Saturday, December 3, 2011

lift where you stand


 This week a phrase has been running end to end across my mind, "lift where you stand". Last month in therapy, as I emptied my tired and over-taxed heart, a problem revealed itself. A problem of priority. I was given an assignment that I approached half-heartedly (as it seemed both obvious and elementary) but, trusting the intention, I followed the prescription.

I drew on a large sketch page with a sharpie. First a jug- my life. Then large rocks- my must-have/do things first, followed by the more moderately important stones and then finally the gap-filling watery niceties/obligations of my life. I named names. I saw my life with a clarity that the difficulties and busyness of the last several years, especially the last 9 months, made impossible.

I sorted and saw.

My life has been charmed. Miraculously, and perhaps divinely, it provides me with enough (and often more than enough) of what I have needed to get by. There are lean times and fat times but my needs, and the possibility of my needs, are always met- even if I don't see it. Which I hadn't. This may be seen as a matter of ingratitude but more precisely it is an issue of spinning wheels and back-breaking reaches.

The world encourages overextension. I feel the pressure of it. To take my business to the next level, to befriend another person, to offer another hand, to invest here, save there, spend there, jump on this chance. We are a marketing rich generation and that mentality leaks through into everything. These leaks remind me of the great everything while excusing the tangible now. Every diversion and day is colored with a shameless promotion of possibility. Neon flashing ridiculousness of limited time offers followed by more once in a lifetime discounts.

Reality, as it always does, catches up with the glamor of getting what we want. The sheen of new things wears out and is always replaced by a lusty new appeal or promise. While shimmers vanish, the reality and responsibility of where we stand is persistent. Reality is deep and wide but most of all, it is satisfying.

I stand in a place where two tiny mouths, hearts, minds and spirits need me. They require my hands to clean and nourish, rest and work them. Lifting here means holding and creating and being privileged to introduce them to the "weightier matters" (see Matthew 23:23)  of this place.

I stand in a place of marriage. Where two broken people are tethering themselves to truth in order to get bigger and better. Lifting here means commitment and repentance, forgiveness and openness. It means patience and pleasure in each other's company.

I stand with my camera and my words. I only have my own. I have this lighting, this perspective, these experiences. Lifting here means slowing down. It means photographing and writing about what I see, what I want to see, what matters to me. It means being my own audience and my own performer and welcoming guests as just that.

I stand as a sister and daughter and friend. I see hurts, needs, wants and possibility. I lift by giving what I can. I lift by feeling the weight of yes and no and then living for that commitment. I lift by being present where and when I can. I lift by being flawed and forward and by being me.

I heirloom a life filled with importance and intention when I lift where I stand.

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