somewhere new, someplace safe: keeping it light

Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us.

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic 


I’ve been thinking lately about what I would tell my younger self.  It’s kind of hard because I’m still so young.  But I feel old and those tumultuous nights in a 15-year-old’s life feel like they were decades ago.

Today, I think I’d wrap my younger self up in a hug.  Maybe tell her a joke to get her to laugh.  And then I’d say, “Lauren, don’t take yourself so seriously.”

I think she needed to know that.

I know I need to know that right now.

I have an egocentric belief that everything depends on me.  I’ve over analyzed my imprints in the dust of the earth, and I’ve come up believing the dirt is there because of my prints.

Oh okay, yeah.  Whatever.

My prints are there because of the dirt.

And the dirt is there for me to play.

I get caught up in making the perfect prints and making sure they lead directly to God without any detours.

And the dirt is there for me play.

God’s in the dirt.  God is the dirt.

And I get to play.

As I prepare for my adventure out of state this summer, I’m feeling anxious and nervous.  A dear friend asked, “What is your greatest fear?”

I thought about it and the answer, simply, is this: me.  I am my own greatest fear.

I want to think greatness will happen this summer.

But I’m desperately afraid that I will happen this summer.

I’ll show up flailing and floundering, messing things up with my own gargantuan inadequacy and ineptitude.  My stupidity and lackingness will be front and center as I try to figure out if people like me or not.

So, yeah, I’m panicking a little.

But what if it’s not about me?

What if God wants to scoop me up and teach me some things about letting go. 

Maybe something like running free.

I think he wants me to realize there is nothing in this world he has not taken care of already, giving me bountiful space to explore and fail and learn and fly.

As I prepare for this summer away, I’m letting myself off the hook.  I don’t have to be the prettiest, smartest, godliest, funniest, most best and most efficient woman there.  Because I won’t be.

I get to keep it light.  I get to keep it loose, keep it free.

Because He loves me.  He’s got it taken care of.  He’s good.  He’s got this adventure set up for me because he wants to play with me – to go running off through the dirt.

I’ve just finished reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I don’t have the words to say how much I loved this book.  All I can say is this: go read it.

In it, she talks about the difference between our souls and our egos.  Our souls are interested in one thing: wonder.  Our egos want success and attention and credit.

When things don’t pan out, our egos feel wounded but our souls just request more wonder.

I’ve realized: I’m anxious and weary because I’ve leaned too closely into my ego. All the while, my soul is packing its bags in fantastic trust and excitement, beaming with readiness.  Because this summer is going to be all about wonder.

So I’m listening more to my soul and letting my ego chill out.

After all, it’s my ego that believes in perfectly laid prints.

And my soul just marvels and rejoicies that there is even dirt to leave prints in to begin with.

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