Be a good mama to your soul. Words that are on repeat for me this week. I first heard this phrase a couple of years ago in a ministry group called Mending the Soul. We met every week for several months working our way through from pain to healing from horrendous experiences with abusive situations. The end result was freedom, renewal, and the ability to speak up and stand strong when our boundaries are dismissed, violated, or trespassed.
Aside from the events that have happened in the U.S. presidential campus this week, I have been thinking again about the importance of taking care of one’s self when things are stressful, intense, and on the verge of collapse. In those moments, I am finding the need to get grounded – rooted in hope and truth. As a Christ follower, for me it means being prayerful and purposeful in all I do. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve neglected tending my own soul because of tending the mess around me, and it’s really not even my mess to tend. I have missed the whispers of my own boundary lines calling me homeward. But for grace, I’m listening and getting intentional about how I’m living out my days.
Tonight I affirm that I am only in charge of me. I can’t control anyone. No one else can control me. I am in charge of me. You are in charge of you. I get to use my voice and assert my boundaries, and use my voice, I will. You have a voice too. It’s time to speak up. Say what you need to say. Tell people how they hurt you or damage their relationships with you. The goal is mending and healing the brokenness so our relationships can be healthy and productive. To live with love and in love requires our deepest committed efforts. I so long for healthy relationships, and that means knowing and respecting my own boundaries and as well as yours.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
I choose to live in health and freedom, and sometimes that means walking away from what is not mine to tend, fix, or protect. Sometimes it means remembering who and Whose I am and sitting in the stillness for restoration to rise up and take again. Oftentimes it means being a good mama to my soul. What exactly does that mean? I suppose you could say it’s like self care. It’s not ignoring people or disconnecting or running away. No. The first and foremost thing it means for me is listening to and being consistent with my own boundaries.
Being a good mama to my soul means loving myself well so I can love others well. It means stepping back from those behaviors, actions, events, and things that threaten to overtake my internal freedom, humanity, and hope. It means listening to my heart and soul for what they need and taking care of those needs. It means being cognizant of any tendency to spiral downward back into hopelessness, despair, and anything else that would cause me to act contract to the work of redemption in my life. So, I whisper with kindness to my heart, “Be a good mama to your soul.” I think this goes for men too; “Be a good papa to your soul.” Take the time and space to build your own capacity to live from a place of love, light, and truth. Not everyone will understand that, and that is okay. You do you. You take care of you. Know your boundaries, and guard your heart.
I encourage you today to remember that you are worthy of love, care, and dignity. Treat yourself with those same things and you’ll be able to give those things to others too. Let’s not trespass our own boundaries, but rather let’s take good and healthy care of them. I believe as we love our selves well, we’ll be able to love and honor others well. Maybe walls and fences will fall away. I long for that day when we truly love one another. Until then, I’m taking stock and taking care of me for this right-now moment. You might want to as well. You’re worth it.
This is day 9 of my 31 Days of Affirmation. In this series I’ll affirm hope, faith, truth, and encouragement even when life is troubling. Particularly the series ponders what it means to hold on to those things that are good, right, noble, honorable, true, and lovely even when life isn’t so pretty. This means, at least for me, I need to engage and practice and activate my faith as I believe it bolsters my hope. I do this by affirming truth even in the storm. You can read all the series post here. I hope you’ll be encouraged.