This is 31 Conversations from the front porch day 17… you can find the rest of the series here.
Day 17: What You Bring Matters
I pack up the family and we head north for a few days of quiet at the parsonage. My father pastors a small church right outside Pittsburgh, PA. At night you can see the city skyline from their dining room windows. During the day the kids climb the tree in the front yard, feed the chickens grasshoppers, and have the run of the place while I find a perch on the front porch or the living room couch with whoever happens to be resting there. It is how I like to do life – slowly – no agenda – no place to go.
There are a lot of things you can bring to the front porch – your baggage, your leftovers, your overflow, peace, goodness, and more.
Some of the things you bring offer life and some of the things you bring suck life dry.
You won’t find fulfillment here. You won’t find wholeness. You will likely find your gaping holes. You will find the places where you are not OK. And if you are vulnerable enough with one another you will rub right up against the rough places in each others’ lives. These are holy ground, tread lightly places.
The front porch is overflowing with forgiveness… preforgiving and forgiving in the moment. We walk out forgiving and bearing burdens and releasing hurt here. You may quietly discover all the places inside yourself where you are not OK – those places where you have been compromising. No one else sitting here will even know it, but You’ll silently uncover all the pieces that you have been hiding from and shoving low… those things that have been dictating too much toxicity around you. Like the Peanut’s Character Pigpen – you’ve had a cloud of dirt following you everywhere and you didn’t even know it was there.
I have learned a lot about relationships here. About what being OK looks like…
When you are OK with yourself you do not go looking to people who are clearly unhealthy or toxic to find validation.
- When you are healthy…
- When you are wholehearted…
- I want to be surrounded by people who see my worth.
- I want to be surrounded by people who see their own worth.
- And in all that understanding of worthiness we BAM …bring life and love and healing to each other.
When you are surrounded by people who understand their own worth – they do not go looking to you to affirm and validate who they are.
I don’t need you to tell me how valuable I am — I already know it.
I want to be surrounded by people who do not need me to tell them their value because they already understand their own worth. Yes, we have moments when we need reminded, but we do not spend every moment of our lives searching and longing to be a validated by one another.
We are OK in our separateness… and we are even better together.
Because at our core we are whole and healthy and loved and OK.
Exercises For Your Own Front Porch Conversations
- How can you help your relationships move towards health and healing?
- Have you ever gone through a period when you were too needy? Where did you take that clinging?
- What do healthy relationships/friendships look like to you?
- When you are OK what do you bring to your relationships?
- When you are NOT OK what do you bring?
- It is often said that if you want a certain kind of friend you have to be that kind of friend. Do you understand your own value so that you are not trying to find that worth in your relationships? What steps can you take to define your worth?