Last night I met with a group of men and women I will be leading small group with between now and Christmas. I knew some very well and some I had never met. Janet started us off with one of those get to know each other questions. This small group is about knowing our stories and inviting others to be curious about their story as well. It is about sharing and being curious and knowing how to engage and love each other well. I was struck by what an awesome question…..
Our answers ranged from images of hope and beauty and strength to places we feel disconnected, stuck and weary. There was almost always a tension between words of our dignity with words that creep in and question our value. The images that were shared were words that spoke to the journey we each have traveled in some way. The question initially gripped me with some trepidation and then as we all shared for about five minutes, I began to connect with the words being shared and the words I shared. It felt as if we knew each other just a little more by the end of that get to know you exercise, in a way that shared laughter and depth. In a way that felt real.
I will say that I stood at the mirror differently this morning. I looked deeper into my eyes and thought more about the woman I am and am not. I thought of my goals and dreams and I thought of my disappointment and my sorrow. And then I smiled and remembered it is Friday and I have much to do. I have a workout and some office time, a drive to Chicago and time with my brother and his family and a football game in which to cheer on my nephew. I have a full day and I want to embrace all it holds. I look in the mirror and I know that I am a woman with a story. A woman who knows deep heartache but also a woman who has been filled with joy and gratitude. I am a woman who has learned to enjoy the journey and understand that there will be difficult days as well as ones filled with delight. I am a woman who is striving to feel fully connected in mind, body and soul and live a life of purpose and be fully alive. I struggle, I weep, I laugh, I enjoy, I have goals and dreams and I have a choice to embrace each moment.
I look in the mirror and i know I am not who I desire to be AND I look in the mirror and I am delighted in the person I am becoming. Life is a journey. The journey to embrace the person you see in the mirror is one of the most important journeys we are called to. I believe it is where the ability and desire to loving others well begins.
Take a peek and answer the question for yourself. I would hope it is a question that will invite you to love yourself and others more deeply and more freely!