Edges

One of my favorite scenes in Shrek is when the donkey says, “I’m a donkey on the edge!” He had taken all that he could take and finally exploded on Shrek.

My husband and I read a morning prayer from Every Moment Holy by McKelvey. The responsive reading asked us to consider allowing the day to unfold without limits and accepting outcomes as opportunities “to love, to be wounded rather than to wound, and by bearing patiently with the failings of others, extending the same kindness, mercy, and compassion that God in Christ has graciously offered us.” (pg. 4)

I’ve noticed in this post pandemic world we are edgy, like donkey, any moment we can find ourselves emoting, and we build this make shift safe space that, in all honesty, is a cage or prison. We want to control so we are not hurt again. When we approach the edges of our self-made cage we feel insecure, fear, and self-consciousness so we pull back and stop trying. These are the words from my book, The Untethered Soul, by Singer.

He challenges us to recognize the walls we’ve built and to truly awake spiritually, we realize we are caged. We are constantly hitting the limits of our comfort zone. We see that we are afraid to tell people what we really think. We see that we are too self-conscious to freely express ourselves. We see that we have to stay on top of everything in order to be okay. (pg. 123)

Singer’s research is challenging me to go beyond my edges. That I will experience freedom if I look for opportunities and welcome discomfort. The discomfort, little by little, becomes a relaxed state of personal freedom.

God challenges me to “trust in Him and to not lean on my own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Our understanding could be filled with limits based on fear, and God is calling us to freedom.

I believe we are struggling with discomfort because of the consequences we’ve faced from putting ourselves on the edges. Real consequences like illness, relationship wounds, and unbelievable feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness. We are wiser now and know the reality of the state we are living in. We are stymied, and with all the strength we can muster, we want to challenge the edges. We really do. Just take a look at your favorite podcast titles and content. Most of them are trying to teach us how to move forward, to reclaim hope, and to manage our brokenness.

Where I think we can start is the granular place of how you see yourself when you approach any edge. Maybe your edges look like adjusting to a new season of life like getting older, starting school, or an illness. Maybe your edges are workplace changes or a new job. Maybe it’s your marriage or parenting. You know when you hit that edge like a dog who just hit the edges of the electric fence. It’s zap, shock, bark. Sometimes we can feel the zap and pray ourselves through. Other times we are a donkey on the edge. Both are needed. God understands our soul work. How can we know freedom without the work of being set free? So, we bark sometimes. We find ourselves questioning. That is the space where you, little by little, let that cage rattle, and you step forward just a little bit more, and you experience freedom.

For me, this stepping forward takes prayer, consistent study of His Word, community, and self-compassion.

I don’t know where I would be without Him and His gentle hand in my life.

I don’t know where I’d be without my friends and family who listen and validate.

I don’t know where I’d be without the practice of forgiveness and self-compassion.

It is not the total release of fear and grasp of freedom we seek this side of heaven. It is the practice of waking up each day and asking God to help us with the edges and believing He will do a work.

You will have donkey days. It is inevitable. It’s what you do with the donkey days that sets your soul toward heaven and freedom.

Peace to you….

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlene A. Belangia says:

    Beautiful! I needed to hear this today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking of you Char. We’ve all experienced so much loss over the last few years. I pictured you offering a bereavement massage. You may call it something different, but a way for someone to come to you for love, connection, and prayer through massage. Human touch releases our emotions and helps us heal.

      Like

  2. ashleythomasrn says:

    Amen! What a wonderful reminder of God’s love and how we need to focus on him in all circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! He is always reminding us of His presence.

      Liked by 1 person

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