Friday, January 11, 2013

It Isn't All Bad: An Honest Peek Inside the Soul

Today's Unglued Blog Update
As usual...I'm just mainly putting what Lysa has said in her book with some (very little--actually maybe not at all today) of my own insight/thoughts.

Coming unglued --spewing or stuffing raw emotions-- it isn't good & can get pretty ugly. It causes hurt & damages relationships. The hurt is real. The hurt is deep. And the hurt is lingering.

But, coming unglued isn't all bad. And Lysa spends the last chapter showing me how (of course you guys know my pace, so this could take a couple of posts).

Let's take an honest peek inside the soul.

When remodeling a house, there is an underbelly (bruises, bumps, & blemishes). If we try to rush to decorate & make every room inviting to our friends before the remodel is finished, all we are doing is covering up the underbelly. Doing the tough work of the underbelly will pay off down the road when we know all the pretty decor is not covering up anything but rather enhancing the architecture.

The underbelly of my life looks the same way. The underbelly of my life is my personal development & spiritual life. If I am in too big of a hurry to look good & I just put on the pretty "decor" to appear as if I've got it all together...all I'll be doing is covering up. I've got to take time to look at my underbelly. This is not easy work & some days it doesn't seem like I get much done; but I've got to do it! The underbelly takes tough work that isn't always immediately visible but it's the foundation to my health --emotionally & spiritually.

But I'll never see what needs to be repaired & cleaned up in my underbelly unless I do one thing: LOOK at the deep inside of myself. I can't live to just try to survive without losing it again. That happens when I get busy or maybe don't know how to look. But there is one place I can start looking --my unglued places.

My unglued places could be like windowpanes of clear glass that give me an honest peek inside my soul --places where I can see what's really going on within. I have to fix the foundational issues first. I've been blogging about pausing once a week to let my soul exhale during a Sabbath rest. That's good & necessary. But what about the other 6 days of the week? I've got to stay calm & exhale in the midst of the everyday messes when I so desperately want to be a "together" woman.

There are many things I can do --volunteer on lots of committees, outfit my girls with matching dresses & bows, show up on time, pluck my eyebrows & shave my legs, drive a clean car, & hang a seasonal wreath on my front door. Then I could pat myself on the back & think: Ahhh...I am together. I've decorated my life with impressive stuff. But behind closed doors, the decorations will be meaningless in the face of my emotional outburst or the silent treatments I dish out.

But a well-decorated life isn't a sign of togetherness. It may seem impressive temporarily, but in the long run if the foundation crumbles, it won't matter how many pretty pictures are on the walls. The whole house will fall.

This is why coming unglued isn't all bad. Just as a light that fails to come on when the switch is flipped may indicate a wiring problem, coming unglued may indicate a problem with my internal wiring. Outward expressions are internal indications. If my outward expressions are unglued, there is some brokenness internally. Broken places I won't address unless I am forced to acknowledge their existence. As painful as it might be to name these broken places, seeing myself --really seeing, deeply & honestly-- is a very good thing.

When I look through the window of my unglued reactions, I may find pride I don't want to acknowledge. Longstanding unforgiveness. Deep-seated bitterness. Simmering anger. Joy-stealing jealousy. Condemning shame. Haunting regrets. Entangling rejection. Or I might see a schedule crammed too full & have to own up to feeling taken for granted & unappreciated. Or it could be that I finally acknowledge the very real damage never-ending stresses have caused --that I sometimes both love & despise my life at the same time. And I can't stand when I feel this way.

If things are ever going to get better, I have to acknowledge my underbelly that fuels my unglued reactions. I may not like what I see, but at least I'll know what I'm dealing with. I can call it what it is and ask God to help me.

I'm tired, God. What do I do?
I'm lonely, God. What do I do?
I'm mad, God. What do I do?
I'm insecure, God. What do I do?
I'm frustrated, God. What do I do?

I don't take time to ask God what to do often enough! Perhaps having a clear-eyed view of my underbelly will help me go to God more --more frequently, more authentically, more humbly.

So coming unglued isn't all bad if it brings me to God. It isn't all bad if it brings to light what's eating away at me in the dark. Coming unglued is glorious if the end result of that brokenness leads me to holiness.

Stay tuned for the next Unglued Blog Update.

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