Jan
23

Freedom in the Foundations

By

117It all depends on the foundation. For so long I worked high up in the rafters, trying to fix this, trying to fix that. Looking out the windows… obsessed with looking out the windows at expressions, reactions, actions, small gestures. Painfully anguishing about getting the details of living life right. Had to get it right, had to get it right…

I hired an inspector. “What is wrong with my house?” I asked him. “It isn’t working. The top is swaying back and forth it’s so heavy, everything in the middle is creaking and groaning. I’m in a constant state of motion sickness!”

He did some in-depth analyzing and said, “It’s your foundations, friend. They’re built with the wrong kind of stuff. You believe you have to act ‘right’ in order to be right. You believe most everything about you, the real you, is wrong. A foundation like that won’t work for you. It’s no wonder everything from the ground up is trying so desperately to tear away.”

He showed me what a good foundation looks like. “In the context of building material, let’s consider one of the most famous carpenters in history, Jesus. He defined himself by saying, ‘I am.’ Not ‘I do’, but simply ‘I am.’ It was the same ‘I am’ kind of stuff that God looked at on the 6th day and described as ‘GOOD.’ Your identity is made of the same stuff. You are. And the stuff of you is just as good as the stuff of anyone else. Forget about perfect in this lifetime, but know that it’s good.”

So I took my foundations to task. I stopped focusing on upstairs and started digging, started putting this truth into place here, this truth into place here. For quite some time, I looked like a big hole. But that was okay. Tall buildings need deep foundations. When I wanted to despair at my lack of “visible” progress, I just reminded myself of that again and again.

They’re really coming together. They will require maintenance work forever, but I’m fine with that. I have this feeling of peace that comes more and more frequently. My house is settling into these new foundations, like a pair of really great shoes with stellar support. Ahhhhh…. NOW I can move around! Now the motion sickness is passing. Now my windows let light in and my doors open and close in healthier exchange. And now I can work on my “heights” with clarity, excitement and true purpose.

There is freedom in the foundations.

~Carla

Categories : Freedom & Wholeness

19 Comments

1

Carla I just wanted to take a moment to tell you what a talented writer you are. I really do find strength in your words. Thank you.

2

I find it incredibly amazing that people you need to meet come into your life at just the right time. I am awestruck over and over again by this. I absolutely have found the same thing as you about my foundation and realized that that is what I have been doing for the last two years. Working on my foundation. The funny thing is that once I started working on it I realized that the foundation I had built didn’t fit the house I had. I had to tear everything down to the foundation again and start rebuilding from there. It’s been a process filled with emotion and stress although I realize that’s only because I hadn’t completely trusted that everything was ok. How much easier would it all have been if I knew that?

Thanks for sharing Carla, I’m really enjoying your blogging and can’t wait to read more.
Love,
Melanie

3

Great great great post Carla! How many of us have gone through life thinking we had strong foundations because we were told we did, by our parents, churches, heritage, etc., only to find out we were sinking in spite of those assurances? So glad to have found others who understand how unstable some of those building blocks were and how they put our very existence in danger. Starting over is very painful and exhausting, but in the long run the only way to ever live in mindful peace.

Thanks for a sharing from your heart!
Jeanette

4

Carrie, it is great to see you “here”! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the posts. Sending you a hug.

Melanie, really interesting what you say about your house not fitting your foundation. I’ll be thinking more about that too! I totally cheer you on in going through the process of foundation building (because it sure is a process) and I hope you are richly rewarded. Thanks for your comments!

Jeanette, YES! I totally agree with you! Wow. One of the biggest challenges is to begin to trust your own heart and self enough to question what you’ve been taught your whole life. It’s great to know you on this journey. 🙂

5

Thanks for this lovely post Carla, reminding us of the challange to look deep within ourselves and to “be”

john
http://www.wilsoncounselling.co.uk
http://www.onlinevents.co.uk

6

This post brought tears to my eyes. I was especially moved by the example of Jesus who said “I am” … not “I do”. If we are to follow him, this may be the starting point.

Thank you so much!

7

Thank you so much John!

Debbie~ Learning that concept really helped me feel more free. I was taught so often that to be “like Jesus” we had to do this or that just like him. Now I see it in a whole new light- it’s not about copying- it’s about living true from our own well-created souls. Love you Mom!

8

Wow, I deeply connected with this Carla.

A few months back I had my first moment of clarity in years while cleaning my windows. As I began on the center of the window, washing in a circular motion, I could see through! I stood paralyzed, gazing at the vibrant nature of my own backyard like I’d never seen it before. Since then I’ve been like a tornado of healing although feeling like I’ve missed something; I am! Thanks so much!

9

Hi Mel! Welcome here and thanks for visiting! 🙂 I love your comment and comparing healing to cleaning the windows so we can see clearly, so we can see the vibrant nature of our true selves… That is awesome! I’m happy that you are going through a “tornado” of healing and send you warm encouragment.
~Carla

10

Darlene,

Jesus was not a whimp either as so many people like to paint him. He served God not other people. He laid His life down, it was not taken from Him. Jesus has very good self-esteem. The Pharasees got a good look at that when He told them that He was the son of God.

It is okay to be a Christian and stand up for yourself. Serving God does not mean that my needs are of no importance. In God’s eyes, all of our needs are equal.

What’s good enough for Jesus is good enough for me. I am happy to be what ‘I am’.

11

Hi Pam
I thought I should mention that I didn’t write this post ~ it was written by Carla Deppel.
Having said that, I agree, Jesus was no wimp!
Hugs, Darlene

12

Oops! Sorry, Carla. This was a great article.

13

Thanks Pam! I appreciate your comments and am glad you enjoyed the post.

