We are preparing for Physical Inventory at one of my jobs this week and because of that the days are longer and seem to be more trying on my mind and body. This morning I felt the fatigue so much more—I was extremely tired and in dire need of something outside of myself to wake my mind and body because I was having one heck of a time trying to accomplish that on my own. Thusly, I was quiet and though I hadn’t said too much to anyone, I was feeling quite grumpy. I wanted to sleep.
My partner, recognizing that my quietness was not the usual start for our day, asked if I needed some coffee—to which I half agreed and in my mind grumbled about not being able to sweeten my coffee and settled on tea.
I harnessed up as my tea steeped and my partner readied the scissor lift so we could count pallets up in the steel bulk shelving.
Still quiet, my mind wandered and I began thinking heavily on the way my friend Stacie makes a marbled, toasted marshmallow cold brew—I got swept away in my mental remembrance of the way the coffee tasted, felt and smelled; smiling slightly at the thought of that first sip. The coffee—full bodied and smooth—the small amount of toasted marshmallow made the drink only slightly sweet, the splash of half n half made it creamy and indulgent—all poured over a cup of ice…
I surprised myself as I snapped out of this vivid recollection, trying to shake off what seemed like an unusual amount of detail in this memory. Seeing that my partner was too busy driving the lift to see my musing, I noted mentally that I don’t usually have such potent visual interludes and that I needed to think on that later. However, truth be told, I was unsettled at the intensity of it.
The first aisle that we drove down held a different plan.
Up in the air on this motorized platform, I cut through the plastic wrapping and lifted the cardboard (serving as a lid) of a pallet to count the contents—I almost stumbled backward at the flood of chocolaty-caramel, invitingly-robust, oh-so-intoxicating coffee aroma that came at me in a wave so dense you could almost take a bite out of it. My immediate response was to jump into this pallet of coffee and swim in the incredible fragrance that surrounded me—thankfully, I did this all in my head!
However, the statue-like properties that I exhibited in my lack of movement (as I just stood there in front of the pallet, holding up the cardboard lid) and staring at the coffee—was enough that my partner had no problem questioning me about what was going on.
All I could do was turn toward my partner with eyes wide open and say, “this coffee smells delicious!”
Immediately a wave of shame hit me—
I was acutely aware of the intensity of which my senses experienced this coffee—
It brought to mind the vivid memory from earlier—
And as if he could see the replay of the moments on the screen of my mind, I apologized—
He looked at me rather intensely and asked “if you were just looking at something, why would you feel the need to apologize?”
So many thoughts rolled over in my head—
Why did I feel like I had to apologize?
Where did this shame come from?
Clearly, it didn’t have to do with coffee—it was deeper than that or I wouldn’t feel the need to apologize…
What did Susie say about shame?—where did that come from?—grrr…I can’t remember!
The gaze of my partner felt like behind it there was a determination to penetrate that wall of silence.
I turned away—mumbling something about not quite being with it mentally and that was then end of it between him and me. But it was far from over in my mind.
Shame had been triggered—I was embarrassed that my senses were overloaded and I stood like an idiot in front of my coworker. I was thinking about my reaction to the memory of the coffee and how the scent of the roasted beans affected me…
I was appalled at the lack of sense I seemed to employ at the moment.
I felt a deep sense of shame as I thought about how distinct and pleasing that sensory experience was…
…bingo—that was it…
It was pleasing to me in that moment—
I have many times heard and seen that our personal pleasure as humans be at the root of so many hurts and incredible pain. Rarely have I heard about the experiencing of pleasure be a good thing…especially as a single woman! So here I sit, brought face to face with the fact that I found a heady pleasure, at work!
In my pondering and rolling over of those things I’ve heard and been taught for the majority of my life I felt my shame intensify and feelings of guilt get stronger. Although, this struggle was had a different name—the pattern is of downward spiral in my thoughts was familiar—
Several things happened in that moment—
Realization that I had been spiraling was the first and only real cue that I had recognized. As I opened my heart and mind to that single thought there were a few things I needed to do—the first being…what is the truth in what I was thinking/believing…meaning—what does God say about the situation or heart of what was going on?
As I write, I know that God is good right and true—that means that the deep shame that I feel is not what was given to me by Him. I know that as I open my eyes and change anything in my wrong believing—if it is conviction by the goodness of God…then it is a gentle and loving change not something that makes me want to shoot myself further in the dirt.
In all honesty, the relationships that I have been given have shown me a much more different way than the chastising, guilt inducing existence I used to live. The gifts I have been given in the way of godly people have shown me that the only real way to enjoy life is to enjoy it with God at the helm. God created everything and I trust that he knows how to enjoy His creation better than I do! (LOL! Oh, dang! The sheer truth of that realization just made me toss my head back and belt out laughter!) God created me to live in, love and take care of His creation. That means me, that means the child He has given me, the relationships He’s blessed me with and the world given to us as His children.
Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
As anyone makes or creates a gift for another—you know what the gift given was intended to do. You know how it was meant to be used and how you wanted to bless the person—how much greater and bigger does God want that for each of us! The thought of that makes me giggle!
With a smile on my face—I remember blessings that God has given—