This is a post written by Natalie Roy called What We Hold Close. I don’t usually share emails or posts here unless I do, and this is one of those rare, special times. And then, next week, we’ll talk about “dirty fuel” and “punishing ourselves,” in the service of transformation. (We are already very familiar with the broken concept of “negative goals.”)
“I love a clean house. I clean and clean and clean some more especially when hosting guests at home. I would notice when my partner would walk into the house I would get agitated… “take your shoes off!” and “make sure to not mess anything!” Yet, the moment the guest would arrive, it would be “don’t worry about your shoes! Come on in and make yourself at home!”
Oh yes. Sometimes I am so very out of touch.
But don’t we ALL do this?
We treat those on the periphery sometimes with much more compassion and grace than those we hold dearest and closest.
And often, the one we treat the worst, is ourselves.
We are hard on ourselves. And don’t we do this under the false guise that if we are hard enough on ourselves we will stay motivated or be fixed or be better or more. It is something called “dirty fuel”, when we are motivated in opposition to something such as our own unworthiness.
Do we not trust that without such strict force we would evolve? Do we think we are only as good as how much we are willing to punish ourselves into it?
Motivating towards negative goals is both harming and unsustainable. Motivating from a place of needing to be better will always lead to negative consequence or giving up. It will lead to “what’s the use” or “why me”, “nothing is ever enough.”
Something interesting came up in my yoga class today. I was thinking about anatomy and how our extremities can move faster than the body parts closer to our core. So I can move my fingers more quickly than my shoulder, and my shoulder can move more quickly then my heart.
So we can discern that lasting change, on the things we REALLY care about can sometimes be a long game. Transformation takes time. It happens choice by choice, day by day. The idea of an overnight success is a fallacy. What can shift (and lightening fast) is your perception, your mindset, and your feelings. And those we have to continue choosing each and every day.
We change our lifestyle to change our lives.”
I guess this snuck up on me and hit me over the head so hard is that I have lately been running on “dirty fuel” so much, and when she writes that it will lead to a mindset of “nothing is ever enough,” I am laid bare. I’ve never met Natalie Roy, but I think there’s an above average chance that she knows exactly who I am. Maybe she has been reading my email or my journals – the parts I don’t let anybody see. (Ok, just kidding, there aren’t any parts I don’t let anybody see.) The point is, I don’t know her, but she certainly knows me.
We’ve been exploring our response to the Good News of the Gospel. It’s a motivation based on who we are and what we can do – not the opposite. It’s a “clean fuel.” It’s a yes. This is an absolutely vital distinction and I owe Natalie Roy a big, sweet thank you for helping me remember what I already knew.