’t emerge until we’ve settled whatever has been ailing us, until we have developed a nice story with a bow on the top. This is the great frustration of the ones who love me, I hear. I withdraw, I shut down, I retreat in times of conflict both external and internal.

So this is my learned spiritual discipline: I talk to my Somewheres.

I say discipline because that is what it takes for me to reach out during conflict. It takes intentional discipline to be honest while I’m still in the midst of the unfinished struggle. I had to say the words out loud: here are my contradictions. I don’t always do it well.

Ironically, I can be even more reluctant to share my victories than I am to share my imperfections. I have a lively horror of #humblebrag. And yet sometimes cool things happen, amazing things even, and I have found I need somewhere to unapologetically brag, too.

***

The Somewheres are my cure for the Everywhere and the Nowhere. Neither extreme is good for our souls. We can’t say everything to Everyone. It’s foolish and damaging to expose ourselves to every single person with an opinion, to let just anyone’s criticism or direction come to rest heavily on our stories.

And we can’t keep our contradictions, our multitude, all in either, we will be crushed eventually. I think our souls require some release: for wisdom, for perspective, for laughter, for tears, for even the holy act of hearing “I see you and I’m listening.” We need to receive from one another, receive the gifts that God has placed before us in our right-now lives. Paul wrote of this in Galatians 6:2 when he encouraged us to “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We need each other. People get a bit squirrelly when they refuse to lay down their masks. No one should be above getting their mail read.

***

“I need to say it somewhere. And you’re my Somewhere,” I said to my friends.

And so we embraced the word, this idea of being each other’s Somewhere. We are the Somewheres. Whether it was for an unapologetic brag or a tearful admission or a “here’s the whole story behind this thing” or a disappointment or frustration in every corner of our lives. Somewhere to say that that The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was amazing and your heart is broken and you can’t get your baby to sleep and you wonder if you’re wasting your life and your marriage isn’t doing so good and you feel alive for the first time and you are tired and you heard a terrible joke and you found a new paint colour for your bedroom and your teenager is giving you attitude.

I have found, too, that good Somewheres listen and see, but they also push back and challenge. As the writer of Hebrews said, we “stir up one another to love and good works.” (10:24) We will become truly human when we are truly communal, we’re made in the image of God, a communal Trinity God. Some part of our soul starves in isolation and in anonymous crowds. The best relationships are reciprocal, an intentional but un-choreographed give-and-take.

***

I believe we can be authentic in our lives. I do. I hope I am authentic, I hope my life is seamless, transparent even. I long to be the same person online as I am off-line, in church as I am in my neighbourhood, at work as I am in my family. I believe we can speak our truth and own our truth and unapologetically write it, share it, speak it, live it. I think it’s best to live as if there is no such thing as a secret, sure. And I believe that while we’re doing that, going through our lives unarmed and with our hearts broken and our hands open, that we still need – perhaps even more – a Somewhere, a safe refuge, a place to work out what is working in us. We can’t be everything to everyone, so why should everyone receive everything that we are?

***

Here are a few things you need to become Somewheres: An ability to welcome the contradictions in each other. Ferocious trust. Secret keeping. A shared sense of humour. A fierce belief in the inherent goodness and holiness of each other. An equal amount of butt-kicking and hair-petting. Bravery. Silliness. A common core. The capacity to laugh through tears. A bullshit detector. An aversion to the phrase, “I’m fine.” Unconditional welcome. Time, so much time. Openness to being challenged. A lot of small and inconsequential talk to lay the foundation for the big scary talks. Loyalty like blood. Showing up at the right time. Light for the darkness. And then there is the part you can’t predict or plan or program: magic. There needs to be a bit of that Holy Spirit drawing together, a sense of purpose and destiny, an answered prayer, a shared language all your own discovered at last.

image via lightstock

 

Continue Reading · community, faith, friends, journey · 46

Ron and Hermione

Ron and Hermione :: Sarah Bessey

We don’t have a big yard, its about the size of a couple postage stamps, give or take a few images of the Queen. But we do have a forest just behind the ordinary chain link fence, a dense coastal forest filled with cedars and squirrels, spirea mountain ash and coyotes. Every September, a mama bear and her cub lumber through for a few weeks and we keep our tinies inside or  carefully supervise them instead of what we usually do: open the door, set the boundaries – “this house to this house, our yard and your best friend’s yard” – and let them go. We have salmonberry bushes and blackberry bushes tangled up around a little creek that runs through, we poke our hands through the thickets, braving scratches, for the first berries of the year. By August, we’ll be sick of blackberries, the jam will already be made.

