It’s Spring! Thanks for being patient with Yes And Collective during its dormancy. Like the leaf buds that are protruding from branches and the flowers that are beginning to unfurl themselves, we at Yes And Collective are ready to reemerge. We’re ready to open our hearts, release our thoughts, share our stories, and give away what we have been given.
Speaking of new seasons, on a personal note I’ve been thinking a lot about the necessity of seasons and the role dormancy and death plays in life. It’s paradoxical and it’s true—in order for life to spring forth, something has to be buried or planted or laid down. Sometimes we bury or lay things down out of choice and other times we’re forced to lay things down. I’m coming out of a season of the latter.
The Advent series I wrote in December was life-giving and then as 2018 started, I found myself in need of a break for both my mind and my body. In January I started going to physical therapy twice a week for the lower back pain that’s been plaguing me since October. The pain was keeping me from sitting for prolonged periods of time, which included sitting at a computer. I kept trying to find ways to skirt around my pain by lying down on my bed and using my laptop and was able to edit a few articles in January, but as soon as the hard drive of my laptop crashed in February I felt it was as if God was saying, It’s okay to rest. I literally had to lay down writing and time in front of a screen as I was forced to enter a season of being and not doing.
There’s nothing like being in your mid-thirties and feeling incapacitated, especially when you’re a recovering perfectionist! As a recovering perfectionist, there’s so much of my inner self that wants to keep all the plates I juggle spinning perfectly in sync as I gracefully waltz around from thing to thing. And as a recovering perfectionist I also struggle with doing and finding my identity outside of the things I do and create. Because of my back pain, I was forced to give up yoga and weights and writing and creating—pretty much everything I deemed as useful and worthy of my time—and so it didn’t take long for the shame and depression to creep. Despite all the prayer and wishful thoughts of recovery, I found myself in a season of having to lay down self-imposed expectations in exchange for grace and self-care. I had to reject the notion that self-care was ‘selfish’ and instead, I had to learn to grant myself permission to rest (and do my physical therapy stretches and read and flip through magazines and watch The Crown). And most importantly, I had to learn to love on myself and set boundaries that protected the fragility of my body and mind.
Today I finished my last physical therapy appointment and while my back is not at 100% yet and I’ll be going in for an MRI soon, I do feel stronger and empowered. When I look back at this first four months of 2018, I don’t feel like I have much to show for it in terms of accomplishment or doing, but I can say that I have loved my family well and learned to love myself better. As a result of the dormancy of doing, I am starting to see new life in my heart. I have high hopes for what’s ahead and I am sensing that these months of dormancy have actually been a sacred space of incubation—not only has my physical posture been adjusted but my heart posture has as well.
I don’t know what heart season you are in as the buds are blooming, but wherever you find yourself Sister, it’s my hope and prayer that you know you’re loved and worthy for who you are and not what you do. Give yourself permission to love yourself well today and create some boundaries for self-care—it’s not selfish!
Morgan is a storyteller at heart. After running an NGO in Uganda for 7 years, she and her husband, Dave, currently record a weekly podcast called Chasing Unicorns, produce and host The FIND series, run the CB Ideas design agency, and mange Yes& Collective. Morgan also co-authored the newly released children’s book, The Girl Chronicles: A Story of Good. She’s a mom to two middle schoolers, Asher & Jadyn, and so when she’s not driving them around, she fills herself up with yoga, reading, air-popped popcorn, and all things coconut flavored. IG: @MorganHansow & @HansowFamily www.HansowFamily.com