~Carla

14

Hi Carla,

I’d just like to echo what Jeanne said because it captures so well why I appreciate this post of yours so much, Carla:

“Great great great post Carla! How many of us have gone through life thinking we had strong foundations because we were told we did, by our parents, churches, heritage, etc., only to find out we were sinking in spite of those assurances? So glad to have found others who understand how unstable some of those building blocks were and how they put our very existence in danger. Starting over is very painful and exhausting, but in the long run the only way to ever live in mindful peace.”

Unstable building blocks that put our very existence in danger. Exactly. That is exactly it. This analogy of a building and its foundation really captures that so very well. It looks fine on the outside! And the heritage … oh, the heritage thing. The good parents, right beliefs, churches. But this generational thing that got passed down – something is wrong at the core. It’s really tough to keep believing that, though, when YOU are the one who is crumbling. I can easily see that others also have, but they’ve been able to “go on” somehow. It’s come to a screeching halt with me, at this point in my life. I want to believe that is a mercy of God that it did – but it is so hard sometimes. Still digging a bigger hole for that foundation right now, it seems. Wanting to see some building going on around here already, and your post reminds me that it takes time. Gosh but that is a hard hope to hold onto.

Thing is, as a young adult, I set out to build a rather tall and visible building as an overseas missionary on the foundation I had. I had no idea how unstable things were. But the building project was ongoing, over a period of many years. It took a number of proverbial camel-breaking-straws, along with a few significant earthquakes, for things to begin crumbling. Tough stuff, when others in your family still need shelter. And when people support you financially. I sort of try to do this activity “after dark”, as it were. Sectioning off parts of the structure that are the most vulnerable to keep others safe, but also in the hopes that the whole thing won’t completely collapse – at least the outward appearance of it.

Is that even possible???

Anyway, I’m very thankful to read this older post of yours today. Glad that Darlene sent the links this morning. I’m new to the site and hadn’t seen it before.

15

And another thought has just come to me … I’m not even sure that digging around and shoring up the foundation is going to be enough. I’m doing that, to be sure. But I’m also feeling like another building site is going to be necessary. I am questioning many, many so-called “foundational” beliefs I’ve held for as long as I can remember.

You probably know the children’s Sunday School song about the wise man and the foolish man. Jesus’ teaching, actually. No amount of digging deeper into the sand would have saved that poor guy. Unless, of course, he eventually hit bedrock. I suppose the metaphor could work that way, too. Yes, surely it could. I’ve always pictured it as a completely different location, though – the wise man built high up on a rock, while the foolish man built on the sand, right next to the sea.

A house moving project, perhaps? But only after scouting out a firm foundation this time. Yes, that is probably what I am still doing. Looking for “it”. But “it” isn’t outside ourselves, is it!?! I’m coming to believe that. It resonates very deeply with me. ME. It isn’t right beliefs or practices. It’s something within. I’m hearing this message more outside the Christian community than within it. Perhaps it is not incompatible with faith, but my understanding of it up until this point sure has been.

But it’s the one little bit of fresh air I’ve had to breathe in a long, long time. And God knows I need it. Holding onto myself for the time being … finding truth in a number of places … listening … affirming what’s inside of me … that I am not all bad or untrustworthy in and of myself.

So grateful for your site. Feel like I’m making quantum leaps between therapy sessions because of it.

16

I garden too;
I had to renovate the entire building site. (I like how you put that!)
Hugs, Darlene

17

You have stirred up lots of thoughts in me! Thanks for adding so much to this post with your honest questioning and expression of your ideas… I echo Darlene, I had to re-locate my whole house too.

I grew up in the church, Christian school, and went to a Bible College for 4 years. I haven’t been to church in a few years now, and having some distance has given me a lot of fresh space to re-think who I am and what my foundation really is. What you’ve shared re-ignites a lot of these thoughts! It’s almost as if… the “church” was so passionate about keeping “itself” alive, as an institution, as a “lighthouse” of the truth etc., that the focus changed from actually helping people to be their true selves as God created them to be (which I think now is a big part of our true foundation) to only being preservers of this “church” idea… if that makes any sense. I am generalizing, and I really don’t believe that everyone involved in the church has this evil intention. But the messages I grew up with from my church did not help me to have a strong foundation within myself- they seemed designed to keep me “trapped” in the church, listening to condemning sermons and good deeds motivated by fear… Identical to the unhealthy, dysfunctional abuse system that Darlene exposes so much here, the “foundation” I was given by the church (generally speaking) and all that heritage stuff was really more about preserving the church as its own institution than helping people to be free and to be their true selves… And I really believe now that that kind of faulty foundation will be a great downfall in the future. The message the church gave me growing up was that seeking to be your “true self” is a selfish idea. But now I believe that that’s really the only way for us to be healthy and thriving, and to create healthy “groups” (aka, churches, institutions etc) that can truly thrive and be life-giving to others.

I really believe in your last statement, that you are not bad or untrustworthy in and of yourself- that’s definitely a lie I learned from my “church heritage” that I am working hard on reversing now! I wish you all the best in that quest too. Thanks again for sharing and I’m really glad this post was helpful for your journey! ~Carla

18

“In the context of building material, let’s consider one of the most famous carpenters in history, Jesus. He defined himself by saying, ‘I am.’ Not ‘I do’, but simply ‘I am.’ It was the same ‘I am’ kind of stuff that God looked at on the 6th day and described as ‘GOOD.’ Your identity is made of the same stuff. You are. And the stuff of you is just as good as the stuff of anyone else. Forget about perfect in this lifetime, but know that it’s good.”
WOW I’m going to pick this up and run with it as I have so much trouble accepting myself; thanks Carla

19

That’s awesome… Thanks Sam! I hope your healing heart just grows and grows in this truth. 🙂

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