We don’t live in the wilderness, just a quiet little neighbourhood of semi-detached homes on the edge of town in the valley. We’re next to a blueberry farm. We have been thinking seriously about moving this year. We got so far as to buy a house and set our moving dates but then for a few reasons, it all fell apart. Now that it’s been a few weeks since that disappointment, I’ve come to see the grace hiding in that falling apart. It’s a small thing in the scheme of things, I know, but it loomed large for our little family and was the source of much conversation. We continue to weigh our options, should we stay or should we go?

And life continues. I’m in the midst of editing the new book which is slow going in this season. I stop frequently to nurse the baby or to make lunch or to pick up the tinies from the bus stop. I have a babysitter for our preschooler two mornings a week which is an enormous help. My husband takes the three big kids to my parents’ place for the day on a Saturday now and again, giving me the house and the baby to myself as I try to put a chapter to bed. Serendipitously, two weekends ago when he did that, it was a chapter about how discussions of theology need ordinary people to be involved, how well-educated and well-read and well-travelled scholars also need us low church experiential local folks talking about how we see and experience and know God, about how theologians are hiding in every walk of life. I wrote those words at my kitchen table with the youngest of four tinies beside me, snoring. Naptime writing is urgent writing, sometimes I think it might be my best thinking. This isn’t speculation: if theology – how we think about God and then how we live that out – isn’t for all of us, then what is it even for?

Caring for small children, being a homemaker, can be repetitive and ordinary: laundry, cleaning bathtubs, long walks made twice as long by wandering and questions, grocery shopping, nursing, all of it. Life is rarely as exciting as people like for it to appear on Facebook. We go to church, we participate in leadership meetings to shape the conversations of our communities, we pray for our friends, we make meals, I write posts and articles and books about God, we wash our minivans, we set up the sprinkler for the neighbourhood kids and hand out freezies to hopeful hands, we go to work, we talk about the people we know. Sacred and beautiful, sure, I’ll say that, but also slow and daily and sometimes monotonous, too.

But even in that ordinary work, I keep trying to give shape to the new world, to the dangerous possibilities of living our lives right now as if God saved everything, as if it is all redeemed or being redeemed. If what I believe about Love doesn’t find a roost here in my regular and ordinary and unremarkable life where I learn and practice what Eugene Peterson called “the biggest nouns and verbs,” then I have no right to those words in moments of transformation and change and importance. There are chickadees perched on the railings of the deck, just for a few seconds. They fly in, perch, flinch, and depart, over and over. I like to think they’re all checking for the crumbs leftover from the weekend of eating outside. Maybe they know which house has messy eaters.

My husband and I sat outside on Saturday night, watching the sun set. It’s nearly summer solstice and the days are long. We put the tinies to bed in broad daylight and settled onto our back deck, facing the forest. The sun sank behind the house and that last golden light of the day hit the trees. In the morning, the light is cool and white and sharpening; but in the evening, it’s warm and liquid, it softens the forest.

Brian and I talked about the regular things: should we move? should we stay? We talked about the kids and about work, about the plan for the week ahead. I’m distrustful of people who always seem to be thinking of deep spiritual things, always striving and going-going-going: I think they must be horrible to live with. I think we need the humanity of laughter and Netflix and ordinary life. We poured a glass of white wine each and wrapped ourselves up in blankets. Joe is reading under the covers with a flashlight, I think tonight he’s reading James and the Giant Peach. Anne has left Babysitters Club books littered around the house, Evelynn is devoted to Robert Munsch these days, of course – that slapstick humour perfectly suits her. I secretly love when they sneak-read. Is there any reading more delicious than that sneaky after-bedtime reading when you are a child? The evenings are still cold when the darkness gathers.

We were waiting for our owls. We have two owls out back, I’m not quite sure what kind, perhaps a western screech owl. We have heard that owls mate for life. I don’t know if that’s true or legend, but every year, we see two owls in the summer nights, year after year after year. Our owls come out to hunt. We like to sit there in the near-dark and watch them, swooping down to the forest floor, returning to rest on the branches of the trees with their prizes.

