Beautifully Different

I’m feeling like I can’t be witty and engaging every day — and now, well, now it seems like my various sources of inspiration are ganging up on me.  I think that my online journey this Advent and the good people at #Reverb10 are plotting together.  Seriously.  They’ve both decided to delve deep into my soul and pinpoint my exact frustration.  Good work folks.  Fantastic stuff.  You really know how to have a good time with me, don’t you?  Trust me, they do.  One asks me today about my garden.  (This isn’t sex ed.  Get your mind outta the gutter.)  It’s a metaphor for my life. There are a series of questions about this garden of my life that arrived via email today.  What would it mean to consider your life a garden which calls you to simply bask in its lushness?  What are the fruits and trees planted in your inner garden?  Where are the weedy places?  The other source of inspiration at #Reverb10 asks what it is about me (just one thing) that makes others light up.  In essence, what makes me beautifully different?
Honestly, I think they’re in it together.  Or if I put more stock in providence, I would stomp my foot at God and insist that she’s really not all that funny because I’m really trying to figure this one out.  I just don’t have the answer.  Give me some time — or at the very least — answer my prayer.

Earlier this week, I told my spiritual director that I’m trying to figure out what is awakening in me.  I know something is.  I spent all last week of this online journey trying to name exactly what it is that is awakening in me.  Truthfully, I’m not there yet.  I can tell you that I want to be whole.  But, I’m still weeding.  In the garden of my life, I’ve got particular beds.  Some need more shade.  Some need more light.  Some are destined for the compost.  Right now, I can only draw you a picture of this garden.  That’s a lie.  I can’t even do that.  I’m still sketching.  Literally.  This is the prayer that I’m drawing right now.  I’m painting that map that is my garden where there are certain parts of me that need more light — namely, those parts that are outside of my professional role.  There are others that need to grow more.  There are still others that I’m weeding and weeding and weeding so that the flower can grow more fully.  I like this metaphor.  I like the poem that my online journey added to it from Bokonon’s The Lost Book:


life is a garden,
not a road
we enter and exit
through the same gate
wandering,
where we go matters less
than what we notice

And there’s the exact point.  I’m just paying attention.  I might avoid the question.  I might not really know what’s beautifully different about me but I’m trying to figure that out.  I’m tempted to ask your opinion.  Part of me really does want to know.  The other part of me doesn’t want to be defined by what others find valuable.  I want to find it in myself.  I want it to be something that I can value without having another soul remark how it gives them light.  Instead, I want it to be my light.  Call me selfish.  This is what happens when I’m challenged to write every day.  It’s what I notice.

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