“I believe that the most important single thing beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.” Maya Angelou

When I think of daring. I don’t usually think of me.
But I have been daring lately. Daring to be content.
Daring to be happy with me and the life that is mine. Daring to be unapologetic about the things that I like.

A while back, I read something in some magazine about a shampoo for brunettes that eliminated brassiness–“the unattractive red tones when light hits.” Unattractive? I’ve always liked the red glow the sun brings out in my hair. I liked the warmth and depth it gave to my hair color. That’s brassy? That’s unattractive? Well I guess that you can think that if you want. But I’m going to embrace and love my brassy until my sparkles take over.

Sparkles? I suppose that same magazine would describe them as “ugly gray.” Cover those babies! Right? What if I dare to like them? I might. We’ll see. For now, I’m embracing the sparkles starting to streak through my brassy brunette.

When I moved into my house, I liked the kitchen. I liked the warm wood cabinets. Then I saw kitchens just like mine in all of the before pictures of kitchen remodels with descriptions like: “Boring” and “Outdated.” Says who? What if I dare to like my kitchen just the way it is?

What if I dare to like my body? Just the way it is? Long and finally gathering a few curves. Sharp angles softening. I don’t need a beach body. My body serves me well, mediating my experience on this earth. It is my doorway to Presence. What if I dare to love it? To listen to it? To embrace it? To honor it? Just the way that it is.

What if I welcome my soul, my heart, just the way that I am? In all of my earnestness and quirky awkwardness. A bundle of contradictions. Full of love and fear and hope. Gentle and sharp. Fed by both friendship and solitude. A mixture of doubt and faith. Full of courage and the need to hide. Patient until I’m not. This mixture of shadow and light gives me depth. It makes me real. Human.

What if I dare to be happy with just the way I am? With where I am? With what I have? That’s daring. That’s freedom. That’s power.

_Just be exactly where you are

Be present to the life that is yours right now.
Let go of what you think you should do.
Let go of what you think you should be.
Let go of what you think others think.
God is satisfied with and wants only you.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Daring Contentment

  1. Jessica,
    When I read Daring Commitment just now, about 1/2 way through tears started streaming down my cheeks. By the time I got to the end of the stanza below the coffee cup, I was sobbing.
    When that happens, I stop what I’m doing and go to the Father. First I thank God for you, and your gifts, as you are the vehicle that helps me identify how I am feeling with eloquent words.
    Then I share my pain with God, and ask Him to show me what this pain is trying to show me.
    I used to say, I don’t know how I feel…I haven’t said it yet. (Or written it in my journal, where I can look at it in a linear fashion.) But now I’m starting to think that using your blogs, I can add, “I don’t know how to put that in words…Jessica hasn’t said it for me yet. LOL!
    Now my work begins…taking these words and feelings to my prayer & meditation time, to allow God to help me see where I’m stuck, and what this pain is trying to show me. To show me what I need to let go of, to be truly content with myself, and bask in the freedom of GRACE He earned for me when He died on the cross, and rose again, so I can be free from the devil, this crazy world and my sinful self.
    Tonight I thank you from the bottom of a very grateful heart.
    PEACE

    Like

    1. Lucinda, thank you for reminding me why I hit “publish.” Your words are a gift to me too. I’m holding you in my heart as you sit with what God is doing in your heart. In John O’Donohue’s beautiful words:
      May you learn to see your self
      with the same delight,
      pride, and expectation
      with which God see you in every moment.
      (I pray this for me too.)

      Like

  2. Hi Jessie,
    I love reading your pieces because you hit many targets in my life and heart. I have conversations with you in my head. Maybe it’s time to have a conversation person to person. I do have a question to ask you; maybe a somewhat strange question. Perhaps you can get my phone number from your mother-in-law and you could call me when you have time to talk.

    Like

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