October 10, 2018

I’ve been teaching myself to do handstands, after years of being afraid of them. After years of recovering from one injury after another, when just please let me keep doing this one thing superseded all thoughts of doing something more. It’s been two months since I started kicking my legs up over my head and forcing myself to stay there for five breaths, seven, ten. I still need the wall to support me, but I can feel myself getting stronger—in the moments of inversion, yes, but more so in the others. When my neck no longer arbitrarily throws itself out of whack. When I can lift and pull and reach for things without tweaking my shoulder. When I’m in plank for the ten thousandth time in fifteen years of practicing yoga, and suddenly, it’s bearable. It’s true physically, and it’s true metaphorically: nothing beats learning to hold your own weight. I have spent most of my life feeling like a glass that’s overflowing, spilling needs and wants and neuroses all over the floor. I have teetered between the belief that being “fixed” means I won’t feel this way anymore and that being “fixed” is not precisely possible. But in fifteen months of working from home and living alone and spending the bulk of my time with Jesus, I’ve come to understand neither of those are true. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” Paul writes in Galatians 5:1. Freedom, to me, means space. It means making room for God to come in and say, “Actually, you are just who I made you to be. Now, let me show you how to be who you are and have all your brokenness bound up in Me.” It means sanity—not the sterilized, medicated, gray-eyed sanity the world offers, but the fierce, enveloping, whole-person sanity of Jesus. It means what Paul writes in II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” It means approaching my well-worn patterns with courage and asking, “Why am I eating this, why am I doing this, is this book really finished?” and not becoming undone when I discover things in need of mending. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. It means hoisting myself upside down, day after day, and settling into the uncomfortable but wonderful truth that what I’ve been conditioned to accept as a given is actually capable of change.

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