“Jesus was ultimately a suffering servant, but He lived out this truth from a place of choice — not because He was shamed into it. Read that again. He invites us to live from this place of freedom too. . . . Certainly, the Bible shows us that God absolutely hardwired us for connection. But through Jesus, we see that we were also made to become our own selves . . .”- Aundi Kolber
“While it was still night, way before dawn, [Jesus] got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed. Simon and those who were with him went looking for him. They found him and said, ‘Everybody’s looking for you.’ Jesus said, ‘Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.’ “- Mark 1:35-38 (MSG)
In Chapter 5 (“Boundaries Bring Us Life”) of Try Softer, Aundi Kolber stresses that the main goal of our bodies involves keeping us safe. Thus, when we deny or suppress our emotions in order to keep others happy, we narrow our window of tolerance. As a result, we find ourselves less able to manage whatever life throws at us.
Furthermore, when our script instructs us to stay safe rather than ruffle feathers, it make learning to try softer more difficult. Because we overly attune ourselves to others as a way to exist in the world. Therefore, we rarely practice listening to our own experiences.
Hence, we often find it hard to say no, to set boundaries. In fact, Aundi notes, many people think that acting like a ‘good Christian’ means giving people what they want. No matter what. However, Jesus often said no, communicated His preferences, and set limits. Jesus modeled how to fully embrace our finite, beloved humanity.
Finally, Jesus showed us how to live from a place of choice and freedom – not shame. And when we live from a place of freedom, we learning something the gives release. Certainly, the stories imprinted on our brains may feel real. But, they’re no longer necessarily true.
Today’s question: How does Jesus, the ultimate suffering servant, help you try softer? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Setting boundaries – complex, difficult work”