What's The Point of Looking in the Mirror?
Dear Kaleid Ladies,
Information overload can make us sick on excess. Too much news. Too much nutrition expertise. Too much commentary. Too many pithy quotes or deep dive explanations.
Do you ever want to put your hands over your ears (or eyes)? Do you ever feel off balance even from all the “good” stuff coming at you? Do you ever want to just get back to basics?
So do we!
At Kaleid, we feel this complication. That’s why we have our three lenses – See Yourself, See Others, and See the City. It’s no use pretending that self, others, and our communities aren’t all complicated contexts where we need wisdom and discernment to love well. Through the lenses, we try to make space for some clarity by breaking the complication down, little by little, season by season.
Like you, we also long for genuine simplicity. It’s refreshing to imagine Jesus summing up the law and the prophets by cutting through noise and returning to the basics: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Another reason we have our three Kaleid lenses is to lean into the simple and direct invitation from Jesus to offer wholehearted, integrated love for our communities, our neighbors, and ourselves.
But talk of loving ourselves can feel like the first step toward an easy slide into the internet overload-feeling of self-indulgence, fast.
And so we want to thoughtfully ask whether there a good reason to spend a whole Spring on Seeing Yourself, which is our Kaleid focus this season.
We think there is. In fact, we think there are several.
You see, we believe that we were made by God for relationship. We were made in love, for love, and by love. Self-awareness becomes functional rather than dysfunctional when it operates within healthy, growing relationships. As we see ourselves with greater clarity, and as we love ourselves as God loves us, we…
Relate to God more authentically—from the reality of where we are and who we are.
“Focusing on God while failing to know ourselves deeply may produce an external form of piety, but it will always leave a gap between appearance and reality.” (Benner, 22)
Relate to others more wholeheartedly, offering “yesses” and “no’s” out of our God-given uniqueness.
“Before we can surrender ourselves, we must become ourselves, for no one can give up what he or she does not first possess.” (Benner, 55)
Receive God’s love more fully—because we are aware of the deep and particular ways it makes us whole.
“To truly know love, we must receive it in an undefended state—in the vulnerability of the ‘just as I am’ encounter.” (Benner, 25)
So, Spring emails are about Seeing Yourself. We will touch on concepts like what it means to be made in God’s image, what it means to discover our purpose, to connect with our passion, and to live from the power God gave us. We will consider how our prayer life supports our ability to know and love ourselves and how our physical life also supports that ability.
Why? Because if we are going to love ourselves, as Jesus tells us to do in his basic, boiled down description of how to be a human who follows God, we must also know ourselves. The grace and awareness that it takes to love others comes from a centered self, not a scattered one.
We hope you’ll enjoy the emails and join us for a few of our Circles (The Gift of Being Yourself book club meets over dinner on January 29 and February 19, and it’s a short book…only 57 pages for the first meeting! The quotes above are all from this precious book!)
We hope that you will see yourself better and love yourself more deeply this Spring. We hope that you’ll have more compassion for yourself, more clarity about who you are, and more courage to lean into the healing and activation that God has for you in this season. We hope your relationships will be richer for the journey.
Each week we will leave you with a reflection. Consider setting aside ten minutes to see where they lead you. We hope they lead you home, to a deeper sense of your own belovedness and to a courageous willingness to love from the center of who you are.
This week, here’s your question for reflection: “When I think of knowing and loving myself, what comes up?” Then, spend a bit of time reading Psalm 139 and consider a few of the ways you are loved by your Creator, in light of what came up for you in the question. What do you notice?
We love you!
The Kaleid Team
P.S. Here is Emily P. Freeman reading Psalm 139, if you’d like to listen rather than read during your reflection today.