So which one are you?
An I N H A L E R
an E X H A L E R
For approximately 45 years I was an inhaler. I often desired what is not meant for me. I did not always know this about myself. It’s the journey of a lifetime to really and truly know yourself fully isn’t it? I had plenty of negative words bouncing around in my head to describe being an Inhaler.
These are ugly, horrid words that no one in their right mind would readily admit to. But here I am on the 4th day of a new year saying not only did I identify with them but they were often quite accurate. How can I be so certain and so honest about the dark, false side of my nature? Because by the grace of GOD, I have come to be grounded in the TRUE nature of my being more and more often.
Once I recognized who I was NOT, I found an enormous amount of peace. Once I tasted this PEACE as within my power to remain, it became my intent to protect and enjoy it above all else.
John 14:27 in the NLV states ‘I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
When you are an I N H A L E R, you are very troubled and afraid. You are literally gasping for life like it’s your last breath. And when you are in fight or flight mode you are panic-stricken by the idea of just LETTING GO. If I was really honest, I could occasionally admit to being a control freak. And yet, faking control is an unhealthy and immature step on our way to individuation or self-realization.
Without a daily stress-reduction practice we are in this mode much of the time. The body may be trying to communicate and may manifest in physical ailments like anxiety, IBS, auto-immune disorders, depression, eating disorders among many other symptoms .
In John 9, Jesus tells us he came to give the blind sight. I can only see my own darkness through the forgiving lens of light in Jesus’ eyes. When I, feeling alone and disconnected, attempt to view my sinful nature, I only end up depressed and irritable. Real repentance is about CHANGE and TRANSFORMATION.
In her Advent message, Nadia Bolz-Weber said, ‘I cannot remain unchanged and expect to have an impact on this broken world.’ Enter the Eastern wisdom traditions instructing us to practice mindfulness.
The practice of paying attention to the breath transforms me, it continues to liberate me from my suffering. It helps me to finally and fully: EXHALE.
In the 4th century, St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote, “What was achieved in the body of Mary will happen in the soul of everyone who receives the Word.” The Word became living breathing flesh! In John 22 we hear, ‘He breathed on them and gave them the Holy Spirit.’ Let us find balance as we inhale LIFE/Spirit/Incarnation and exhale tension, desire, attachment and expectation. The first step to allowing more LIGHT and LOVE in is to surrender and make plenty of room.
Breathing lessons (app) by Carla Ardito recommended