When I moved into my apartment more than two years ago, I was not very pleased with the water pressure in my bathroom shower. I was so dissatisfied that every time I used another shower elsewhere I would say, “I wish my shower were this good.”
During the two plus years, the water pressure lessened and lessened. After I diagnosed the problem to be a build-up of calcium, lime, and rust, I went to Home Depot and bought some CLR to fix the problem. It helped a little bit, for a little while. Recently, the water stopped coming out completely. Now, I had had it! So I contacted the maintenance man in my building. After all, this problem had been going on for over two years.
My maintenance guy came within one hour of my request. Within 15 minutes of his arrival in my apartment, water was flowing from the shower in greater force than in the entire two plus years I have lived there. In 15 minutes, he took off the showerhead, saw that there was no problem with pressure coming from the pipes, put a new showerhead on, and voila a wondrous flow of water! Just what I had been wishing for.
Immediately, I recognized this as a metaphor for how I have been living my life – settling for drips and drops. Throughout the past year, God has been showing me the many ways I have settled and “made do” with little when I didn’t need to do so. I have settled in my finances, relationships, and much more. Often until there was nothing flowing at all, I was insistently settling for drips and drops.
So why was I, a woman who is well-educated, smart, creative, and able to accomplish a lot of things settling for drips and drops in many areas of my life, for most of my life? I was taught by my parents and my church to settle and to make do with what I have and I was taught that I would not have much. Because I received these messages at home and church, the double impact has taken me many years to recognize, unlearn, and let go.
The messages that became the norms that have guided my life – or shall I say, held my life hostage were: (1) I didn’t deserve much because I was a dark-skinned black girl from a working class family, and (2) having “too much” (and the bar for this was very low) might make me selfish or distract me from the true spiritual focus that I needed. While I have done a great deal of work in debunking the notion that I didn’t deserve much, it has taken me a lot longer to let go of the fear of the impact on who I am if I have “too much.”
For the past several years, my mantra has been “God has already provided everything I will ever need.” Yet, in many ways, I was making choices that blocked the flow of God’s abundance in my life because of old patterns of scarcity thinking that I didn’t realize were there. This past year, I recognized that at age 57, it is not at all likely that I will become an uncaring and selfish person just because abundance flows through my life. I have been creating a new vision for what is possible in my relationships, finances, professional success, and so on.
I thank God for the visual demonstration that the water flow of my shower has given me. God had indeed already provided what I needed, and yet my old patterns of making do and settling blocked me from having what was right there for me. If you see me settling for drips and drops in any area of my life, just remind me, “Drips and drops no mas.” And if you’d like, I’ll do the same for you.
When you read my blog posts, please send your comments and I will be glad to respond. Peace, CJ