"We can not accept an expensive gift when our hands are full of cheap baubles. We must empty our hands so as to accept the rich gift that is offered." Steve Kellmeyer
Don't worry friends, don't worry. I may be waxing poetic on all of this "imagine no possessions" business but by no means am I about to turn my back on all things material and run off naked into the forest a la St. Francis of Assisi. If you will kindly recall other posts I've written, it has been clearly established that I don't have the makings of a saint. This has been a bit of a blow to me because being Catholic, I naturally would like to be a saint very much indeed. Yes, honestly. But alas, I have a two year old son who tried to eat a rosary yesterday and aside from that, I am digressing from the topic at hand which is quite unusual for me.
So...cheap baubles. We live our lives with our hands full of these and grasping for more, never satisfied, never sated because these things do not satisfy. They do not sate. More creates a hunger for more. We become insatiable. Living a wild-eyed quest to "get". Filling ourselves up until the very last thing we can do is give. There is no abundance, no freedom, in having only in letting go.
And now you are no doubt muttering "Well how very cliche you are today, Comrade Colleen." But bear with me...
We all perhaps have our own interpretation of "cheap baubles" that hold us back from growth and grace. Mine includes possessions, the idea of ownership, all the distractions of the world we live in, labels and definitions, opinions and expectations - both our own and those of others about and for us.
These little trinkets fill our hands and rooms. When I think about "the empty room", I not only think material goods. I think what if we were to also let go of everything else as well...and then simply, quietly and graciously accept the richest of gifts on offer.
The God-given gift of who we are.
Who we are. It has nothing to do with what we have or don't have. It has nothing to do with how other people view us. Who we are is not what we do. What we know. What we have accomplished.
We are who we are even when everything else is stripped away. When we don't have a penny to our name. When we don't have a job that makes it easy for others to label us. When we don't write or paint or draw or have any skill in any area what so ever. We are who we are when we are ill. When people leave and abandon us. When our names are dragged through the mud. We are who we are when every one is against us. When there is not one friendly face to be seen anywhere.
When wealth, beauty, health, and ability have been taken away from us, we still have intrinsic worth. The very fact we are alive. That we were created with purpose by a loving God.
We have worth. It is intrinsic. It can not be added to or taken from. This is why human life in every form is so precious. There is nothing we can do or that can be done to us that can alter our worth in God's eyes.
In my quest to live as a woman in an empty room, I am constantly seeking to remind myself of who I am. Not in the world's eyes. But in God's. Not to seek feelings of affirment and worth from those around me or cultural and societal norms; but to seek them in a deeper place, from a deeper source.
I don't know how I'm doing with this. Better some days than others certainly.
Ah well, if I need to take drastic measure...there is always running naked into the forest to prove my point. ;)