About Me

 

 The greatest thing we can do is to show up for our lives and not be ashamed.

 -Anne Lamott

 

I'm a creature of the word, learning to tell my honest story.

I offer it here because telling stories is the road back home.

Motherhood is not a biological designation
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Tuesday
Sep112012

The jiggle wiggle dance

I started this blog to create a space wherein I could publicly practice my deep belief that we are all meant to boast about our weaknesses; in the hopes that I could embrace my own inadequacy and total (freeing) dependency upon grace.

And so that I could seek out (and perhaps inspire) other beautifully broken beings to embrace weakness while running into the arms of grace.

I believe we are created, as Raffi so wisely put it, to jump our jiggles out and wiggle our waggles away.

We are meant to let all the flabby parts of our personalities, and all the jiggly wiggly parts of our lives, hang out in the open.

This way, all of us flabby, jiggly wiggly people can find each other, and when we do, we can dance a little jiggle wiggle dance, and laugh at the absolutely uniquely beautiful way each of us wobbles around.

 

I desperately long to be someone who isn't afraid to be a mess.

I equally long to be someone who creates a safe place where other people can be a mess and not feel judged.

I think God loves my earnest longings, and like a good Dad, he has given me what I've asked for.

 

I asked to walk barefoot, and he burnt my shoes.

Or, to put it plainly, I have never in my life had quite so many weaknesses to boast about as I do right now.

 

I've never felt so utterly incapable of managing my life, of keeping it all together, of keeping the machine chug chug chugging along.

I've never felt the complete impossibility of doing this on my own.

I've never had to depend so dearly on my daily bread-I cannot look ahead to tomorrow. I only have enough for the moment, and barely at that.

I've never been so depressed in my life. Not even after the fire, not even after the affair.

I've never felt like such a mess.

 

Now, perhaps I've always been this kind of mess (I suspect I have), but I've never had to face it full-frontal as it were.

"The awareness of our innate poverty, that we were created from the clay of the earth and the kiss of God's mouth, that we came from dust and shall return to dust, pulls away the mask of prestige, of knowledge, of social class or of strength-whatever it is we use to command attention and respect.

Poverty brings us to the awareness of the sovereignty of God and our absolute insufficiency. We simply cannot do anything alone.  All is the work of grace. We are faced with the possibility of genuine humility. I am convinced that without a gut-level experience of our profound spiritual emptiness, it is not possible to encounter the living God."

-Brennan Manning, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (65)

 

I am having a gut-level experience of my profound spiritual emptiness.

I pray it leads me to an encounter with the living God, but right now it leads me towards wanting to hide in the closet.

It's one thing to be a mess around all my closest friends and family who love me, who have history and context with me, who know I can be a balanced, generally cheerful, quite capable little critter.

I've had a mold to hold my jiggly pieces together.

 

When we moved to Colorado, the mold broke.

And now, all my jiggles are hanging wide out in the open. 

It's embarassing and humbling to not be able to get it together around people who don't know I used to have it together.

For all these people know, I've always weighed these extra twenty pounds; I've always been depressed; I've always been a mess.

For all they know, I'm one of those people who mentions their therapist within the first two minutes of conversation.

I'm one of those people who offers unsolicited details about post-traumatic stress syndrome before I offer details about my kids' personalities.

I'm one of those people who can't manage to change out of her yoga pants or wash her hair, and who walks around with paint spatters on her arms and feet, as if she doesn't have the energy to actually scrub her skin when she does manage to take a shower.  

 

Even my house lets it all hang out...

We've got no doors on our closets, only shower curtains on rods, so it's easy to see how many clothes we have, and what we wear.

We have no linen closets, so if anyone comes to visit, they can see exactly how many bottles of lotion we own, and exactly what kind of drugs we take.

We have no pantry, so if you visit my house, you'll get a taste for exactly what we eat.

We have no blinds, so if you are a weirdo who wants to peek in my windows, you'll know exactly...well, you get the point.

 

It is so humbling to have the illusion of competence stripped away, to have to face my limitations without my safe and strong mold to hold me together.

I suspected this would happen. I suspected that once we moved away, all of the accumulated trauma would come crashing down, and I would be faced with the reality of my impoverished self.

"I believe Jesus calls all of us to let go of the desire to appear good, to give up the appearance of being good, so that we can listen to the word within us and move in the mystery of who we are.  The preoccupation with projecting the perfect image, with being a model Christian and edifying others with our virtues, leads to self-consciousness, sticky pedestal behavior and bondage to human respect.

As my director Larry Hein said, paraphrasing the Tao de Ching, 'Give up being a saint. It'll be a lot better for everybody.' "

-Brennan Manning, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (74-5)

 

In the spirit of complete self-disclosure, and to stay true to my desire to boast in weakness, I will try and share what this particular part of the journey feels like and looks like.

I am so grateful for your prayers and encouragement, and for dancing the jiggle wiggle dance with me.

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Reader Comments (2)

I will always wiggle with you. There's lots wigglin' here! ;)

September 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Thanks again for your honesty!! Sometimes it's very discouraging to see all the perfect "christians" when I myself am such a mess.

September 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErin Brandon

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