Last August, on my birthday, my sister, stepsister and I went to check out something I had been wanting to see in person for far too long. It was the remains of an old stone farmhouse sitting up on a hill. They were willing to scale barbed wire fences with me to get a closer look. I love them for being risky with me! This fragmented leftover farmhouse took my breath away! It was stunning!! There were only portions of a few sand-colored stone outer walls left. The rest, hundreds of stones, had crumbled and fallen to the ground. I kept closing my eyes and imagining what it looked like when it was newly built. It had to have been one of the proudest moments of a farmer's life the day that it was completed. And then to see it now...
It is fragile when it used to be stable.
It is fractured when it used to be well balanced.
It is run down when it used to be secure.
I felt connected to this farmhouse. It seemed to speak to me at my core...my spirit. This farmhouse and I, we are similar right now.
I used to be stable, but now am fragile.
I used to be well balanced, but now am fractured.
I used to be secure, but now am run down.
I picture in my mind's eye what the time it took for the farmer to built this home looked like. The rough sketch that was the building plans of his dream home probably were studied every night by candlelight. The aches his muscles must have felt from lifting hundreds of heavy stone daily. The perseverance it took as stones he placed carefully would fall time and time again. The frustration he had to have felt when storms blew through for days delaying progress. The people in his community that helped him with their time, muscle, cheers and possibly prayers. The pride, relief, and joy he must have felt when he stood back and gazed at his accomplishment.
He put time, effort and strength into building this house. If he could see it now.... I am betting he would be saddened...at first. But then, after the frustration and grief had its chance to dwell in him, he would start picking up those fallen stones and be resolved to restore his home.
Why is it that almost every human I know struggles with loving themselves well? Whether it their job, their home, their body, their intellect, their...everything. Each person needs to sit in the grief that is the product of a struggle. Just sit in it. For awhile. But then, when they are ready, they need to dig deep and do the hard work of rebuilding!
I am learning to love myself better in this seemingly unending season of struggle. I am acknowledging that pain might be a reality for me for years to come. I am realizing that the strength I need for this is in knowing who I am at the core of my spirit. I am discovering that my foundational outer walls are made of strong, yet fallible stone. I have recognized that in the middle of the shaky crumbling wall is a simple window.
The window allows the light to enter. The window exposes the view of things close by but also in the distance. I have looked into the window of a farmer's prized possession and seen the good strong resilience of his home. I have seen the possibilities in the rubble. I have seen the beauty in the broken. Now I just need to look into my own window with that same perspective.
So..... On the day I celebrated my birth, the structural building plans for my own restoration & acceptance were rediscovered. They were under the fallen stones right outside the window. Now it is time to get to work. It is time to pick up those stones and start to rebuild.
It's a good thing I love me a gooooood restoration project!