These Soiled Wings

Several weeks ago I had a life-changing experience. I can’t tell you everything about it, because it’s highly personal and would leave me feeling bare naked in front of you.

THAT is sooo not happening.

But I will say that it included some intense visualization work that this chick, a deeply cherished life-giving friend, guided me through.

(she also handed me Kleenex when I was a crying snotty mess)

Funny thing is that even Life Coaches need help. I’m only human. I get really messed up ideas in my head. Some days I get so busy helping others learn how to wrangle wonky-painful-thoughts that I forget to do it for myself.

And we are all this way. A pastor needs someone to help them with spiritual direction. A therapist needs therapy. A sick doctor requires a script they can’t write for themselves. A mom needs good motherly advice. A writer needs an editor. Jesus asked His friends to pray for Him, then wept in Gethsemane till angels came to strengthen Him (luke 22:43). And the list goes on. We all need each other. None of us are beyond needing help.

So back to the life-changing experience (and being an example of vulnerability…omgosh, I really would like stop writing now, but you know me, I get real.)

After the work, she left me with one word. Identity.

She is very good at what she does, and I don’t take a word from her lightly. In the past three years of knowing each other, she has given me three words. Identity included.

Now the truth is, I really didn’t know what to do with the word when it comes. Sure it makes some sense. But not really. And here’s what I’ve learned: I don’t need to know. Because ALWAYS in the weeks and months to follow I will be hit with several affirmations, confirmations, and struggles about the word.

And enter “identity.” Which is gift-wrapped in “worth.”




Omgosh… forgetting our worth and identity is the deepest self-betrayal.

Self-betrayal leads to terrible should-never-have-them painful thoughts. Thoughts and lies that need wrangling. But when you get so deep into wrong thoughts, and the lies feel true, you don’t even realize the damage done. You think it’s all true.

I had damaged myself in icky ways. Ignored, disregarded, what my Maker did for me.

And thus I realized some deep lies that had gone on for so long that I thought them true. Ultimately I felt unworthy. Unworthy of things I had worked so hard for. A capacity for truth and knowledge God gifted me with. My identity, my work, my education, my life. I had hidden parts of me, my identity, that I should have been proud of. But hideous thoughts took over and I stuffed away some good life-affirming identity. And worth.

And you? What have you stuffed away that you don’t claim? What does your “unworthiness” look like?

I see unworthiness hidden in the craziest places:

The size 12 label (or pushing 16)
A burnt casserole
Squeaky breaks
A half-eaten box of cookies (in the passenger seat)
Crooked teeth
A spouse glued to the TV (or iPad, my bad hubs, my bad)
Reoccurring depravity, sin, less-than-good habits

But truth be told, when it comes to unworthiness, you DON’T have it. Ever. Because you are worthy.

And why on earth can I GUARANTEE that you worthy? It’s really a simple answer. I alluded to it last week and it’s worth repeating again.

If you are breathing, you are here for a reason. Thus you have worth.

If you are breathing, your heart is beating, and have a body, even just a torso like Nick Vujicic, no arms, no legs – then yes YOU have worth.

And that’s it. Really. That’s all you need to wrap your head around.

Sure learning to wrangle wrong thoughts is gonna help, but for now just know – you are reading this (so it’s clear you are breathing, your heart is beating, and you have at least a torso) and thus you have worth.

Please no if, ands, or buts (or size 16 butts).




(me too)

Okay last bit. Did you notice the new look? Of course you did. I’m just pointing it out. It was part of my work. My identity. My worth.

I was given the name “Soiled Wings” several years back. And overtime it’s morphed meaning along with my life. My identity. My work. What I do. What I help others do.

I want you to know that if I can fly with my Soiled Wings, you can fly with yours too.

I care about your mud slung, torn, and tar covered feathers. And everything in me knows they can still be used for flight. Amazing flight. (mine too)

And well, I just wanted you to know that you CAN fly.

Because you have worth.

You always did.

© 2009-2012 Sherry Meneley All Rights Reserved
LIFE COACH COACHING soiled wings createheart create heart create●he/ART life coach coaching art journal JOURNALING PROCESS ART COUNSELING ART THERAPY

7 thoughts on “These Soiled Wings

  1. Wow! There is so much there, where to begin?! Thank you again for risking to speak out of your vulnerability. It truly is a gift. And what a universal message that we all need to hear! As a pastor, you are so right that we ALL need that someone/some place… Even if it is a blog (which can’t quite fill the need for a real living breathing person… but we take what we can get.)

    I know for myself I have (and continue to) struggled with identity: is it good enough? (for who?) Is it Holy enough? (Do I even know what that word means?) Is it wanted? (How about by me?) And it is so good to be reaffirmed in surprising ways…

    Thank you for your voice of reassurance today…!
    You are a real gift. May you be blessed in abundance as you do your life’s work.

    • Thanks so much Jer. Sometimes I think pastors have it worse than anyone. I think people have NO IDEA what it’s like to be a pastor – because the job is 24/7 (or 25/8…).

      You feeling affirmed, makes be feel affirmed. Thank you so much. Big blessings and blessed assurance for you today Jer!

  2. Such. good. stuff. All of it. Thank you for always making me look at myself and in the midst of TRYING to change, remind me that I’m OK along the way. Thank you for sharing your gift. And LOVE the new look!

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