Life of late has been even more bizarre than usual but has brought many reminders of past battles and victories. Reminders of the way life was before, and gratitude for the way it is now. I am reminded of the desperate need to be something or someone I wasn’t because of a belief that was the only way to be noticed or loved. I recall the enormous weight of it all and the mental exhaustion from keeping so many lies rotating like plates spinning in the air; hoping that not a one would crash on me because if one did, they all did. And they all did.
It is easy and natural considering the amount of pain and dysfunction most of us grow with to learn to survive and cope in ways that seem innocent enough at first but what worked as a child crumbles to bits as adults. The fantasies become more grandiose because the audience becomes savvier. As the pain of our low self image and worth grows, so does our attempt at countering it with our imaginations. It really is like pouring coal into the train that is on a track that ends at a mountain wall. It isn’t a matter of if; it’s a matter of when before we hit that wall.
How I loathe that evil spirit that plays old tapes in our minds that we are failed and always will be. That we aren’t worth love and care. Old, loud voices that tell us what we need, who we are and who we aren’t. It’s no wonder we learn to live a lie when lies are spoken to us sometimes on a moment by moment basis. Pure lies mixed with the occasional truth. Let’s think a minute about the truths. Countering the lies eventually becomes easier, but what about those things that might just be true but not so pretty to look at or think about. Let’s pick one. Looks? Intelligence? Past mistakes? Let’s go with past mistakes.
For me, this was, and at times still is my biggest battle. I actually still choose not to act on certain thoughts or dreams based on a belief that people who know me, or know of me, will reject or avoid me based on things they’ve heard. Is that valid? Maybe sometimes, but is it really the truth now? No, it’s not and history proves it doesn’t matter anyway. I will assume that most reading this have at least a basic level of belief in biblical scripture. Ever hear of a “wretched man” named Paul, my buddy. Had a few folks killed and watched a fella named Steven stoned to death. He made it his purpose to get rid of these Christians. Do I need to tell his story any further to prove that his past mistakes not only weren’t held against him, it appears to me they were used to God’s advantage. Peter traveled with Jesus for quite some time and then told people he didn’t know who this Jesus guy was and at a time when Jesus seemed to need him the most. Quite a whopper wouldn’t you say? It doesn’t appear to have stopped him too much after Jesus showed back up later.
We could do that all day going through the list of misfits God has used to further His ends but we would be hard pressed to find a perfect person God used to do anything. I can only think of one. No, it isn’t him who holds our mistakes against us, it is us. Who would we say has better judgment, Him or us?
So, back to the beginning. Why is it we feel such a need to pretend to be or have done something or some thing we aren’t or haven’t? Because being no less or more the misfit than anyone else, living or dead, we come to believe whatever we are isn’t enough. We believe in performance based acceptance and love. We believe in punishment over discipline. We believe in trophies over grace. For whatever reason, we believe we can be whatever we perceive is worthy of love and exhaust tons of energy to keep the façade spinning.
Let us all let the plates crash. I think we are all in for a pleasant surprise and a much needed rest.
So grateful to have Jim guest blog with us! Connect below and comment!