Indian Lilac Brings Me Home: Reflections On Relationships
1. mental acceptance of and confidence in a claim as truth without evidence supporting the claim.
2. the theme for members of illuminate for January and February 2021.
I’ve been thinking about this theme for two months now, asking myself what, if anything, I have to say on the subject. In all honesty, I haven’t come up with much in the near 60 days I’ve had to ponder this. But as I stood in the shower today, letting the hot water wrap me in an envelope of wet warmth, the smell of Indian lilac filling my nose and bringing me back into myself, the first thing that settled in my mind was about faith in relationships.
I’m no stranger to insecurity in my life. There are days I feel so insecure that I lash out and make accusations or demands that are ridiculous. Sometimes, my mind is so empty of confidence and so full of paranoia I want to crawl into the bed and hide under the covers permanently. I’ve been known to sabotage my own chances at something because I cannot muster the belief in myself to even attempt the thing. I’ve let writing opportunities pass me by. I’ve turned down special inquiries through my Etsy shop because I lacked the confidence to believe I could pull it off.
I am insecure in some of my personal relationships. I worry about people deciding they don’t like me anymore. I’m often convinced that I am uninteresting and forgettable. Sometimes I think my husband would be better off with someone else.
But standing in the shower, present and grounded in myself, I thought about what makes my strongest and most successful relationships work so well.
Being married is hard sometimes. Among all the wonder and good times, there are challenges and disagreements and disappointments. But I also have a deep faith in the relationship between my husband and I. I trust him enough to take my insecurities to him when I'm ready. And I genuinely believe that he and I can work through just about anything.
I think faith is what allows us to believe that we can get through whatever it is we're going through. I find this to be true in my most cherished friendships. Security is present there because I believe so strongly in their honesty and their love for me and our ability to get through the harder points in our relationship.
A part of faith is trusting in something enough to believe that eventually any current turmoil and uncertainty will end. Anne Lamott says, “Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within...”
I am realizing right now as I write this that despite all the fear, worry, insecurity, paranoia, depression, and anxiety I deal with in my daily life, I have a deep faith in myself as well. I believe that I can survive my deepest depressions, my biggest health challenges, all the insecurities and fears. I believe I will survive these things no matter how many times they surface. I don't always feel this in the moment. I think this is because I am not fully present with myself in those moments. I am off living in the past or the future inside my head. But in the present, when I can smell every layer of that Indian lilac shampoo and feel every drop of water on my skin, that is where the faith really shines.
I don’t have concrete evidence that my relationships will last or that I will survive beyond that I'm still here, that my husband and I are still together, and that my close relationships remain. But with my mind still, with my heart centered in love, I know these things are the truth. I don’t need any proof.
Read more on this month's theme, faith, written by other illuminate members:
Opening Up to Faith by Amy Clark
Faith by Amy Rich
Something to Believe In by Sarah Hartley
Making Sense Of Faith by Adeola Sheehy
Pesticides and Jesus by Liz Russell
losing my religion. by Eunice Brownlee
Twinkling Lights of Faith by Mia Sutton