We had a long discussion about what to name our owls, pairs of names are always fun to consider. Romeo and Juliet? Peanut and Butter? Antony and Cleopatra? Nip and Tuck, á la The Blue Castle? Anne and Gilbert? Elizabeth and Darcy? We settled on Ron and Hermione since, well, they are owls and so the Harry Potter books are entirely appropriate.

I don’t think we’re going to move. And it’s entirely the fault of the forest. I live in a tidy little neighbourhood of identical houses, sure, and I don’t have a yard, I get it. But we have the silence of the night and a creek, we have Ron and Hermione, we have the trees, and I don’t think I’m ready to give that up. Maybe I’ll change my mind. A trampoline and a garden would be nice.

When life can feel a bit dull and prosaic, my forest nights somehow keep me grounded in the dense amazement of being alive. I remembered an old Roald Dahl quote I read once, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

I believe in magic.

I believe in ordinary and repetitive and daily boring life and the way magic hides in plain sight.

I believe in church picnics and breastfeeding, I believe books matter and summer nights are for sitting outside while the sun sets. I believe in good coffee and eating berries off the bush. I believe in going for walks with children because they are so slow and perfectly inefficient. I believe our theology is formed in our lives and experiences, and I believe we need to listen to each other. I believe in working hard and loving what we do. I believe in unsupervised children and sidewalk chalk and sprinklers. I believe in kitchen tables and piles of books. I believe in windows being wide open while sun-tanned children go to sleep at a reasonable hour so that they can read under the covers with a flashlight. I believe in heavy blankets for cool summer nights and long conversations over a shared bottle of wine, I believe love lasts a lifetime even if it changes, and I believe in birdsong in the morning. I believe in owls.

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Continue Reading · canada, enough, faith, family, journey, love, marriage, moments · 38

[Love Looks Like] 14: On marriage, making magic, and demands

On marriage :: Sarah Bessey

It’s been fourteen years today since I walked-when-I-wanted-to-run down the chapel aisle to you. Do you remember how the sun was shining but the air was still heavy and wet with the Oklahoma thunderstorm of the day before? We were kids, really, with the intensity of evangelicals about everything from God to each other to our dreams for the future, and that’s okay. We grew up together and that has its own kind of crazy.

You used to be a night owl but that has changed over the years in response to the demands of family life and work. You still love a sleep-in now and then. I’ve always been a morning lark but now I love a good sleep-in too and so we trade – Saturday for one, Sunday for the other. The rest of our life, we rise early trying to get a jump on the day. I hear about couples who wake up early to read the Bible together but that’s never been our thing. You get up and head straight out the door to work in a career you never imagined yourself in fourteen years ago. I get up and head straight upstairs to get the four babies we made ready for their day, pouring cereal and taming curls and brushing teeth and searching for library books. After everyone is out the door, I will settle in to write a sermon. It’s the job I never imagined myself doing fourteen years ago.

We did remember to say “happy anniversary” today. This isn’t a year for big celebrations, we know that. We can’t even manage a supper out yet, our last little baby is still too new for such indulgences. Other people don’t quite get this priority but we get it. We’ve learned by now that there is plenty of time for suppers-out and date-nights and get-aways, these sorts of baby-days only happen a few times in our life. And we’re perfectly happy to be home with the four tinies and take-out.

Maybe next year we’ll do something fun.

Does that sound familiar? Remember how we were planning a trip to the U.K. for our fifth anniversary but then I was six months pregnant on our anniversary and we went to Stanley Park instead. Then we made plans for Mexico for our tenth but instead, well, Evelynn was just four weeks old and we went to Vancouver for a day instead. Then we started to make plans for a driving tour of the western coastlines for our fifteenth but Margaret will only be a year old by then and likely still nursing so we’ll see. Well, maybe the big twenty! Big twenty! we joked.

Who are we kidding?

I remember when we were dating and we didn’t have a dollar for a Sonic drink between the two of us. We used to walk to Walmart across the parking lot of the Mabee Centre in Tulsa on Saturday nights, ending up sitting under the trees and the stars, waxing philosophic as only two college kids who take themselves too seriously can. We never ran out of things to say and we still haven’t. I’d still walk to Walmart with you. When we have an ordinary sort of night, you say, “We made walking to Walmart into a fantastic date” to remind that these ordinary nights matter in a love story. So tonight, we’ll eat take-out on the couch while our babies sleep in their beds and the owls swoop in our forest out back and we talk about the future and what we want to do and then you will ask me if I’d like to watch Jimmy Fallon tonight and I will say yes.

