Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stripping Down

Day 8 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.

Today's spiritual message springs forth from an excerpt found in the book Stripping Down by United Church of Christ minister Donna Schaper. Here, she discovers truths about herself while refinishing a chair.

So, let's sit up straight in our seats and strip this passage down for some meaning.

"The first thing people do when restoring old chairs is to strip--strip right down to the bare wood. They do this to see what the original might have looked like and to determine if the thing is worth doing over. They strip away all the years of grime, the garish coats of paint piled one on top of the other. They get rid of all the junk that's been tacked on through the years and try to find the solid, simple thing that's underneath."

We are like these old chairs in need of that stripping process.

The old chair that we see is not the simple, original chair that it once was. Over the years, the original slowly disappeared under the "years of grime" and the "garish coats of paint piled one on top of the other," heaped on us by culture, media and advertising, authorities, family and friends, and more.

How did we let this happen? Why didn't we see this happening? And how do we "get rid of all the junk that's been tacked on" throughout our lives?

It's gonna take some elbow grease.

Some of those areas will need more elbow grease than others.

But either way, when we make a commitment to our spiritual and personal growth, we must be willing to strip ourselves down to our core, that "bare wood" to get back to our natural, original beauty.

We didn't see this happening to us because we didn't know any better. We learned what everyone else before us had learned and had passed down to us. We accepted it as "truth." We didn't question it. Because we didn't question it, it piled on. And we allowed it to pile on because of our ignorance.

But not knowing any better is not an excuse.

When we realize that we have always had the power of choice and that we are responsible for what happens in our lives, we remove the initial layer of "grime."  We begin to take a long hard look at what has built up in ourselves. We see what we have gotten ourselves into.

We come to see that all of those so-called "truths" are really illusions to keep us in our places. So, we strip, and we strip some more. Sometimes it's downright painful, but we keep doing it because we now "know" what lies beneath. We remember our purity, our beauty, our naturalness, our divinity in all of its originality.

This stripping down is an intentional letting go. It becomes an act of love and worship. The illusions fade away as we strip through the layers of anger, disappointments, cynicism, or pain -- all the junk -- until we can finally forgive ourselves for what we have done to our Sacred Center.

And that's when God says, "Welcome home, my Beloved. Come sit with me now."

Blessings.


12 comments:

  1. Brilliant analogy! Strip away all that gunk with love and forgiveness and then God welcomes us home. In reality, God accepts us as the rough old chair we were to start with, but it's only with the stripping bare that we realise that as we come to accept ourselves more however we are. Great post! Off to do some more stripping...

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    1. Great point, Andrea. God loves us as that rough old chair...it's just that we don't see ourselves or love ourselves as that rough old chair, but once we get down to the bare essentials, acceptance comes.

      Thank you, my friend.
      BB
      Penny

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  2. I felt this within myself years ago as layers upon layers of
    borrowed paint pealed off from my being.
    In one sense I became more vulnerable,
    life touched me through layers of crumbling protections,
    revealing those aching places,
    along with an awesome edge of potential.
    And there, right there, in the crack,
    there was a vast transparency, breathing. Ahhhhh….

    Healthy blessings,
    Gena

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    1. That reads like a poem, Gena, the way you crafted it. Beautiful...

      I love the imagery and the sense of freedom that shines through your words.

      Well done, my friend...
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  3. Its always good to get rid of things. I like to throw a lot of things away...it makes me feel a whole lot better...like something has been removed off of me too...great feeling..
    u know Oprah had a guest on one time...n this person was telling n audience member to stand infront of a mirror doing daily affermation...then she said when u feel comfortable do it naked.
    Well I did it n its very liberating. U first see your imperfections but u c what you have to work on...n start sending love to your body...
    N it actually work on you self acceptence.....u do have to strip down to improve yourself....
    love n peace my friend

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    1. That is a wonderful exercise to do to begin the self-love and self-acceptance process. It's surprising how many people are uncomfortable with doing this exercise the first few times. I'm glad you found it very liberating.
      Keep stripping! LOL.
      Blessings.
      Penny

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  4. Sometimes we think we're letting go by forgiving but that's only half the equation, then we need to dig deep inside our hearts (strip right down to the core), confront the truth (a very hard thing to do) and then heal. Lovely post Penny. You helped me a lot today. Thank you. Blessings and love.

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    1. Indeed, Suzy. It takes hard work and "heart work" too. :)

      I'm glad this helped you.

      Blessings and love, my friend.
      Penny

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  5. blessed to read another great article. i remember a quote "Everybody sooner or later has to drop the luggage and the baggage of illusions"

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    1. That is a great quote! And so true. The baggage is what holds us back. Here's to getting rid of it!

      Blessings.
      Penny

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  6. GREAT analogy!!!

    It made me think even further.....

    :-)

    I love it when what you read triggers many. many thoughts in your mind.

    Thanks,

    Kathy

    kathyhadleylifecoach.com

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    1. I'm glad it is sparking things within you, Kathy! Amen to that!

      Blessings!
      And thanks for stopping in and commenting.
      Penny

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