Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Yesterday an article I had written was posted on friend's blog who is doing wonderful things in the online community. Check out www.staywithyourself.com and you will see what I mean. What I wrote was raw, ugly, rough around the edges, full of bad grammar, the "F" word, run on sentences, and I must say, brutally honest. Embarrassingly honest. Details of that portion of my life from years ago have remained very private so while writing it was difficult, it was at the same time, freeing. And scary. It was not, in any way, written to be incriminating, shaming, a ploy to attract sympathy, or to play the victim. I felt, however, when I was asked to contribute to this wonderful website, that it was time. I inwardly cringed when I saw it had posted but still shared the link to the article. What I received in return far outweighed whatever fear I was facing. The love, empathy, gratitude and acceptance were overwhelming. You, dear readers, blessed me in more ways than one and I thank you for the kindness and encouragement that was extended to me. I am humbled by such generous hearts. Unfortunately, my story is only the tip of the iceberg. Seriously, if you can believe it, there is SO much more. So stay tuned for the sequel! :) Out of respect to some family members involved I felt it best to withhold some details. At some point, at the right venue, in the right setting, I will share it. I believe it would help one understand a lot of the motive behind all the years of angst plus reveal the healing involved in coming out on the other side of it. I believe a lot of the behaviors shared in the story were motivated by the thrill of control and power. Even in such a small circle of influence that power was abused to the breaking point. One might understand from this why I struggle with the word 'submission.' I strongly feel that word needs to be used very, very carefully because it can be misconstrued and used as evil, instead of good. Forced submission only breeds resentment and hatred towards the one demanding it. At least in my past experience anyway. Why do I still make fun of myself? Because I think, deep down, there is still a part of me that believes everything that was drilled into me as truth. My past doesn't go away, but it is how I learn to reconcile it that matters. Since all those years, I have struggled with the lie that I needed to prove myself, people please, impress others and work to be successful. I always battled thoughts such as, "If I don't have a degree, people will think I am a loser." "If I don't have a nice enough house people will think I don't make enough money." If I don't hold a successful position in a highly regarded field, people will think I'm stupid." "If I don't color my hair and wear nicer clothes, people will think I'm frumpy." "If I don't send wheat bread in my kid's lunches, people will think I'm a loser mom." "If I don't work outside the home even when the kids are at school, people will think I'm lazy." "If I don't pray out loud in a church setting, people will think I'm not a true Christian. "If I can't craft every Pinterest post, people will think I am untalented.' It goes on and on. How I prayed for years and years that I would 'be somebody' and make a lasting impression on the world, something my children would be proud of. I envisioned and dreamed of myself in influential circles, bringing joy to the world around me with my wit, humor, and general loveliness. I am learning. Oh so VERY slowly. I am learning to see the value in accepting who I am at this present time as the place I am supposed to be. It has been really difficult for me. I am learning (again, very slowly) to be OK with me, not in a way that doesn't promote growth, learning or faith but more in a way of, it is alright if I don't take the world by storm. It is OK if my circle of influence is my immediate family. It is OK if my days consist of caring for my dear ones I have been blessed with. It is OK if my mark on the world shows itself as doing laundry, cooking and housekeeping. It is OK to just be, even at almost 43 years of age. In the present. In the now. To accept and extend forgiveness. To not be consumed by my past mistakes, regrets and hurts I have caused on others, even as horrid as they are (by the way, yet another 'great' story) To absorb this time as a gift. To be thankful. To not obsess. To be still. To reflect. To meditate on the grace and mercy shown to me every. single. day. I don't know that I will fully get there. After all, we are imperfect humans and our own worst critics. However, we may find it is worth it to at least keep on. As C.S. Lewis says, "Further in, farther on, keep going."