An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that's pretty much the concept behind self-care.
We're putting our oxygen masks on first, before assisting those traveling with us.
We're remembering that the difference between God and me is that God never thinks he's me.
"In HIM all things hold together," not in ME.
We're so devoted to self-care, in fact, that we don't even mind getting our butts lovingly kicked back to reality every now and again:
"Do you mind even a little that you are still addicted to people-pleasing, and are still putting everyone else's needs and laundry and career ahead of your creative, spiritual life? Giving all your life force away, to "help" and impress. Well, your help is not helpful, and falls short." Anne Lamott, in Bird by Bird
But I have to tell you this, friends of mine. While an apple a day is wonderful and healthy, while we practice self-care with loving attention, while we have excellent boundaries against the seductive world of people-pleasing, we cannot fall for the lie that we are controlling the universe with our self-care.
An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but it's not slowing down the freight train of life one bit.
Life happens. No matter how healthy we may be. Life happens.
In painful ways we could never have foreseen.
When that happens to you, like it happens to me, let's just hang together, keep our oxygen masks on, and breathe through it.
This past Sunday, I heard this song in worship for the first time.
The chorus says:
I am holding on to you,
I am holding on to you,
In the middle of the storm,
I am holding on. I am.
The pastor commented on the turn of phrase in that last line, how it seems like it's us holding on, but really?
In HIM all things hold together.
Not in me.
I AM holds on.
I read someplace the other day that 30% of the psalms in the Bible are "psalms of lament." Bad stuff is happening to The Man After God's Own Heart, and he's lamenting about it. But, this author went on to say, most of what we talk about in the Christian world is pretty triumphal.
We have a hard time staying with the pain. We want to fix and fuss and organize and vote ourselves into a better place.
It's way more fun to feel triumphal than freight-train-flattened, that's for sure. And we do know Who Wins in the End, and we need to take responsibility and our meds.
I get it. Yes.
And I wait for the day.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the storm, I AM holds on.
Plus we get to hang onto each other.