Losing Life: Gaining Soul

I woke up from a dream in a cold sweat, deeply troubled. In the dream the man that I love came back to me, but still wasn’t ready for commitment. He was conflicted, confused, and unable to be honest with himself.

Transparently, I still love this man, and adore his two girls. I’ve lost a HUGE part of my life that has been there consistently for the past four years. I always knew they were there, he told me I was family – I belonged to their family, so I thought. I miss them with every cell in my body. I gave my all; every hug, meal, baked cookies, trip to the park, walks, cup of coffee, movie night, kiss, hug, worshiping together. It meant the world to me.

Needless to say, I woke up distressed from my dream.

This loss hooks in the loss of my family, my ex-husband, relatives and church community. So much abandonment. How does one survive?

By losing. That seems counter-intuitive.

Many life coaches will tell you to make a ‘dream-board’, think about what you want for the future, set new goals, and go “level-up” (whatever that means).

I have found in my experience these are ways that outrun grief. They distract. In and of themselves they are not “bad”, there is a time and a place for casting a new vision. However, they CLING to your life – building a false life, rather than stepping into death and embracing the loss of your life as you know it now.

I survive by allowing myself to plummet into the pit of despair, crying, lamenting in prayer and song, making a conduit for my orphaned, abandoned part to mourn her aching heart.

I lose.

I lost everything.

I lost every single investment I’ve ever made into others that I so desperately wanted to love me back the way I needed to be seen and loved.

I lost my “life” that I was building into.

The Spirit gave me new clarity on this verse that Jesus stated to his disciples and the crowd listening: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the REAL you? What could you ever trade for your soul?” (The Message Mark 8: 34-37)

“For the man who wants to save his life will lose it; but the man who loses his life for my sake will find it. For what good is it for a man to gain the whole world at the price of his own soul? What could a man offer to buy back his soul once he had lost it?” (Matthew 16:26 PHILLIPS translation)

I am beginning to understand this verse in an experiential way. Honestly, it never made sense to me, but now I know. It has become an EMOTIONAL experience for me, My Creator has allowed me to “feel” the truth.

In this season of deep and profound loss – I am gaining my REAL SELF, as Jesus stated, and that requires death.

I continue to find the depths of “HER”, the “her” that I have been able to continually gain access to, but now she is able to touch deeper shadows of herself and those shadows are being EXPOSED (unwillingly) and I am being pushed into a new season. Due to LOSING the life I was investing in – I am gaining a new understanding of deeper wounds that need healing, old patterns of anxiety, AND, most importantly, the emotional knowledge that I am LOVED.

I mean, I AM DEEPLY LOVED. Simply because I am.

I woke up this morning knowing I had to paint the bathroom, making updates to a very old home. Instead, I laid there with the covers over my head crying with the upset of this VERY vivid dream. Not ten minutes later, after splashing cold water on my face and starting a pot of coffee, I was talking to 3 different women in my circle.

I gave them updates, was vulnerable and honest about my fear of the reality of living without the little family I loved and poured my investment. I shared my angst and my raw thoughts. Overwhelmingly, I was met with attunement, validation, encouragement, empathy and sincere kindness. All their words casting a beacon of light that led me to shore.

Financial support, opportunities, belief in my strength, the reminder that I am still a POWERHOUSE and the fruit of my life demonstrates my faith.

I KNOW that I am loved.

So how am I losing my life and gaining my soul, the REAL me?

First, I am losing the dream that I thought was becoming a reality. I was pouring into “my” life. I WANT to be a wife and a mother. I want to give birth to my own babies. I want to share that love. I was building into that life.

I lost. The answer in this season is: No.

What have I gained? The knowledge that I am loved just for being ME, no conditions or ‘but’s’ attached.

Why is this attached to my soul and the REAL me?

Because this rewires a cognitive distortion I have struggled with my WHOLE life. “I am unworthy”, “I’m bad”, “I can love others – I love to love others, but no one needs to love me” (even though I desperately want to feel that), “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t need help, because I’m not worth helping” , “I’m a burden to others”.

For the first time in my life, I FEEL that I am loved and supported. It’s just now penetrating that brick wall inside my mind.

When my friends say, “We will help anyway we can”

“We are here for you”

“You bring peace and calm to any environment you are in Rochelle”

“You are a powerhouse”

“I think your intuition is spot on”

“I know what it feels like to struggle, I want to offer you this gift”

Last summer my dear friend bought me a ring that was engraved with the words, “I am LOVED”. At the time, this truth wasn’t internalized yet, and I knew intellectually it was true – but my core self didn’t feel it yet.

And now, almost one year later – I look at that ring on my finger, smile in my spirit and say, “I am SO FREAKING LOVED – and I feel it!”

Thank you to the women in my circle who love me back to health, and remind me daily that I do have access to love. I am worth loving.

Thank you to the women in my circle who spur me on in the Spirit to lose my life and enter into my new season with the FULLNESS of soul!

I’m scared and sad, but in the words of Morgan Harper Nichols, “She will not worry. She will brave this new season one day at a time.”

I am not alone and I will not lose my soul.


Rochelle Sadie

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