Fourteen was a hard year for us in some places. I can admit that easily. So can you. A lot of change, a lot of upheaval, life demanded much of us and we have tried to rise together. We don’t have any false self to prop up anymore, no pride left, not much dignity. We dance in the kitchen sometimes, and we negotiate soccer practices and bills and crock pots, and we kiss ferociously still, but quietly, so that the kids won’t wake up and interrupt us. This is real life, it’s all real. We have failed each other at times over the years, disappointed each other, and yet we have somehow grown stronger and more whole, become more us, for those very stumbles and frustrations and heartbreaks. It’s the Kingdom economics at work – the very thing that was meant to slay us saves us. The first is last, the least is the greatest, the hurts became our places of communion. We guard those places now.

The day that Margaret was born was another turning point for us somehow. You came down to my depth and you held on. I still haven’t been able to really express it and maybe I will someday or maybe not, maybe some things simply need to be carried without words.

You have seen me at my best and at my worst and you never faltered, you never failed me. You are more than a metaphor.

It changes a woman to know that she can go right down to the bottom of herself and find only love there. You have said the same thing to me about different moments in your life. This is what we do for each other.

We have learned in fourteen years of marriage that our net will hold, we hold each other, so we keep that net strong, we’ve learned this the only way you can learn it: the hard way.

This morning, I said to you, “you know, I should really do a Fourteen Things We’ve Learned in Fourteen Years of Marriage post. It would be fun. We might enjoy figuring it out together.” We looked at each other for a half-second and then we kind of laughed.

“I can’t think of anything off the top of my head,” you said. “Me, either,” I said. “The only thing I know is that I know a lot less now than I used to think I knew.”

“That’s not your style anyway,” you said.

I didn’t know then what I know now about how our life would unfold. It looks very different than we expected. You have changed and I have changed: that’s one of the best gifts we have given each other over the years, room to change and evolve and become more fully ourselves. We have been uncovering our real selves over these fourteen years. But I love that you still call me “Styles” when you’re teasing me.

I like who you were and I like you who are and I like who you are becoming. I like us.

You went out the door to work, the kids went to school, the baby went to sleep, and I thought, well, maybe we do know a few things. There are things we have established in our marriage right from the start that have worked for us: how we handle money, how we speak to each other, how we make decisions, how we lead our family together, how we parent, how we work. We’re practical and we’re committed and we communicate well (eventually) – those three things go a long ways.

Maybe they are our own thing though. What works for us probably wouldn’t work for someone else’s marriage.

Over the years, I’ve decided that it’s less about the rules we keep and the boundaries we maintain and the principles we practice in this marriage. Those are helpful and useful, absolutely. But that isn’t the stuff of magic. It’s the work that creates space for the magic.

But the magic, ah, now that’s our thing. That has always been our thing. Maybe the one thing we have absolutely in common: we crave the magic, the love affair, the passion, the sense of destiny, the great story of us. We are matched in passion. We aren’t content to just get by as roommates, we demand magic of each other, we demand meaning out of even the most mundane moments of our life together.

We only feel disconnected and furious when the magic has departed from us. Even though we know better than to believe in soulmates, practically and logically and theologically, we still default to that language because it’s all we have: soulmates. Meant to be. We were always meant to be, we believed it then, and we choose to believe it now.

Here is the best magic maker we’ve discovered so far: you first. 

You first, you first, you first. 

Selflessness is best practiced in concert. We choose each other. You lay down your life for me and for our children. I lay down my life for you and for our children. We put each other first, together, in practical ways and spiritual ways, in our dreams and our visions, in our minds and hearts towards each other. It’s not perfect and we make mistakes and we’re occasionally both very selfish. Maybe me more than you. But right from the start, there was never a second thought, never a wonder if something better might come along someday. You choose me and I choose you and who else was there for us but each other?

You saw the real me before I did. I see the real you still. Your hair is turning grey and it suits you. You are a better person than I could ever dream of being. I’m getting bolder. We’re still dreaming of what could be. We are each other’s best mirror.

 

photo by Sharalee Prang

Continue Reading · brian, journey, love, love looks like, marriage · 30