On the Journey toward Self-Acceptance + *SLOW Word video*

 

My holidays were straight up gluttonous.  Baked brie oozing out of its pastry crust.  Chilled mimosas for breakfast with crepes carefully folded over nutella and strawberries. Then later, Balsamic Roasted Beef, smashed potatoes, and peas and pancetta for Christmas dinner. With wine. Always with wine.

And that was just the first 24 hours. My people take feasting seriously.

Then gluttony took on a deeper level. I. DID. NOT. WANT. TO. STOP. for sleep, for exercise, for bathing (it’s getting real people!), for breathing. I wanted to bathe in joy, to seize it and ride it home. I sat Indian style with little ones on the floor, eating imaginary eggs from tiny hands and rolled onto my back to surge a curly headed nephew up into an airplane ride with my feet. I went on every excursion. I watched movies on the couch late into the night my brother reciting the lines of Chariots of Fire before they occurred. Then I stayed up later to journal. Each morning there was more coffee and less of me. Repeat for three more days.

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I tried to remember to stop and inhabit the present moment, to listen, to drink deep.

 

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Two days in, I slid into cruise control and held my breath.

Here’s the problem. I’m an introvert and a four on the enneagram. I only have so much energy, lots to process, and then I crash and push through until I hit a wall. Every year it happens. Every year I forget. In the past, I’ve shamed myself. Why don’t I have more to give? Why can’t I just be like_______ and dance my way through? Shame and I are close acquaintances.

But, it’s time to grow up, to slide into the wider spaces of self-acceptance.

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This quote by Parker Palmer curated by Leanna Tankersley on her Instagram whispered a kind of quiet truth that made me come back…and back to listen again:

“They decide to live “Divided No More.” They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside.”

Palmer’s words echo this quote by Fr. Romano Guardini which I’ve come to circle so often these last few years.

“The act of self-acceptance is the root of all things. I must agree to be the person who I am. Agree to the qualifications which I have. Agree to live within my limits…The clarity and the courageousness of this acceptance is the foundation of all existence,” Fr. Romano Guardini.

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If Guardini’s words feel like an invitation to self-acceptance, my one-word for 2014, Parker Palmer’s words feel like a line in the sand. It whispers with a deep magic to this recovering people-pleaser.

Self-acceptance is a choice to be whole, not frayed. And no one else can make that choice for me. I’ve decided it’s time for me to grow up. It’s time to be “divided no more.”

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(Christmas morning selfie by my daughter. Love her.)

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14 Comments

  1. Love this blog post. Love learning from my daughters. Love the invitation to self-acceptance. Keep writing, Summer. I love learning from you… at your inner healthy pace, of course.

    1. You are the hygge master, the family nurturer, the master of ceremonies for the glories that is Christmas week. I’m so extremely thankful for you and all the amazing richness of our family. Thank you!!!

  2. Thank you Summer, finally someone who is like myself, introverted, deep thinking, people pleaser. So thankful for you!!

  3. This is so. so. good. I feel like the holidays and extended time with immediate family bring out some of the deeper things within my soul that stay hidden throughout the rest of the year. Sometimes it’s beautiful things and sometimes it’s the ugliest thing (at least for me). My husband and I were just talking about how easy it is to revert back to our childlike ways when we are with our families as much as we vow to be “true to our real self” before we get there. We keep learning and it will be a process every time. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Yes!!! Why is it that the people we love the most have the “privilege” of witnessing our shadow side so clearly. I truly want to make to dip into the living water to get filled instead of drinking the toxic fumes my brain runs on when its empty.

  4. as I return to real life, after an especially magical Christmas, I’m reminded through this post that who I am is magical. I am becoming more like Christ and that is magical. On this 12th day of Christmas, the magic of Christmas, the new thing that he is doing, will be for the whole year.

  5. Summer–Your blog speaks to me where I am right now. Too much “holiday feasting in too many ways”. I too am an introvert and right now have been isolating myself because of weather and the darkness of the winter. I loved the Lectio on Jeremiah 2:13. I realize how broken I am and how far I have strayed. My cistern is empty and I have been touched by the verse. Back to the fountain of Living Water is my goal for one day at a time. Thank you for your blog and for your Lectio. Love you.

    1. Thank you Diane. It’s so good to journey deeper with like-minded friends. I’m wondering if you’re also hearing God’s longing for your presence?

  6. Oh Summer, this hit home. I do the same–I want to engage and drink it all in and find myself drowning. I have to give myself permission to go away, to say no, to be quiet and alone. To stop looking for approval and be me. (I love your writing!!!)

    1. Thank you friend! Probably that desire to “drink the marrow out of life” as well as the need to have a spacious hours to process and create is a part of being an artist. I’ve been looking into what it means to be a number 4 on the enneagram. I wonder if it would hold an aha moment for you as well.

  7. I’ve been thinking on this one for several days. The Lord showed me during our reading of Jeremiah that the brokenness I see in my life comes not from who I am (which has always been a core belief), but from all of the broken cisterns I have built in my life. This is really perspective-changing for me. It’s peeling away another layer of shame and proving once again that dependency on the Lord is the answer to everything. God is really bringing His word to life in these lectio divina moments that we share. ❤

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