I’ve always wanted to be more than I am. I’ve always wanted to be liked and loved. To be celebrated. To be respected and admired. In fact, I’ve spent the better part of my life striving for these very things and always feeling as though I was never enough. I was never good enough. Never quite worthy of love. Never validated or respected. But I had it all wrong. I soooo had it wrong. Because everything I was looking for, all the love and respect and validation, all the deep down in the soul connection and acceptance I’d been yearning for from people was with me all along–given by the One who created me. So here’s my new reality…and oh what a freeing one it is: God is present. He is here. He loves me deeply. He validates me regularly through blessings large and small; and even through His discipline. And….He’s ALWAYS been here even as my soul wandered. Even as I looked outside of Him to find Him.
My truth: On many days my mind is noisy–with my own ambitions, my own interpretations of the scenarios life presents to me, my own exasperations and desperations. I spend days talking to myself…not as one who lives in an asylum but as one who asylums her own heart. To manage the impressions people have of me, I lock away my vulnerability. I straight jacket my uniqueness.
WHY DO THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY OF US DESPERATELY CHASE THIS MYTH CALLED “NORMAL”?
I’ve always sought normal as if such a thing really existed. “Normal” is a cultural creation made and sustained by those of us who have decided it is better to homogenize personality rather than to allow authenticity to take root; rather than let our quirks fly free. For real? Blooming truths and flying eccentricities are the companions of creativity.
Yet everyday, we isolate ourselves and our children. We think we are managing innovation this way but what we are really doing is fencing in freedom.
Baby meet box.
“And make sure you stay inside,” we tell them/us.
Oh if only our infant hearts would ignore these false messages and follow its own beat; the beat of the Father’s leading.
Don’t you ever just want to cartwheel down a city sidewalk on a Monday during rush hour? Sing the chorus of “The Greatest Love of All” every time someone smiles at you. Just because you can. Just because it feels right and good to do so.
Okay, well maybe extraordinary, authentic, free living looks like this to you: crying out loudly, wildly, at the top of your lungs, at the exact moment when your heart is pierced by anguish or pain. No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, just open your mouth wide and release all of your frustrations into the sky; into the hands of the Father. Not into your pillow. Not via puffs of air through clenched teeth. Not through silent tears making their way down aching cheeks. No more masks, no more hiding.
That’s what I wanted.
To come out from hiding.
And just like that, it happened.
Like the ringing of a school bell, I was signaled that it’s time for a change. Time to change classes in this here life of mine. It was time to be promoted to the next grade of experiences. Time for new lessons and new teachers. Time to be free.
Yes, this past weekend it dawned on me that it’s not that I’ve always tried to be more than I am. It’s that I am more than I’ve been. There’s more inside. More to see and feel. More to share.
Gotta bulldoze these walls though. For a little while now, I’ve been tearing down the walls of my emotional life brick by brick, very careful and sweet-like. As if I’m going to need those bricks again. My cautiousness was really a defense mechanism. A means to control even my healing. A way to say, “yes, I’ll tear down my walls and let you and you and, yes, even you God in…but just know that if you hurt me, those bricks are right over there.”
How risky would it be to demolish the walls for good? To let the bricks themselves crumble into tiny pieces of dust. Unusable ever again.
To leave my heart completely open to messy people who, just like me, are prone to sin and deceit. Ohhh, man. The potential, the possibility of pain doesn’t feel good. It’s a risk, for sure.
But wait, maybe I’m wrong again. Maybe it’s less of a risk as we define it in the traditional sense.
Maybe it’s a challenge. A challenge of grace.
Maybe by leaving my heart, my life completely open, I also give myself access to God’s amazing mercy. I get to fill up on His grace.
And therefore, be better equipped to extend some of it to you.