Horizons

I am someone who lives my life preparing for what is just beyond where I am at now. If I am honest, and I want this space to be one of vulnerability and honesty, it is because I have always lived with a deep sense of dissatisfaction and even shame. I have had a need to move on. To seek what is just beyond the curve ahead.

Where I am at, has been forged as an unsafe and undesirable place. I don’t know if that comes from my being orphaned as a baby and living in foster care, or some other deficit. But it is the reality I have come to accept. Until today.

Today I look at the two points in my life as acceptable, beautiful and whole. The two points are where I am and where I want to go. Like how a line is made. Draw two points and there you have it.

For my whole life I have seen the two points this way: the point where I am at- and desperately need to claw my way out of and the point where I should be- you know the point where the other people are who are happy and have all they want and need.

Seriously. That is how I have lived my life. Exhausted and broken.

At 47, in the midst of a career change, new place to live and many of my systems of structure in flux, I am realizing that I actually love, not just love but adore with all of my heart the two points of my life.

Horizon point: the point I am looking out toward. I’m starting work this fall as a chaplain at middle and high school. I get to plan chapels- sacred space of sanctuary, healing, hope and flourishing for a student body and school community that is open to learn and grow. I get to encourage, walk alongside and help others make sense of the ups and downs of life. All in an environment of humble excellence. I am hopeful because I have confidence that I am really good at the things I think this community really needs. That is Buechner’s definition of vocation and I am happy to take this vocational step.

Point 2: where I am at. The point that starts the journey. This is usually the tension point in my life. It has been the painful place that motivated me to leave and strive, scratch and claw, and work so hard to eliminate the current reality that would be my future regret. But as I assess the point where I am at, I see beauty. I see strength. I see connection. I see wholeness. I have sensed this for a while and it has scared me. What if my motivation is gone? Have I fought the big fight of my life and now I am empty? Kind of like a ball player who doesn’t know what to do when they retire.

But that fear has left me. I now see my two daughters. Two amazing people who are so different from each other that it isn’t even funny. Yet with a vein of will and strength that screams warrior spirit. I imagine that they would be the ones who gave up last on some snowy battlefield. They would be the ones who stood tallest in the face of some 19th century colonizer. But they live in comfort and safety, so that will stands on the shoulders of other fighters history.

They are a legacy that is whole. Not fractured and broken. And in them I am become whole.

I got into a fight with my oldest last night. We yelled and screamed and argued our points. And in the end I realized that we were both fighting for connection and space in each other’s life. We cried and hugged and prayed. And I felt whole. And she felt whole.

This is what I fight for in my life now. Not for things I have fought for in the past-food or identity or value or meaning. I am fighting for connection and a hug and a space to pray.

The two points in my life that define the line of David are both beautiful. One is not greater or more worthy than the other. This is a cataclysmic and cosmic, existential shift for me. It has unnerved me for years. But today it leaves me with an ability to love deeply. And fight for something positive.

I am grateful for the wholeness I live with today. 2 years of BJJ. A lifetime of experience. Faith that sustains. Oss.

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