take what you need.

target

The “un’s” in life shake up a feeler like me. What is the main source of the “un’s” you ask? That’s a great question. Here’s a non-exhaustive list:

New seasons. Change. Being hungry. Too much routine. Politics. Lack of control. Lack of freedom. Dreams. Injustice. A good movie. New opportunities. Things ending. Naps.

So basically anything.

Without fail, every January I’m faced with a new set of “un’s” and a whole lot of processing. Uncertainty and unpredictability and unknown and eat me up on the inside until they steal my words and my focus. I can’t quite get my footing and when I finally do, it takes some time to stomp my way back to stable to get a hang of living in this new year. The “un’s” can make their way down into my guts and become part of me if I don’t get ahead of them. Luckily I’ve developed a fool proof prevention system with a visit to my local Target.

Some people sit in a quiet room and journal. Some go for a hike and marvel at creation or whatever. I walk every aisle in Target with my Cartwheel app ready to go and save me 30%. It’s the Christian thing to do.

So about a week ago after chasing my turtles all the way down I grabbed my keys and went to Target to wander. There’s something about it’s familiar layout and clean aesthetic that help me to separate my voice from God’s, as if in the Dollar Section I’ll find all of my insecurities piled onto each other but once I get to Aisle 17 truth and wisdom are expertly merchandised and waiting for me to take home.

If you don’t believe in a god then the idea of hearing from one is probably super weird. And even if you do believe in God, then the idea is still super weird because how many times has the audible voice of God actually interrupted your totally normal day to terrify you and make you near certain that all of your worst fears are true and you are actually crazy? For me, only once.

But if you find yourself here on this little platform then you know I am fully convinced there’s a string of holy that runs through every human. It can unexpectedly tug and pull you to apply for that job or move on or speak up. It points you to the goodest of things that you never would have dreamed up on your own if you let it. It helps you put language to things that you’ve been carrying thinking that you need them and asks you to leave them behind so you can pick up something better instead.

That red bulls-eye did point to my own “un’s”, and then all of the sudden I found myself buying shampoo and thinking about my roommates and family and everyone else who might need the same words I received right there in the organic beauty section.

I don’t know what kind of “un’s” January placed on your plate, but here’s what happened in each aisle for me. Like one of those little tear off pieces on a poster, take what you need.

Cleaning Supplies

You know when you take sheets out of the washing machine and they’re all twisted up and bundled in a large knot? That’s what my heart was this last year. I could get my hands cold and wet trying to pull it apart and straighten it out or I could trust the process. Without fail, every three years I need a permanent press cycle to rinse and clean out the gunk in my heart that I pick up from daily use. But now I’m just waiting for it to finish the cycle and come out of the dryer all safe and warm, sooner versus later. Sometimes it takes a fabric softener and a full tumble dry to get us back to where we need to be. Just remember that before you were ever useful you were loved.

Kitchen Items (But like, the cute ones.)

I do not need more coffee mugs. I want more coffee mugs. I like coffee mugs, I use them daily. But I do not need more coffee mugs. Whatever your mug is, you already have enough. You may even have more than you need and they are just using space. Decide what you’re going to hold onto and let the rest go.

Stationary

Here is where I could spend hours. Loneliness is so funny because no matter how many thriving relationships you have, you can still feel like you’re stuck on an island. These cards and their quips make me look up and around at my tribe. I have people near and far who are celebrating, in need of a laugh, healing, preparing for little humans and mourning losses. But my selfish little heart likes to think that only I matter and that if I am not being sought out then I therefore am unwanted and not important. HA. How middle child of me.  

The remedy to complaining is to create. When you feel unseen or lonely or hidden, send a card. Tell someone you love them and be the first one to reach out. Sometimes you have to be the invitation to engage and that’s okay. Your Lonely Self will thank you later.

Home Decor (More specifically, Hearth & Home because it is perfection.)

I have a self-protective need to retreat when I see change of any type on the horizon, even if I’ve dreamed it up myself. I say “no” out of fear of failure or being uncomfortable. I run away from people and responsibility. I control what I can – my surroundings, my relationships, my schedule – because the world sometimes is scary and dreaming too hard is risky.

When change happens I crave Home. I want forever in a place where all of my people can find me and it probably smells really good all of the time and there’s cinnamon rolls and no Celiac disease. I don’t want to have to do the exhausting work of rebuilding the things that made my life seem like it was ever mine.

Change doesn’t have to be a wrecking ball if your foundation is solid and dreaming is teaching you how to trust.

If you see me in Target, say hi and tell me what you need. Walk with me for a bit. Welcome to my church.

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Author: Emily Flanagan

I’m a homebody prone to wander and give unsolicited pep talks.

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