Today I ran in shorts and a tank top, thinking about the significance of the solar eclipse and Lent in the same week (which I will touch on in another post)! As I ran on the trail toward Voorheesville, relishing the mud and the warm breeze colliding with a storm on the horizon, I mulled over all I never knew about love, and marveled at what has taken me almost 40 years to realize:
That truly loving someone means allowing them to seek their purpose and once found, pursue what God has made them to do. It means saying “Do what makes you YOU. I love you enough to free you to do that, even if it means following your heart takes you away from me.” Recently I have had to do just that. But there is a flip side to this.
In releasing someone, whether it be a significant other or child that’s growing up, it actually frees us to examine our own purpose! I am finally able to admit that I have compromised following my own heart anytime it conflicted with what someone I love valued or dreamed of. At 39 years old, on the eve of the solar eclipse and the week of Lent, I am making a declaration “I will do what makes me ME! And anyone who truly loves ME will free me to do just that, even if it means that following my heart takes me away from places and faces I love!” And I don’t know that it will, but I want to be open to any possibility.
But isn’t this in opposition to what the Bible says about LOVE? Actually, no! It says “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It doesn’t say “Love yourself more than you love others.” Nor does it say “Love others more than you love yourself.” Only God deserves that kind of hierarching love. As for everyone else in our lives, we must find that balance of loving ourselves and others uniformly!
My final thought on my 39 minute run was this: In choosing to bring balance back to loving myself, I have to face the fear that kept me from doing so long ago. The fear that I will be alone if I choose to do what makes me ME, and be who God created me to be. I let go of that fear and self-doubt, and make room for a new era of self-confidence… And of trusting that if I listen to my heart then God will provide who I need in my life, when I need them. And if at any given moment, I am alone in living more authentically, then that too is a gift from God that He knows I need.
On the eve of the solar eclipse, as we look ahead to the season of Lent, I hope you too can bring the balance back to your own life of loving! Be blessed, Sara M.