Building a Lasting Foundation

This is a small Saint Francis shrine that my mom has outside her house. A couple of weeks ago, a frantic blue bird began building a nest on top of the shrine. In her urgency, she built a lopsided mess. It fell less than a day later. I never saw her again. I wonder if she was able to build a second nest in time for her babies. I wonder if they have a safe home.

I thought it was fitting that she built her nest on the patron saint of animals and the environment. I also thought it was a lot like my own life lately. I have been frantically trying to build a nest for myself (and perhaps, my future babies) and in my urgency, I may be building it all lopsided. I may have spent all this time and energy on something that is bound to come crashing down.

I know that teaching is definitely one of my callings. I feel blessed to be so close to that being a reality. But in the process of doing all that needed to be done to complete my teaching license, I have been ignoring the parts of my nest that really constitute a foundation. Like sleep or healthy boundaries, good nutritious food and creative expression. I also have been putting all my trust out into the ether and not enough trust in myself. I have been building a faulty nest that isn’t safe for me or anyone else.

Things are way up in the air right now. I have been trying to exert my control over situations and relationships that I have NO way of controlling or manipulating. I don’t mean that to sound negative, but I have been trying to orchestrate my life for so long that it’s incredibly unnerving to just allow things to unfold. I’m learning how to react and respond to what is actually happening instead of retreating inward and deciding what reality really is.

I stood up for myself last week with a friend who was being unreasonable. I had to. I hated saying it, but I had to. I couldn’t pretend that it was a situation that was perfect for me even though I knew he would be hurt. I may have fatally injured a relationship I cherish, but I also understand that if this could fracture us in such a profound way, maybe our friendship had been built on a faulty foundation. Maybe it only seemed sturdy because I was always agreeable to his demands and needs. Once I exerted my own needs, maybe that was the last straw…

I want to focus on myself. Not in a selfish way, but in a healthy way. A lot of my support systems are changing. One of my best friends and biggest supports is more than likely moving soon. It is the right thing for her family, but I can’t help but be sad and scared about not having her here to help catch me when I fall.  But I think it may be exactly what I need. I’m building new relationships that are proving to be important to my evolution as a human being. These relationships are healing me – I don’t know what will happen in the long run, but I do know that I am building something strong as we slowly peel back the layers and get to know each other.

Part of building a lasting foundation is taking the time to look at what you have to work with in reality…not in fantasy or delusion. I’m wanting to build something lasting and strong. I know that in order to do that I have to slow down and take a breath. I need to continue to protect myself and erect healthy boundaries with some people while also being brave enough to let other people in and learn to be vulnerable and trusting. I need to trust myself and believe in my own talent and skill. I need to carefully pick each branch and twig and find the proper place for it in my nest, constantly reevaluating the filler that doesn’t assist me in my quest. I need to look at this nest, this life, from every angle and build a foundation that I know is safe and sound.

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