I was having a crabby day. Feeling disappointed in life about a few things and knew it was just one of those days, a day to just let myself feel without falling too deep. I decided I needed a run to get my oxytocin pumping. And I needed to share with a few people how I was feeling. I needed to give the emotions an exit point, both physically and mentally.
I decided to run with my hair down. It was cold out and my hair is super thick so it could serve as extra warmth instead of pulling it up and having the breeze on my neck.
The truth is I never run with my hair down. We pull it back to get it out of our eyes, right? Or do we pull it back because we always have? Do we pull it back without even thinking because we are in workout mode? Possibly.
One of my passions is helping people see different things in our lives that we do because it has become “the way” to us, but that “way” is not a rule, it is not a natural law, and most of the time, it causes self-inflicted pain.
As women, we bring all kinds of “laws” into our lives that need to be scrutinized. Especially in a day and age where the tribe and the village have disintegrated, and all the pressure of the house and family usually rests on the woman’s shoulders.
Let me give a few practical examples and some that are more at the soul level.
I had a coworker that believed that if anyone in the family of 5 used a towel after getting out of the shower it had to be washed. This amounted to 25+ towels a week that needed to be washed and it wasn’t just an excess of towels it was crazy amounts of clothes too. This coworker was in shock to hear that others did not do this. This “law” was creating all kinds of unneeded pain in their life.
I was raised that pretty much you could not leave a dish in the sink overnight. I pretty much hate washing dishes, but I love being in the kitchen with a glass of wine, a few slices of cheese on my cutting board, Jazz on my Bluetooth speaker, and cooking a meal. I had to GIVE myself permission to break this “law.” I had to learn to let the dishes sit there overnight. When I had small babies, 3 under 3, things like allowing myself to leave dishes became essential to being able to stay healthy and not become emotionally unstable.
I am sure you have some things like this in your life, we all have to find our way and what works for us and our personality. At the same time confronting behaviors sometimes becomes essential for our health, the health of our family, and our ability to contribute to our community.
At the soul level, I have had so many coffee conversations with women over the years, where their beliefs about God enslave them. It is so ironic that the gospel of Christ which was clearly to “set the captive free” becomes a ball and chain, not a light, easy, worry-free load, but a heavy, shameful, guilty, burdensome load! It is so sad.
So many women when they hit motherhood, it throws them into the refining fire of life. Many become ridden with guilt that they no longer have the energy or space to maybe do things they did before like daily reading, prayer, or maybe a small group. And the formula we have all been raised to believe is essential for our spiritual life feels impossible and therefore we are failing and failing God.
I don’t know who created this formula of daily bible reading and prayer time as the measurement for the depth of your spirituality but it has caused so much ridiculous pain and un-health in our communities.
Nowhere do we see Christ operate with a rigid, legalistic, guilt-based, spirit, in the ways he interacted with people or how he approached spirituality. Yet I hear the same formula prescribed, emphasized, and preached about, over and over.
No god is looking down on us with a giant clipboard checking off if we did all our “Christian disciplines” today.
The whole point is that somehow, we might do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly. That the way we love our neighbors would say something about us, and our heart. And that our hearts might become more and more “God-like”.
It is not about outward things that look and appear deep, spiritual, and good… it is about “am I changing?” …..Am I? …..Am I growing up? Am I maturing? Am I becoming more loving or less? Because everything else is just a bunch of useless noise and clamor, if not. If we have all these things but have not love, it means nothing.
Girl, it might be time to leave the dishes till morning, or to get rid of 20 towels! It might be time to allow yourself to figure out a spiritual practice you feel you can do maybe once a week instead of 7 days a week, or it might be time to see those little children as a vehicle that is teaching me how to love more deeply. And isn’t this the whole point? For whoever does not love, does not know God for God is love.
Let your hair down and go for a run, for who the Son set free is free indeed!