abundance, breathing, gratitude, grief, light, love, present, strong

I Am Not

I’ve got quite a few things ruminating in my mind. In fact, after last Sunday I had a blog post in mind but didn’t make time to write it. Then, earlier this evening I listened to Rob Bell’s latest podcast, and knew what I would write about that. Little did I know what was in store for me at breathwork tonight…

The last few times I’ve done breathwork I had very cold sensations throughout my body. In fact, when the active breathing was finished and we returned to the circle, I would remain cold. This cold feeling is often a sign of fear being released. However, that never quite resonated with me. Fear of what? I’m already facing a major fear – a fear of my life not turning out like I’d planned. There’s no reason to fear that because I’m already here.

So, what’s the cold about? As I felt the energy moving in my body, as I felt the cold sensations, especially in my hands, I knew it wasn’t fear that I was dealing with…it was anger. I’m horrible at dealing with anger. For some reason, I really fear it…oh wait…there’s a connection I hadn’t made until just now. Wow, ok. I’m afraid of my anger?


Ok, I had to take a break there – I had to breathe.

I’m afraid of my anger. I’m afraid of what will happen if I express my anger – toward myself, toward God, toward everyone else who had and does and will have children. Each time I practice this breathwork, I feel a little more of that anger, and now I realize it was fear, passing out of me.

The last song playing as we were coming out of the active breathing, as we were coming back into the present space, was filled with the line: I am Light. Over and over again. But then she added: I am not… fill in the blank. I am not my disability, I am not what I lack, I am not…

And it hit me… I am not my infertility. I will not let that one piece of me define who I am. I will not be defined by what I can’t do. Instead, of focusing on what I am not, let me share what I am:

I am a relationship builder, a mentor, a advisor, a confidant. I have been a minister, friend, authority figure to hundreds of young adults over my career. I played some kind of role in each of their lives. I gifted them with my love and time and authenticity.
I am a creator of beautiful things: I have written music, I have made quilts, I have taken pictures, I have crocheted afghans.
Speaking of quilts: I have taken old, worn out clothes and turned them into treasures. I’ve taken wedding dresses and made them centerpieces again. I have held clothing in my hands that belonged to people no longer living and created a quilt to hold the tears of those who miss them.
I am a friend and a gatherer of friends.
I am strong physically. I cry easily. I laugh easily. I walk long distances. I sing beautifully and love to find the harmonies.
I am a gift to this world.

And, my body can’t make a baby.

But, you see, that’s just one thing. One big thing, but only one thing. There are many other things my body can make. Many beautiful things I can do that bring love and goodness and life to this world. It’s not what I anticipated. It’s not always easy. But, I’m practicing. I want to find the good in the world. I want to find the good in me.

It’s not hard to see the good once you open your eyes. It only took me moments to write down the gifts I bring to the world. Maybe you can take a few minutes to do the same. Wouldn’t it be a different kind of world if everyone would take a few minutes to recognize the goodness they bring? Not out of pride or to be boastful, but to honor the light and love that’s in each one of us. I’m not unique – I’m not the only one with a list.

I do know that I want to grow that list though. And I want to shrink the one that starts with “I am not…” because that’s not helpful in any way. What I’m not doesn’t matter. What matters is who I am…today…right now…in this moment.

Tonight my teacher shared how it’s her deepest desire for every single person to fall in love with themselves. Once we do that we naturally find others to share that love with. But, it all starts inside. In order to love others, we must first learn to love ourselves.

I kid you not. This was the fortune I opened less than an hour after I left the studio.


I get it Universe… I get it.


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