No, that's not a Backstreet Boys reference. Although that is a great song.
It is more like an answer to something we've been praying and hoping for. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of getting married / moving in together / planning another wedding / getting married again, you wouldn't think that we were having a spiritually dry season. Although all of that was for us (and our families), we felt like our dreams were put on hold and our passions went to the wayside. We've been taking the past few months to really invest time in pursuing the life we want to live. Now we don't want to give away too much because we would rather walk it out than just talk about it, but we dream big and that is so overwhelming.
Then we reminded ourselves
you can fear failure
but do it AFRAID anyway
Earlier this year, I got back into the yoga studio. I definitely missed having a place to practice outside of following classes at home. There's something about having a teacher guide you through positions and meditations that you don't get when you're just going through the motions. It's probably that human connection, the timbre in the teacher's voice, the scent of palo santo pre-practice and lavender post, the gentle touch for proper alignment or to push you deeper into a pose.
A month or two ago, the teacher spoke about dharmas. The way she explained it was that your dharma is your fundamental truth, like your essential being. While in meditation, we were asked to explore what was our specific calling that is our true self. What came to mind immediately was a drawing I made in college called "Beauty in the Rubble". In short, it was a pile of trash but still finding a masterpiece in it. Ever since I was younger, I could always see the allure in what was classically defined as beautiful and the weird and strange having their own. This led to me repeating to myself with every cleansing breath the following...
And yes that is my truth, my call, my reason for being. To find the grace in a sunrise to being patient in waiting for a lump of coal to become a diamond. Every breath let out into the universe held that mantra. Every creation produced, whether to plan or with imperfections still held that truth.
But then in the following weeks after, that mantra slowly turned into "I am beauty." With a little throwback to Jenny & Tyler's "Called Beauty" playing on repeat in my head radio, it's hard to not take it as truth. It's easier to see that something special in others than to see it for yourself. I often find myself discrediting something I have accomplished because I think I am unworthy of that attention, like I didn't deserve it. And that stems from years of struggling with self esteem, not fitting in, and being passed over for not being "loud" enough.
Through the Identity series, we glanced over the story of Hagar running away from Abram and Sarai. In Hebrews 16, an angel of God meets Hagar in the wilderness and tells her that she is pregnant with Ishmael and that the Lord knows her miseries. That is when Hagar names God "El Roi" the God who sees. And to be seen is to be known. In turn, I have adopted that into my identity. God sees me. He knows me. I am beautiful. I am worthy.
Through that abundance I will carry that out in what I have yet to create and in the conversations I have yet to have. To make people feel like they are special, that they are seen and cared for. Not another product of mass production. Not just another "small talk" that will be forgotten in a matter of moments. Being intentional in this way stretches me to be vulnerable and get deeper. But I am willing (afraid, but willing) to answer that call.