You’re Beloved

It is amazing to me how one minute I am going about my day and the next I’m struck by a simple, kind phrase.

On Twitter today I was bantering with an actor whose work I enjoy. Me and a few other fans were chatting with him as usual, bouncing back and forth, posting pictures of our pets, and being goofballs. It is fun to brush elbows with the people who entertain us week after week on television.

He had posted a bit of a trivia question, wondering if any of his followers knew the answer. No one seemed to know as his fans refused to Google it (at his behest) and honestly replied. Jokingly I tweeted him saying that we as his fans had failed him, and his tweet back stopped me in my tracks.

No, no, you’re beloved. No failure possible.

I actually looked up the definition of the world ‘beloved’ and got these:

1. Dearly loved

2. Greatly loved; dear to the heart.

In other words, it is a fancy way to tell someone they are worth something. That they are loved. It made me stop, not because of who the tweet came from, or the context of anything on Twitter, but because I realized how little time I take to stop and fully comprehend just how loved I am.

I’m far more likely to spend the day thinking of all of the ways I have failed, or all of the things I should have done but didn’t, and don’t take any time to sit and feel loved. To stop and be loved. To love myself and to be thankful for all of the people in my life who love me.

It also made me realize how often I neglect to let the people in my life know that I love them. That they are beloved, no matter what they’ve done. When my niece, who is a toddler, does something she is not supposed to do we scold her…but then tell her that we love her. Her mess up, her mistake, her disobedience does not negate the love we have for her. It is not the “failure” we want her to focus on. We want her to know that she is loved even when she’s at her worse.

We take this approach with kids but lose it as adults. More often than not, at least in my circle of influence, when an adult messes up we tease them. I tease them. Sometimes I even bring it up later in the week and we all laugh about it again. Sometimes I’m the butt of the joke. I had a fact or belief that was proven to be incorrect and it is brought up again and again, laughed at every time, until it becomes something I cringe about.

I don’t like when that happens, so why on earth do I do it to other people?

Pointing out mistakes is not inherently bad, but when people are only told how badly they are screwing up without the understanding that through it all they are loved, it begins to take its toll. Guilt or embarrassment suddenly becomes shame.

I imagine when we’re at our worst and beat ourselves up over one failure or another, God just shakes his head and says something similar to what I was told today:

No, no, you’re beloved. No failure possible.

It is funny how those seven words can have such an impact.

So this week (and for the rest of my life) I hope I can be a person that makes her love clear, even when people screw up. I also hope I will be someone who can accept love from others even when I screw up.

Let grace and love abound. 

On High Mountain Peaks

ph.flight

I have a very difficult time accepting blessings in my life.

This past week I had a lot of things confirmed that I had mentioned being stressed out about in my “The Art of Play” blog entry. Both of my jobs for the summer have been confirmed, so I won’t be having to scrimp and save to survive living in Southern California this summer. I was able to book a flight home to see my family. Due to the fact I will be staying down here in Southern California, I can officially say I’m going to Comic Con 2013 in San Diego, CA. To top it all off, I checked in my mailbox here at school and found out that I’m getting some sort of award at Honors Convocation Chapel on Thursday.

In short, I’ve been insanely blessed this week, so why do I feel so anxious?

You would think someone who has seen everything come together in a single week would be on cloud nine and without worries. In a way I am and did my best to celebrate throughout the week as each new thing came into being. Yet there is this deeper inner dread that something is bound to go wrong. I can’t help but worry that the second job I got is too good to be true and will fall out from under me, that something will happen and my plans for Comic Con will fall through, or that I won’t be able to see my family for some reason.

Even when everything is going well I still fear that it will all go to hell in a hand basket because I don’t trust.

Trust is a daily struggle for me and one I imagine I will take with me to the grave. Can I trust my paychecks to come through? Can I trust people to do what they say that they will do? Can I trust myself not to screw up along the way? There are all these questions that drown me and suck the joy out of me just as soon as I find it again.

The beautiful thing is, though, that I realize how silly a lot of these fears are and I can start combating them. I can reach out to God in times of fear and doubt and he helps me limp through. I’m learning to accept the possibility that I might fail and that if I do, the world will not end.

I have a hard time trusting because I’m petrified of failing if I put trust in the wrong people or things. There is an inherent need to protect myself at all costs, even if it keeps me from enjoying the blessings that are raining down around me. I have to shoulder everything alone because no one else is dependable.

How silly is that, though? How much trouble could I save myself if I just came to accept the fact that I will fail somewhere along the way and that will be okay? The worst part is, I’m so focused on everything that is going wrong I forget to rejoice in the things that are going right.

So this week I’m going to accept that good things happen and that the bad may come, but it does not have any place in my life when I am so richly blessed. Focus on the good and let the failures come when they will, because in the end it will all be okay anyway.