I have three “go to” bloggers whose insights are delivered to my inbox every time they post something new; Jennifer Dukes Lee, Ann Voskamp and Dr. Kelly Flanagan. All three of them offer insight into the human condition and our need for grace, compassion and community and, all three feed my soul. I will, undoubtedly, share reflections from all three but today my focus is on wisdom from Kelly Flanagan.
Dr. Kelly Flanagan and I share a professional field in mental health, and, most importantly, a passion to show others they are not beyond repair or hope and there is healing not from brokenness but in using it to become our truest selves in a world crying for authenticity.
Kelly proclaims through his blog that part of being our truest selves is a recognition that we are LOVEABLE; not because we do all the right things, not because we are beautiful, witty, high income earners, a Pinterest perfect moms or any of the millions of other ways we feel defined by culture, other people and even ourselves but because we live a life marked by grace. God’s grace tells us that we are worthy not because of what we have done, not because of our genetic DNA but because we are marked with God’s DNA and as His own we are loveable and worthy.
Kelly has written a book, “LOVEABLE: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life". As part of his Loveable Street Team, a group of folks asked to read a copy of his book, I have the privilege of reading the book a couple of weeks in advance and sharing with my friends my reflections on it. It releases on March 21 and I cannot give an author and a book a higher recommendation. Please run, do not walk, to Amazon or your favorite book seller and pre-order this book. As a bonus, if you pre-order through the book website, you get Kelly’s companion book, “The Year of Listening, Loving and Living: Becoming Your Truest You (One Week At A Time)” for free.
“Grace tells you you’re a mess but also lovely, broken but also beautiful, full of darkness but also light. Grace is the love that sees the ugly along with the beautiful, and joyfully holds both together in a tender embrace.” —Kelly Flanagan, “LOVEABLE: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life."
I have clients who no longer feel loved or loveable due to mistakes of his or her own or hurts thrust upon them by others. There are both male and female clients who feel this way but for ease of discussion I will use the pronouns “she” and “her.” She sees only the mess, ugliness, brokenness and darkness of her life, and, I often discover she began feeling unloved and unlovable at an early age. When this is the case, I often ask my client to bring in a photo of herself as a little girl. We discuss the little girl in detail. What does she like to do? What is she thinking about in the picture? What’s her family like? Most of us, who suffered child abuse or neglect and never addressed the ramifications to our body, mind and spirit, walk around looking and maybe even acting to most people, like a full-grown adult but feeling like the little girl in the picture.
This simple act—this simple reminder of who the adult sitting in front of me is on the inside almost always shifts the client’s perspective, profoundly. How can someone not treasure and protect this little person? This little child is worthy of love—she is LOVABLE. Quite often the young child in the photo was mistreated, abused, even cast aside but the one truth that always remains is, she is worthy of love. It doesn’t matter her circumstance or the behavior of others around her or even her behaviors, this child in an adult’s body deserves to be recognized, valued and set free.
If you relate to this little girl, if you are this little girl or if you are an adult on the inside as well as the outside but you feel unloved or unlovable, I highly recommend you purchase Kelly’s book “LOVEABLE: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life” http://loveablethebook.com.