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Into dread and delight

Levi The Poet
Into dread and delight

This morning, I read a tweet about how we procrastinate what we're afraid of, but how what we're afraid of is the most surefire indication of what we've got to do. And it isn't as if this is news to me.

My own life either flourishes or fades depending upon whether or not I'm attentive to the asks of the soul, the gut, the intuition, the Spirit, the Thing beneath the thing that says — for example — "Write that, Levi. Write that thing." And when I push that thing away, or let the howl of the wolf drown out the Shepherd's voice, I feel myself devolve. 

I used to think Lot's wife turned into an actual pillar of salt. Maybe she did. Who cares?

But I know what it's like to disintegrate like that. I didn't know I was living that way until I saw every crystal held, like being given a heart of flesh.

The path is to push into dread and delight. 

I've got a lifetime of knowing what it's like to feel scattered and away from myself. I can feel it when old versions of me come to cloud out the sky. 

But I know what it’s like to be a whole human, too. To walk the path and trust it. I'm resilient about it now. I still look over my shoulder from time to time and feel parts of me distancing, or recognize the triggers that bring it on. "Anxieties baptized as conviction." But I'm better at recognizing anti-truths. 

I've tasted and I've seen and I know that there is a different way to be. I don't always know where I'm going but I know I'm not going to go back.

So I'm here. I'm showing up to these pages. I worked out earlier. I meditated. I am here. I am entering back into the practice. Trusting the active surrender. 

It's amazing how far back this "should 'I' not be 'me'?" goes. Here I am, remembering the "breaking up with myself" blogs back in 2014, when I tried to put "appeal" above authenticity.

Should I distance me from me? Will it help the brand grow? Will more people like the "not-all" me? I just realized that I used to write like sparks flinted off inspiration and put it out without second thought. To share unabashedly because — or and — it just so happened that lucky me used to go sharing what everyone in my tribe believed. 

Or at least, that's what I thought back then. At least, there wasn't conflict. Not inside of myself and not within my reach. I was constructing. 

I am remembering my time with Humble Beast. The way I started to feel dissonant just as I was experiencing opportunity. It’s not shade on them — it was change in me. The way Cataracts felt like it would be an affront to all the hands that fed me. The way I stopped sharing as much. The way I started deteriorating inside. Anger. Anxiety. Paralysis. 

I don't want to do that again. 

I put in extremely hard work for the hardest year of my life to get to this place of being able to discern within myself that — yes — I do want to keep risking myself vocationally. I do want to keep doing this thing and showing up. But when I made that decision, I also knew I couldn't do it the same way as I had been. Shutting myself down.

I've seen the fruit of that way of being. Rejecting intuition. Ignoring reality. Closing myself off from genuine and authentic connection inside a prison charading as "safety." 

Aslan isn't safe, remember?

I've been in the wilderness for a long time. I've found God out here. Kierkegaard says, "Now with the help of God, I shall find myself." And there is a place where we exist in tandem. Where if/thens disappear into the shadows that they are.

We are not separate from God or one another. And how could we be? But I live separate from both of us (and you, too) when I don't tell the truth that sets me free. 

The earth becomes enshrined in glory when you start to see the goodness of it all. Every common bush. 

What does it mean when God dwells in heaven and says that he will make you his home?

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." 

You are the gift that God and you have to give to the world. 

Be all of yourself. Give all of yourself. Is that not what Christ gave?

Not a single thing in me believes that you are rotten to your apple core, anymore. 

Self-denial is bastardized on both sides. Deceitful above all things no longer. If all things are made new, that goes for your heart, too. And neither is everyone looking for a self that doesn't submit to Love. Just the one we didn't know we had — or the one stolen by other Beloveds who didn't know theirs were there, either, functioning from deficits and trying to fill what they couldn't see was already whole inside of them. There's grace for all of it. I've taken like that, too. 

Bring me your tired, your weary, your notions of right and wrong and I'll meet you in the garden — let Light shine on all of it.



📸: Imani Givertz