Well shit. I’m coming out of the rubble, still not quite standing, still wiping the dust from my eyes but I want you with me. You always let me be messy.
Covid messed up the manufacturing and distribution of the hormone replacement pills I’m on. While that might not sound like a big deal to you (which is fair since it didn’t seem like that big a deal to me either) – let me tell you, it is a big deal. I didn’t have the prescription for 5 days. My body went into a weird disconnected, fog-like state. When I finally got back on them, it sent my blood pressure on a nasty rollercoaster ride. When it dipped, I had no energy and felt dizzy. When my blood pressure started climbing, it gripped the right side of my chest and made it hard to breathe. The rollercoaster sent my body into panic mode, where quite literally, I just went from one panic attack to another. I kept opening and closing my hands trying to stretch out the tightness in my fingers.
Instead of asking for help, I started feeling shame.
Here’s what I’m learning (again). Shame is shit. Trauma is a jerk. And I was getting attacked by both.
My body has experienced trauma in many ways over my lifetime. And the poor thing was freaking out on me. My doctor prescribed some fluid pills to bring down the swelling and some Xanax to bring down the panic level. My therapist worked through some tapping exercises with me to remind me where I’ve been and where I am now, reconnecting my body, mind & heart. Both have been helpful, but you know where the real change has come in? Pursuing Beauty. I don’t mean it as an assignment to where I must pursue beauty to see where the light gets in. Nope, not this time.
by which I mean, Beauty pursuing me. And, I’m letting it find me. I’m letting Beauty pursue me and find me. And it is making all the difference.
Curt Thompson is a psychiatrist who devotes his work to providing the “framework for understanding science and spirituality.” In one of his recent podcasts, he said, “Beauty is coming to find you. It’s not a coincidence. It’s coming to find you.” And that, “We need to recognize that Beauty is always hovering.” And since, “trauma shatters the lens through which we see our lives;” it can be hard to see Beauty. So, his challenge is to “put yourself in the path of beauty.” I took notes on that episode and listened several times. Turns out, when trauma breaks you; it breaks your ability to see beauty.
When the idea of looking for beauty came up again during a work call; I knew I needed to pay attention.
This morning, walking back from taking the trash cans to the edge of the driveway, I notice this.
Disregard my socks and Birks and notice the bit of Beauty pursuing me in my literal path.
Don’t dismiss this little green plant. Notice how she’s growing defiantly up through a crack in the tar and asphalt. She is resilient. She is stretching. She is alive. She is making it.
To “put myself in the path of Beauty,” I knelt down and took a closer picture.
Pursuing Beauty looks like the tiniest of details on this little cluster of leaves and the perfect dew drops on her. Isn’t she beautiful?
I’m pushing beyond the broken to find the Beauty already pursuing me.
Nature has been around a long time carrying the weight of beauty and wisdom. So, we should be paying attention. Nature extends non-verbal communication that there is a God.(“The Songs of Jesus” p32 Tim Keller) Creation reveals God’s artistry. God’s first offering to you and me is in coral sunrises and towering green trees and crashing deep blue ocean waves and looming, ice capped mountains. “Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth. Unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.” (Psalm 19:3-4 MSG) That tiny plant pushing through asphalt offered me unspoken truth this morning. Life may have broken me more than a couple times, but Pursuing Beauty is after me.
Jesus is after you too.
I pray you pay attention. I pray you put yourself in the path of Beauty. Jesus tells us, “My Father is still working, and I am working also.” (John 5:17) He’s not sitting around on a cloud or in a book. Jesus is after you, throwing colors and scents and hugs, maybe some Xanax, blossoms and defiant buds in your path. Let’s pray for each other to keep our eyes open for the Pursuing Beauty coming for us. You might be broken but there is beauty to be found.