“My mind is like a bad neighborhood. I try to never go there alone.”
“She knew she loved him when ‘home’ went from being a place to being a person.”
Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seems a little bit off, ok maybe more than that. I’ll be honest I had one of those days recently. It was not quite as bad as the children’s nursery rhyme where I was running around shouting “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” to anyone who would listen. I have matured enough in my spirituality, thank God, to know that my life on the whole is extraordinarily full of grace, blessings, and quite honestly fortune. Simply being born in America situates me in a privileged state of advantage in this world. Yet, this conception of my “place in the world,” does not make me immune to the pitfalls of emotions and perils of spiritual weaknesses. For instance, one of the hardest challenges so many of us struggle to overcome is that of “comparison.” A cure exists for this struggle, namely, knowing my identity in God and believing that the creator of this universe utterly and eternally loves me. That’s it folks; it really is that simple. However, I have learned that simplicity does not necessarily equate to effortless living in this truth day after day.
Perhaps you are a little bit like me and find it particularly difficult on some days to counteract the barrage of advertisements, magazines, commercials, and social media posts that entice us to believe the exact opposite of this eternal truth. Our culture encourages us to examine and re-examine ourselves until we identify at least one, if not twenty things, that we can change, enhance, or most often for women “reduce” to become the best version of ourselves for this world. Yes, after years of self-work, therapy, prayer, and journaling I still sometimes fall prey to these messages, though, I will say I am quicker to bounce back than I used to be. However, on this recent day of struggle, my body image was not my area of concern. If you have been following along on my personal social media accounts, you will know that this business, Sacred Spaces by Lauren, is a new venture for me and God – a new journey of self-discovery and vulnerability. Ah, there it is! I had to garner the bravery required to attempt something new, to believe I have something of value to offer to the world, and most difficult for this recovering-perfectionist, to acknowledge it will not be absolutely perfect on day one!
On this particular day, I read an article about an “influencer” in the world of social media that I think has many great attributes and is doing amazing work with her own company. And then the comparison started. I began reading about her advertising partners, her social media representatives, and the company that represents her personal branding. And here is where Anne Lamott’s quote hit it on the head…I should have never entered my mind alone. Oh, but I did people, I did. And it was pretty much a daylong spiral downward into my hole of comparison. Now please don’t get me wrong. I am not totally unrealistic. I don’t expect to have 20 million followers overnight, really I don’t. I just felt overwhelmed by the amount of information that I still do not know. Have you ever felt like that? I mean I have three degrees, I have over eight years of marketing, event production, and management experience and still there are so many things I DON’T KNOW. It was a hard day.
So when I got home all I wanted to do in the sacred space of my home was crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and stay there for a little while in the safety, the security, the familiarity of a place where I knew the world would be shut out for a little while. And while I waited for my sweet husband to get home, I debated whether or not to tell him about the downward spiral of my day. Sometimes I really don’t like to share all the thoughts going on in my brain because I know that they aren’t reasonable, but I cannot help it. Yet, those thoughts they just kind of take over my mind. But I have learned in our marriage that he always finds a way to make me talk, and quite honestly it is always better once I do. So when he came home and asked me how I was doing, I said, “Well, honestly not so great, want to sit down?” I had ventured out to our living room by that time and made myself a little sacred space on our couch.
So we began to converse about my day and I relayed to him the article I had read about the rock star blogger (which of course I had already sent to him during the day), and how much I was struggling with what I didn’t know and how inadequate I was feeling. As I was sitting there on the couch with my head slung slightly low and emotionally exposed, he was quiet for a couple of minutes. I looked up and him and he had the kindest look on his face. He said to me, “Babe, I really don’t think you need to be so upset. You are nothing like this person. I mean I am sure she is a lovely person, but you two have completely different objectives. This person, as far as I can tell, wants to help people find good products for their home. But you, you want to do something else. You want to help people connect with God in their hearts, their relationships, and in their homes in really powerful ways. Sure maybe you don’t have or understand all her tools just yet, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a ton to offer the clients that you will have. You may or may not have the kind of “following” or “reach” that she has but I know that you will have depth with your clients and that is what you want because that is the kind of person that you are – you like going deep.”
I knew loved my husband, but I have to tell you that this moment was in the top five moments of our marriage. Talk about a sacred space in our home that day. When your spouse understands you so profoundly that he or she can reflect you back to yourself when you have momentarily forgotten your own truth – wow. I did not know when I met my husband that he would also be my spiritual director, but that is what can happen when we allow the Holy Spirit to come into our life. God uses people in profound ways. Sacred moments occur in seemingly ordinary spaces. I may never be able to get rid of that couch. Not because of the way it looks, but because in that moment God’s spirit touched mine through the words of my husband. Our homes have power within them because of how we support, uplift, and encourage one another in our spaces. Our homes have power because of how we hold space for our family. Our homes have power because they are very intimate places where we become who we will be when we leave and go out to serve the world. Take a minute today and think about how you can remind those you love today of their true selves, their highest selves in your home today. Imbue your home with sacred power so that your family members can boldly live the eternal truth that they are Beloved.