Lenten Revelations

I think there is something very real about claiming anything over your life. So, when I came to the conclusion that I am a One on the Enneagram and that I am a co-dependent adult, I had my hesitations with internal confirmation. But what I’ve come to figure out, is that there is a certain level of healthy self-awareness in the confirmation, and it is OK not to fully embrace the traits at 100% or as defining characteristics of who I am. These two characteristics do, however, offer an outline as to why I do some of the things I do – the good (healthy), the bad (unhealthy) – internally and externally.

While I have not come full-circle with this personality type and trait quite yet – they have just been discovered and studied within the past two weeks – I can speak to the process in which my mind and heart have gone through thus far.

I credit majority of this to my therapist and her bravery of opening the latches of my life. I also credit the Lenten season itself: it has been, for me, very quiet, slow, and full of revelations. I imagine that my intentional detachment from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have played a role in this, too. I am no longer bound to the distractions of updates from the lives of others. With those quieted, this season has led me to the examination of self. (Always intimidating.)

I will admit – the bulk of this work has been devastating. I mean, I think that’s the right word to use. When I think of devastation, I picture homes that have been razed or homes that have nothing but concrete foundation left after some horrendous act of nature. Again, I think this is the word I want to use. The process of realizing my unhealthy levels of perfectionism and self-esteem (among others) made me stop and trace the lineage of these traits. The tracing itself was painful in one sense, but it felt more than necessary to proceed. Part of me believes that the process has only just begun. The other part of me believes that I am coming out on the other side, but standing only on the cement foundation that is left.

I do not want it to seem like this is all bad. There have been so many great awakenings in understanding my strengths, too. But in the moments that I believe it is necessary to keep trying to better myself or feel chained by insecurities that lead to self-sabotage, I have to remind myself that there is no amount of work I could do to make Him love me more or make others love me more.

At the end of the day, these faulty parts of my emotions and actions could never win its case against the One who calls me His. I am still trying to find footing in the growth, but I am resting in knowing what my foundation is; my stability in the midst of it all.

There is a poem called The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross that leads me through this time:

One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
— ah, the sheer grace! —
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
— ah, the sheer grace! —
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
— him I knew so well —
there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

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