There is a morning prayer I’ve seen circulating throughout social media over the years, that never fails to give me a good laugh.
So far I’ve done all right.
I haven’t gossiped,
haven’t lost my temper,
haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
I’m really glad about that.
But in a few minutes, God,
I’m going to get out of bed.
And from then on,
I’m going to need a lot more help.
I love the humor and the honesty of this prayer. In the safety of my bedroom, I can center myself in the morning. I can breathe deeply the truth of my identity . . . I am a daughter. However, when my feet hit the floor and I begin to enter into the world, something happens. My head knowledge knows that I am enough as a daughter. It is my heart that wavers at times with uncertainty. Walking in our culture today, there is a measuring stick at every turn. Many of my ‘identities’ in my search for the answer to my question, ‘Who am I?’, have become a pose to hide behind. A wall I build.
When picturing my heart and my pose, I see an image of scaffolding. In reading a variety of definitions, I found the word choices used on wikipedia to be interesting and profound:
Scaffolding, also called scaffold  or staging, is a temporary structure used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man made structures. Scaffolds are widely used on site to get access to heights and areas that would be otherwise hard to get to. Unsafe scaffolding has the potential to result in death or serious injury.
The platforms on the scaffolding I’ve built to surround my heart are fear and shame. It’s from these places that my greatest pose operates. In my ‘identities’ of religion, education, marriage and children, the collaborative pose or message is, ‘I have it all together’. The scaffolding I build, the pose I project, is a way of avoiding pain and uncomfortable places in my story. It is safer for me to stand behind the scaffolding. Behind the staging I’ve created. Behind the pose where I am comfortable. Where I can remain hidden and in control.
The driving force when operating from my pose, is perfection. I try to self-protect by attempting to ensure everything is perfect, I’m perfect and we’re good. I fear the pain of being hurt or failing those I love.
- When my house is neat and tidy, maybe I can avoid the arrow piercing a place in me that says I am unworthy.
- If I am the best teacher and earn accolades, maybe I can avoid the arrow piercing a place in me that says I’m disqualified.
- When my kids are perfectly behaved and successful in school, maybe I can avoid the arrow piercing a place in me that says I have nothing to offer.
- If I plan social gatherings and plan my birthday celebration, maybe I can avoid the arrow piercing a place in me that says I’m forgotten and invisible.
- When I sit quietly with a cute outfit on, hair and makeup just right, a smile on my face, maybe I can avoid the arrow piercing a place in me that says I am stupid for trying to contribute to a conversation.
It would be easier to pose my way through this writing and say that I am amazing and am abounding in confidence, however, I believe there is freedom available when I make the choice to bring my pose into the light.
The scaffolding surrounding our hearts can be used to build our wall and our pose or it can be used to guard our hearts against the culture and its measuring stick. Making a choice to bring to light my weaknesses, provides me the freedom to turn to God, my Father, for His strength. Choosing to bring to light the lies, provides me the freedom to turn to my Father for the truth. And making a choice to bring to light my unsafe scaffolding, provides me the freedom to turn to my Father and partner with Him in rebuilding a scaffolding that is secure. A scaffolding that guards my heart not from a posture of fear and shame but from a posture of knowing I am loved and chosen.
In the Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown, she says,
“If we want to live and love with our whole hearts, and if we want to engage with the world for a place of worthiness, we have to talk about the things that get in the way – especially shame, fear and vulnerability.”
I invite you to risk being vulnerable and sit with these questions. What does the construction of your pose and your scaffolding look like? Can you name the platforms you’re standing on?