Going for beautiful broke (a post from the archives)

Sometimes it seems appropriate to pull up an old post. This one was published 3 years ago today on http://tinagasperson.com, my super up close and personal blog. I enjoyed reading it again today, I hope you also enjoy it.


This morning as I was writing about my life in Tampa thirty years ago and how I met my first husband, I was reminded of how I would so many times allow myself to be carried along by circumstances in such a paradoxical way. Sometimes I had no choice, other times I did, but I never resisted or made a choice for myself for something better. Whatever happened, always happened TO me and I always just let it. I went along what was for me the least resistant path, fueled by my desire to be loved. Yet, my submission to the path was actually a choice for my ultimate good; for adventure and change and transformation. I was carried by that desire into many adventures and experiences that shaped me, hurt me, maybe permanently damaged me, but ultimately led me to the place where I am now, into the person I am now, the person I was meant to be.

The pattern I see is one of relentless searching and discarding, searching and discarding. I was searching for love – I was willing to go anywhere and be with anyone as long as I thought they might love me. I was repulsed by a number of people who I thought loved me and I was willing to push through that feeling if only they would accept me and appreciate me for who I was, who I am. Whenever I realized that yet again I was not loved, I would wash my hands of the situation, jump back into the current of circumstances, and allow that current to take me wherever it wanted to in my search for transformational love. I had no fear of the unknown, no foreboding of danger, no desire to hide and be safe. I only knew I had to keep going. I wasn’t really searching for a mere human love (I thought I was); I was searching for the one true love, the eternal love of my creator, the one who has always known me and always loved me all along; the one who was always with me even when I didn’t know it, always protecting, always covering, always holding, always cherishing.

When I look back on the course of my life, I can see that God was with me always; walking with me, whispering to me, encouraging me to never give up, declaring that the journey I was on would eventually lead me to the love I so desperately wanted. Perhaps that is why I don’t conform to traditional expectations in my faith journey. I know that God does not “follow the rules” in his relentless pursuit of us; he is an adventurer, calling us to journey with him down the beautiful path of dangers. Why should I follow manmade rules? I will not.

We can choose to be safe, to bury our talents as we wait for the master to return, to lock ourselves in a cage of playing it safe, sitting down and waiting, walling ourselves off from a big wide world and all the scary things; or we can choose to risk everything, to live dangerously, to take a gamble, to live a life of beautiful danger with potential disaster around every turn, to invest it all in hopes of a glorious bountiful return. I choose to go for broke in the dangerous beauty of journeying with God. Anyone up for a walk today?

Dealing with stressful thoughts and emotions

We are all much too familiar with things in life that disturb our inner peace. News reports, family pressures, personal failures – any  number of challenges like these can cause a steady stream of stressful thoughts that make it more difficult to be productive.

I’ve sometimes resorted to putting negative or stressful thoughts out of my mind as a way to continue functioning when life is busy and there are multiple demands on my time. But where does a bothersome thought go once I put it out of my mind? I’ve had to be careful that the offending idea doesn’t then go into my body and cause problems there.

I’ve proven to myself that I can’t always ignore a problem to death. I’ve noticed that my head might be able to deny the problem but my body does keep track. It manifests that record by showing up with tension, digestive issues, aches and pains, and in a weird sort of echo back to the mind, anxiety and depression.

So for me, putting stressful thoughts out of my mind does not solve the issue. It only drives it deeper inside where it can sometimes be more difficult to identify and deal with. I’ve found it healthier, both emotionally and physically, to take the time and effort necessary to sort through my challenges, understand them, and give them their proper due, instead of pretending they don’t exist.