Ok, so my feeble attempt at embracing blogging in 2017 has completely failed. Go me.
However, if there is one thing I have learned (and there are many) since beginning my One Little Word project is that you don’t always have to be “on” or perfect or whatever. Creativity comes in shifts. So does time. And sometimes one simply needs to embrace not accomplishing something for the sake of self-care or whatever.
In fact, this lesson is exactly what I needed to hear and embrace, though it’s only the first lesson learned. And we’re only 18 days in to the new year.
Who needs therapy when you’ve got OLW?
But back up and refresh…
In my last post I talked about my One Little Word project for 2017. Since then I’ve done some preliminary work on my first entry into my book, though up until yesterday, nothing permanent. I’ve had my word stuck in the back of head. There have been times where I’ve been all, “This is totally a moment of embrace!” And there have been times of, “What the fork? Really? Embrace my butt.” I’m sad to say I’ve had more of those moments than the first one, especially lately with embracing for impact at losing a loved one.
Before I get any further: Quick vocab lesson: Embrace (the noun) means: “a close encircling with the arms and pressure to the chest, especially as a sign of affection (like a hug)” or “grip, encirclement” or “acceptance.” I chose the noun define, even though embrace is actually more of a verb. I like that’s so flexible in its definition.
Basically embrace means to enfold and enclose. It’s all touchy, feely and I don’t do touchy, feely. Plus, it means acceptance, such as embracing a new project.
You know, I feel as if God is trying to tell me something.
Part of this OLW journey is self-reflection, which goes with that touchy, feely stuff. I put off working on my OLW book, which I realized yesterday that it wasn’t because I didn’t know what I wanted to write or didn’t have the time. It was because I was afraid. I was afraid to put into words things I needed to hear, like embracing not being perfect or embracing the fear. All of which went into my reflections, permanently on my page in black and white finally.
So, lesson 2 learned – I need to accept and embrace that this isn’t going to be an easy scrapbook, journal project.
Part of this process is finding a quote to go with my word. I’ve searched many quotes via Pinterest and found ones that were deeply profound and philosophical. I’ve found ones that simple read, “Embrace the chaos.” Or my personal favorite, “Embrace the suck.”
Yet, the one I keep coming back to is one from author Elizabeth Gilbert:
“Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”
And because that’s not enough, God wanted to also get the message across to me another way: in worship at an African-American United Church of Christ church on the south side of Chicago, where the pastor reminded us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God created us all in God’s image – black, white, gay, trans, straight, purple, whatever – we are fearfully made.
Ok, so there was more to the message because it was MLK Sunday but to hear my African American colleague belt out that I am in fact, fearfully made by God, well, damn.
I am fearfully made by God. You are fearfully made by God. In God’s image, whatever that image may be. It’s messy and complicated and fun and challenging. It’s meant to shake us and cause us to tremor. There’s fear and joy and this idea that sometimes all we can do is embrace who we are and find a sense of wholeness for what fits us best, knowing full well it’s not going to be perfect.
Embracing this idea of becoming my best self, whatever that may be, is difficult.
So, lesson 3 learned. Again, it’s only January 18!
I’m sure I’ll learn more over coming weeks. I’ll find more about embracing myself and those things I need to overcome, or perhaps hug tightly. But I love that my word has taken me to places I wouldn’t have thought of, places that have existed in plain sight but ones I missed.
Seriously, if God isn’t trying to tell me something, then there’s a problem.
If you chose a word to focus on this year, I hope it’s embracing you. I hope it’s shaking you and challenging you and making you see things in new ways. Though I hope that it is also occurring with a lot of grace and love, because let’s face it – we are our own worst critics. Take care knowing you’re not alone in the struggle. The path to wholeness and peace is often met on rocky ground. But those bumps do eventually lead to wholeness and peace, so there is a silver lining.