Part of being a writer and a blogger is reading what others are writing. It’s informative as well as interesting to read about all different topics and sometimes I find that they are applicable to surviving medical mayhem. My guest blogger has done just that.
I happened to be at the same retreat as discussed below and could immediately see and feel how the bricks we carry effect surviving medical mayhem. When we are fighting for health, either for a loved one or for ourselves, we tend to pile on the bricks. These can be in a form of “I can do it!” and then when we have worn ourselves out to the point of being helpless; we carry the bricks of shame, guilt, anger, hurt, frustration and resentment. Each of these feelings is a brick piled on us and in us and the pain is almost more than whatever medical mayhem we are experiencing. I don’t know about you, but I almost always carry a few bricks and I don’t realize their weight on my body and my soul.
While I was cogitating on how to bring it to life in a blog, Francesca Lang did it better than I could ever have. So rather than saying it in so many different words, I thought I would simply share her blog.
Please take a moment to read and unload those bricks!
The Bricks We Carry by Francesca Lang
A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate and blessed enough to attend a women’s retreat where we looked at the gift of Grace. During this three day event I was confronted again and again with my tendency to hold on to, carry with me, and refuse the peace and love that God has freely given me through his mercy and grace. Instead I continued to settle for guilt, shame, anger, hurt, resentment, and frustration at all the situations and things that have happened and even some that never did.
It got me thinking. Why do we do that? Why do we settle for less? Why do we hold onto not only our hurts, fears, struggles, goals, and pain but those around us?
For me, I hold onto those things because it’s comfortable or because I want to be better and help. It’s what I know and trying something different is scary. What if I fail, what if people don’t like me, what if it hurts? But, if I’m being honest with myself, it hurts a whole lot more holding onto all these things.
On the final day, one of our presenters gave an amazing analogy that a Pastor at a retreat she attended over the summer made. He was giving a talk and mentioned how fun it was to attend our children, grandchildren, or any child’s sporting events. But amongst all the cheering, there are always those few parents who can be overheard ranting and yelling at their children to do better, threatening college scholarships, acceptance, and everything else. He then made the analogy that it was like piling bricks into a backpack, placing it on our children, and then pushing them into the pool to swim their race.
Oooh, that’s awful, how could anyone….Ooooh, wait….
Crap, I’m that kid! Only, I am the one loading up the backpack, settling it on my shoulders and expecting myself to run the race the fastest and best I can.
WOW, mind blown! It all suddenly sunk in and settled right into place.
For years and years I have been picking up bricks and piling them into my backpack whether they belonged to me or not and told myself that I could carry them all on my own without help, I just needed to try harder, be better, etc.
Bricks like acceptance and inclusion, fitting in, being the top in my field, making a difference in my profession, being the perfect mother, spouse, friend; bricks concerning praying more, volunteering more, tithing more, and serving others. Add in bricks that don’t even belong to me, like my spouse’s happiness and success, the perceptions of others, and anything else I think I can help or change and you have one seriously overloaded and heavy bag. No wonder I felt like I was sinking and couldn’t come to grips with anything.
I prayed and prayed but it seemed my insecurities and anxiety were always present and answers were nowhere to be found… Until that weekend.
I knew the basics of grace, the standard definition if you will, but I never realized nor understood the breadth and depth of true grace. Grace has layers: mercy, peace, love, and forgiveness. When you combine all of those and truly embrace them you encounter the true meaning and feeling of grace that is soul deep. I realized that I don’t need answers. I don’t need to know why I may or may not be accepted or fit in, I am accepted and loved by God regardless. I don’t need to try and be the best in my profession or make the biggest impact, because my profession and success do not define me. When I am doing what I love in serving others through wellness coaching, training, rehab, and writing, the Holy Spirit is at work within me and accomplishing God’s will.
When I start to take on someone else’s feelings, projections, fears, etc. I stop and tell myself: “Not my Brick.” Because it doesn’t matter what others think of me or what I think of myself. All that matters is that I am filled with the Grace of God and that is sufficient for me!
When my statements start to turn into “I am going to….” I stop and unload all those bricks and ask the Holy Spirit to help me with them. Because, I can’t love more, serve more, pray more, etc. on my own and I was never meant to.
And neither are you.
So, stop loading up your backpack with bricks and start turning those bricks over to the One who was meant to carry the load. Stop taking other people’s bricks and start praying for them instead.
This isn’t a one-time thing; this is a practice that I repeat daily to sustain me in His Grace.
Try it; you will be amazed at the freedom and the light that will pour out of you and into others.
Tear down your castle of bricks and let your light shine!
Francesca Lang is a fitness and nutrition professional specializing in group exercise, personal training, wellness coaching, virtual training and macro based nutritional planning. Please visit her on Facebook at Cornerstone Fitness and Health to learn all about nutrition, exercise and inspiration to get you through the challenges of living in today’s world.