A wise woman blogging through a difficult transition recently wrote that she’s “trying to set energy aside for dealing with life’s daily hiccups before they derail [her].” Immediately, I knew what she meant; I call it “emotional fat”–that energy, a shock-absorber, that keeps spilled milk from becoming a puddle of tears and torn-out hair.
Sometimes we lose our way when it comes to an equal-and-opposite reaction, or even better–no “reaction” at all, but being a non-anxious presence in the midst of upheaval.
Coming back from a place of emotional-boney-ness (which may come up suddenly and without warning, or you may know very well whence it comes, but it’s still unexpected when its impact is so great) takes time, of course, and it happens gradually, with the help of loved ones, and sometimes doctors, and often (for me) chocolate and pastry. Then one day, you look back, and though you’ve got plenty of new stressors, you realize you don’t even want that pastry you promised to yourself for completing the task–the task being done is plenty, or perhaps the task itself was a joy. You make a mental note, “Remember, Self: you love this task which you do. You may not think so, but the moment you get yourself out of bed, or into the car, or onto the phone, you love the way the task reminds you of who you are, and the way the task helps you to be connected.”
I wonder if some of the emotional-boney-ness comes from losing track of who you are. We are the relationships we have–I wouldn’t be Emily if I didn’t have two brothers who live in NYC and with whom I became who I am; I wouldn’t be Emily if I didn’t have lots of family of varying blood-relation splattered all over the globe. Apart from our relationships, we don’t exist, and being un-connected can sort of make us feel as if we aren’t there at all.
On the deepest level, the relationship which truly defines us is Jesus. God came to rub shoulders with each of us, and in relationship to us, with so much love, peacefully, willingly gave up his life for each of us, that we may all be together at the end of time with no death or disconnection ever again. Our worth and energy and emotional fat comes from working to believe* that God really does love you so much as to give up everything for you.
*this is “faith,” and it is a gift, not something we can really work our way into, but it does seem that we’re told a lot of lies about our worth and what makes us worthy. we continue to pray.