Tag Archives: anxiety

again at the labyrinth

It’s been almost one year exactly since I last walked the path of the labyrinth outside my therapy office window. I took about fifteen minutes this afternoon to make the trek in, knowing I wouldn’t have time before my next client to make the walk back out.

My intentions, stepping foot into the concrete-puzzled path, was to pray through an anxiety that has been pressing in on me over the last few weeks. I intended to let the sharp red leaves falling and floating across the path offer a kind of poetic aesthetic that would remind me all is well and all will be well.

As one foot made its way in front of the other, my prayers were quickly replaced by the memories of what was pressing in on me the last time I walked through these same stones.  Fear and worry for friends losing jobs, relationships falling apart, futures unknown, and trying to function in the middle of the chaos in ways that were filled with grace and mercy at least in part while I was simultaneously bleeding anger and resentment.

A few loops in now, I remembered that the last time I walked this labyrinth, whatever my intentions were faded quickly and I started to become fully present in spirit learning the bodily art of putting one step in front of the other: something the homicide-loss group teaches me often. 

The sharp red leaves did begin to fall and swirl around the gray and burnt red stone as I made my way through a few more loops.

After a round of quiet breathing, I began to see a kind of baggage trailing behind me. In my prayer-walking, I was being given the gift of visualizing all that I am pretending to carry fall from my hands and back and gut and stay behind in my tracks, only where I have been. In the faithful art of putting one foot in front of the other, there continued to be a clear way, and more room to let go of all that is and has been pressing in and pressing down.

Moving closer to the center, I was passing the paths where I had already shed weight, so while I saw them and was right next to them, they were no longer in my way.

I made it to the center, read the etched in Psalm 46:10, and moved back to the entrance, back into the office, and back into a conversation at the heart of a family wrestling to make relationships work.

In spirit and body, and a commitment to putting one foot in front of the other, the weight lightens.

Sometimes.

djordan
Pine Tree

Related Posts | A Concrete Maze | What They Are Teaching Me

 

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from the archives | a time for everything

 

In reflecting on the upcoming one-year anniversary of mosthopeful.com on August 23, I’m throwing some of the posts that readers have looked at the most back into the mix. Thanks for allowing me the space. It’s been a most humbling experience. This post is especially important to me, as it was a moment of honoring the pain and struggle of the year before, and then celebrating––in advance––what waited in the year ahead.

There were conversations that evening about how we would learn from the ridiculous pains and struggles of the year, and move toward the kingdom with new insight, and new scars, into the future.

A few weeks after that party (talked about below), I was sitting with in Stellenbosch with some of my favorite people in all the world, and I began talking with a friend from London, living and working in Cape Town, about how victories and happy memories are honored with parties thrown and anniversaries given, but the painful experiences and struggles are only valued once we come up with “reasons” for why they happened.

She mentioned, feet in the chilly water at a campsite in Stellenbosch, that we ought honor the painful landmarks in our history as well as the ones we naturally celebrate. The party thrown at the beginning of this year was an opportunity to celebrate and to mourn what had been, and to look with great expectation toward the future, knowing that God is working through his people in his world toward the kingdom.

So, another top-viewed post from the archives…

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View the original post and comments from January 8, 2012

 

a time for everything

 

It is with great joy that I enter 2012.

2011 was filled with pain, loss, struggle, sadness, anxiety, and anger.

The year overall was one of seeing the best of circumstances end up as the worst of possible outcomes.

And yet through each season and struggle, there has been tearful laughter, growing community, deeper honesty, brave introspection, and tenuous hope.

And it all feels a little closer to the truth. A little closer to telling the truth.

To others.

To myself.

To the part of all of us that tries to close our eyes to what we know the painful truth is sometimes.

There are times when everything in me wants to arrange my circumstances in ways that hope for the best; those same times, if I were being honest with myself and those around me, I would instead be anticipating the worst. Before this year, I think I’ve tried to push everything, no matter the truth, into a single season.

As if allowing ONLY a season for birth, and then trying to translate death into birth in order to make sense of it.

As if allowing ONLY a season for building, and then trying to add on to things that needed only to be torn all the way down.

As if allowing ONLY a season for embracing, and then awkwardly trying to embrace when I should have refrained from doing so.

As if allowing ONLY a season for speaking out, and then trying to explain why I couldn’t be silent if I had wanted to.

The pain of 2011 has made important room for fall and winter. There is a need and space for dying, for tearing down, for refraining from embrace, for remaining silent. A season for these things.

And in the spaces made from telling the truth about our winters, spring comes on the heels. The ground is made soft, the legs become limber, the imagination becomes ready, and things begin to take root, people begin to dance and build again.

And so here’s to the new year, filled with possibilities for both celebration and mourning. Life and death. Dancing and weeping. Building and tearing down.

And an insistence on the holiness of both––on telling the truth about both–to ourselves and others.

For everything there is season.

djordan
Pine Tree Dr.

 

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