Early on, I wore a few labels. Some were given to me and other tags, I chose. It was a branding that in the first many years of my life was necessary to define who I was and who I aspired to be.
My labels acted as preliminary sketches to the way I would flesh out my life. I faithfully lived out my traits. They were labels for which I could be proud…until I was proud and they began to label me.
By defining myself so specifically, I found individuality that allowed me the freedom to be myself; however, each time I held up my independence in making a decision or in forming a judgment, I separated myself further from the other.
Choosing interdependence meant accepting both/and, which was both freeing and costly. I was free to include more of myself, new dimensions, light and shadow. By accepting more of myself, I was more open to the price of embracing the whole of others.
I discovered a newfound freedom. But/and, with this broader freedom, my borders expanded, inviting me to include those imprisoned by the thoughts that their labels had somehow provided them a greater good.
In my quiet, I sat with thoughts of freeing choices as opposed to confining ones. My mind drifted to the eagle, distinct and liberated. I wondered what the different nesting sites might offer, regarding freedom.
I pondered how one eagle builds her nest on top of the tallest tree while another hides her prayer eggs in the cleft of the rocks. One lifts the good that she will eventually birth into the world, up to a gracious and generous God while the other seems to intuit the need for protection under the shadow of Spirit’s wings.
In freeing moments, we fly, but it is rare not to carry with us, at least some of the hurt of our broken world and even closer to home, some of our loved ones’ painful choices.
Perhaps treetop nest building time serves to ready us for the pure untainted flight. Or maybe praying twig by twig, in the shadows, builds a nest that obliges us to the joyful birthright that is found in knowing one’s self through the lens of humility and gratefulness of heart.