Sitting with you and a latte. Not as fancy as this one of Crystal's, but a latte just the same. I started this session as I always do with reading your comments and I've decided it's time for a little review before we move forward.
Since we began our series on "Giving Up Freaking Out: The In Real Life Ladies Look at Worrying" (I added the subtitle -- every important work needs one), I think that you (not just I) have reached some significant conclusions about worry:
(1) Intentional time alone with God daily is essential. Not just "daily devotions" so we can call it good, but deep talks, intense Bible study, and listening for the still small voice.
(2) Kairos time at least once a week -- time to immerse yourself into somethng meaningful, something you can lose yourself in so that time seems to expand beyond the literal minutes and hours.
(3) Less time on social media, TV, and texting.
(4) We all know that we're loved by God and are therefore beautiful and destined to fulfill a purpose, but that image of ourselves is so easily distorted by the Lies -- the ones society tells and the ones we tell ourselves. As ALEXANDRA said, "Satan lies and I fall for it." Those image distorters run the gamut from Christian cliches to comparisons with teammates, from the "not enoughs" to the "is it reals?", from blogging that leads us to the comparison game ("What I have to say couldn't possibly matter as much as what she has to say") to being around people who don't like us, don't agree with us. As IRELAND put it, we sometimes shut down, so that our real selves are broken into tiny fragments. Our self image gets distorted when people get too close, or when they don't get close enough.
(5) But we're getting free. I think THERESE is like the example of what's happening to all of you, ladies. I can't TELL you how big my smile is as I read, "I feel like I can finally breathe. I'm free from the bondage of self-harm and fear." It really IS possible to ignore the lies and go for the truth and let it set you free. We're seeing it happen, not only in Therese but in all of us.
So, yes, let's begin to talk about relationships. Many of you have already said you're most yourself with the people you know love and accept you, and you have the hardest time being who you truly are when you're with people who push you to fringes, or who seem to have it all together where you don't. Those are the people who drive us to worry:
"What do they think of me?"
"Do they like me?"
"Do they wish the ceiling would fall in on me?"
"What would happen if I showed them who I am?"
"Do I even KNOW who I am when I'm around them?"
Let's start, then, by talking about which relationships are the most difficult for you right now. Which relationships cause you the most worry? Wil you SHARE that?
Once I have a feel for that, we can approach it with the Bible, with God, with each other, and then that world we no longer have to be afraid of.
Are you in?