“Do you have a safe place?” she said. She being my therapist. As soon as the words came from her mouth, doubt and questioning rose up within me.
“What is safe when your own home has been broken into?”
“Isn’t safety just a feeling?”
“Will the sense of safety ever return?”
Though I understand the purpose in her question, my mind quickly thinks of every possible way a place or situation is not safe, however extreme or ridiculous said way may be. Thinking of a safe place is the equivalent of solving a complex calculus problem. It requires a ton of work that, right now, is not within my capacity.
The truth is though, I know what the Word says. I grew up in the church. I know the answers. I know in my head that God alone is my refuge and my place of safety. I know it is in Him where I find shelter. I know how to point myself to Psalms 91.
Which says in part:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
But knowing and experiencing the comfort the Psalm offers is my battleground. My mind wants to understand that a + b = c and to review it 63 times to make sure that it never changes and that it is 100% reliable every. single. time. The discord between my mind — wanting to make perfect sense of it all and the truths that are deep within me – and my soul leaves me weary.
“Can you look at the situation with a gentle curiosity?”
“Can you be kind to yourself?” she asks.
I try. And I try some more until I end up beating myself up over what was a small matter, one that probably only required a simple shift in perspective in someone else’s eyes. However, I continue to try and realize that maybe that space of discord between my mind and the depths of my soul exist for a reason.
While my mind wants to convince me to take the safest path ensuring a guaranteed outcome, my heart has experienced the goodness of a Savior that has rooted deep passion into my heart.
And while my heart feels and wants to throw caution to the wind to follow that deep passion, my mind knows of the lessons that God has so graciously taught me time and time again.
Do I listen to my head? Do I listen to my heart? Didn’t God give me both?
Of course He did. Sometimes, okay often times, I get so caught up in wanting the answer, that 100% never changing answer. So caught up that the process either weighs me down or I forget to see that there is purpose in the process. I forget that I can enjoy the process, be kind to myself through it, and learn from it altogether. Cue me falling on my face a couple more times trying to learn the same lesson over and over again.
God is gracious when I fall into the mindset that I need complete clarity before I take the first step. He lovingly shows me that my faith is not in the process or the outcome.
When my therapist asks if I can be kind to myself she echoes the voice of the one who loves my soul. The one who leans in and gently whispers, “Your hope is not in the process or the outcome. Your hope is in me.”
And so it is. The discord between my head and heart ebbs and flows, sometimes louder, sometimes silent as God helps me more and more to understand that my faith is in the One that Loves me.
Where is God asking you to be kind to yourself? How can you be kind to yourself today?