Here is an email that I received a few days ago from a really insightful friend.

So… the encouragement I want to give to you is to breathe in the new thing of finding and expressing community and purpose and breathe out the old, stale mindset and I think you’ll be amazed at what will develop. You’ve been doing it consciously, but maybe there’s some benefit for doing it in a contemplative/meditative manner.

She nailed it! You can call the process that I have been going through for the last several years by many names… deconstruction, healing, re-inventing myself, getting in touch with who I really am, re-education, etc. It has been long, difficult, lonely, characterized by trial and error, mood swings, and huge shifts in my perspective. I certainly don’t want things to go back the way they were because I feel more in touch with God and myself than ever. I am actually excited about the future.

Back to my friend and this breathing thing, I am wondering about what needs to be breathed out and what needs to be breathed in.

Breathe out church as institution that happens at set times

Breathe in church as life that happens anytime, all the time

Breathe out my identity coming from having the title, “pastor”

Breathe in living out my life as a compassionate person

Breathe out needing a structure to respond

Breathe in responding as the need, the spirit and the heart dictates

Breathe out guilt, failure, and self-loathing

Breathe in unbounded forgiveness, love, and purposefulness

Breathe out needing to be needed

Breathe in enjoying a quiet day

Breathe out a schedule full of church activities

Breathe in a life full of opportunities that may pop up anywhere

Breathe out hurt and disappointment

Breathe in forgiveness and a new present reality

Breathe out frustration

Breathe in determination

Breathe out the dogma

Breathe in the practice

Breathe out endless rehashing

Breathe in endless possibilities

Breathe out control

Breath in love

Breathe out preoccupation

Breathe in joy

How’s your breathing?

This post was originally published March 2, 2010.

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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