This post is dedicated to those people who may be terribly afraid to share who they were and/or are…in hopes that they will see hope and pure goodness and love are always available to you.
A NOTE: This post took nearly a month to write as I struggled with the content, felt frustrated. Then, I started to realize that I was actually figuring out some of my past actions through the writing of it…I started to really SEE how and why I did things in my past by thinking through them to share with you…now, selah.
“You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”
– C.S. Lewis’s Aslan from Prince Caspian –
It is beckoning you–gently at first…
There it is again–a confident whisper…
It gains breadth when you allow it the space…
That sound–your intricately designed soul–is always reminding you who you are.
You have heard it before–it’s familiar–it was very strong when you were a child. You knew what you loved, what made you feel alive, and you just did it. You were able to follow your heart easily because there was no money involved, no time constraints, no dependents, no parameters. But at some point, this resonance of your soul’s voice started to become muffled. Sinking deeper, the sound of your soul became harder to hear. You grew older. You started to let the nagging “WHAT IF ______?” suffocate that enchanting echo. The thick waters surrounding your soul’s voice grew to be an ocean of fear and insecurities.
Those feelings continue to push and pull against your soul’s calling like a rip tide. The intense current that confuses your true voice is from a tidal flow of insecurities and fears. The flow accumulates from drizzles, light rains, and downpours of negative energy, others’ words and actions, and general worry.
“Separated from the king
Now the water’s rushing and you keep trying to swim against the stream
And it seems, like your not moving the many water’s gushing you gasp for air
Almost drowning ears ringing, once upon a time we were singing“
– Matisyahu, “Warrior” lyrics –
Ocean currents are driven by the circulation of wind above surface waters. What winds have and are driving your currents? The earliest wind of insecurity I can remember was in middle school, when the bully on the bus to Toronto to see Phantom of the Opera leaned over the seat behind me and told me I was fat. It ruined my entire trip and set the stage for decades of emotional eating. Then the kid who sat in front of me in high school Honors English that introduced himself and said, “I heard you aren’t that smart” (or something like that, but that’s what I remember). Despite earning A’s in the advanced class, I never really knew if he was kidding or serious (I still have gullibility issues). I’m also naturally clumsy, so that didn’t enhance my confidence either. Let’s pile on having no boyfriends amid my best friends whom I felt always had love interests that lasted. I don’t think I ever wanted anyone to get close to me because I was not confident enough.
If I let someone get close, they would know the real me and all of my flaws and might not like it. I became a floater my last few HS years–becoming friends with different groups. But that led to other things–which led to some not-so-great choices…choices made at all-night raves in Sydney, Australia…choices like getting involved with a certain guy in college and years later pretty sure I witnessed him standing, looking homeless, on the side of the road (I hope he’s OK). That kind of sight makes you really pause and reflect. It might seem that those things, along with the bungee-jumping, hang-gliding, sky-diving, etc that I did in my earlier years would render me a bit more fearless, but…
Being a highly sensitive person to begin with, I continued to feel fearful–of not being loved, liked, or wanted. This feeling led to me choosing activities and tasks that were more secure in worldly success ratings such as giving up my dream of becoming a singer because I failed too many times in early life and stopping my art because if it didn’t make me any money, it wasn’t worth the time. I believe it all came down to a fear of being unwanted and unloved…seeking worldly approval instead of seeing that I am loved fully REGARDLESS of worldly things.
To be clear, I’ve always had the most amazing parents and family–I did not have a broken home. Because of this, I possess a deeply engrained moral compass inside of me that kept me from tipping just over the edge into real trouble during those reckless years. As one of my close friends recently asked me: “Why did you desire to be reckless when you had no reason to?” I guess I was searching for acceptance just like anyone else…searching for meaning in my own, independent life apart from my family. Glennon Doyle Melton (in her book Carry On, Warrior) also recounted a friend asking her: “Why are you all jacked up when you have no reason to be?”… it’s part of the human condition. We are all living in a broken, fallen world. You may have everything on the outside, but somehow the strains of brokenness from the beginning of time have a way of continuously leaking in.
(Please note: friends, family, readers, you know that I’m more than OK now. These things were quite a long time ago. Our past makes us who we are and we learn and grow. I know who I am now. I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for anything.)
Evil and brokenness are here on earth whether we like it or not. I have a few very specific memories from college years and a little before where thoughts of taking my life dominated my mind. I didn’t want to be in this world, because being here meant feeling unloved and unwanted and I didn’t want to have to handle that. I have gritty, messy stories because they helped me ESCAPE THE FEELING OF BEING UNLOVED or helped me feel loved temporarily. One of those depressive episodes ended in a strange situation–that I honestly cannot explain other than God sent me a very special person (I called him my angel) to distract me from my intentions–so intensely distract me out of nowhere–that it could only have been heaven sent. The situation not only resulted in distraction from my intentions, but a deep feeling of being loved. Someone very close to me actually took their life during my impressionable HS years which was incredibly devastating and unreal. This life is so, so precious we must not take it for granted.
It has been said these early years (adolescence and early twenties) hold the most vivid memories of your life. We all have our things–whether legal or illegal, personal or near to us, life-threatening or not–but they are OUR things–the things that happen to us directly or around us, that we can’t shake. We may let them suffocate our true nature, adding water to the dark, ominous ocean of fear full of creatures lurking to devour our potential. Anyone want to dive into this mess alone? Yeah, sure. Let me get eaten alive by the predators swimming vicious circles around me, just waiting to kidnap me. Soooo, then we don’t do it. We don’t dive into our fears. We don’t face them. We just keep on pushing them down deeper–letting the circulation of winds above the water continue blowing us around.
Do you want to know your value? Do you want to run towards who you really are? You are a child of God...a child of God. When you take a moment to ponder what it means to be created in the image of God, does it change your perspective? It doesn’t matter how old you are, you are still his child. Even if you are not talking with God much, he is thinking of you. Specific people may be positioned carefully in your path to be your angels. He shows up in small things in your path–in your surroundings, nature, your environment, the course and flow of your day–God arranges things this way for you. It is his way of saying, you are not alone and I love you. He is there in others’ love and kindness. Even a few little words: “a little help here, please?” and you will be heard. God will defend you because you are his child. Let HIS LOVE ROAR and dominate your FEARS.
Two truths for you:
1. You can dive in.
2. You don’t have to do it alone.
Take a look at that lion roaring above—throw your fears into THAT power and courage. Your fear does NOT want to mess with THIS warrior. This warrior is a King and for the record, in early history, most kings WERE warriors… they fought WITH their people in the trenches (think Frank Miller’s movie 300–oh, yeah…I’m talking brave like King Leonidas of Sparta). Diving into something you are afraid of seems much easier when it’s with a friend, doesn’t it? It is NOT a risk because you have a friend within you all the time. Let Him lead, defend, and fight for you. His love will kill your fear. LOVE ALWAYS DOMINATES FEAR.
“I will never stop creating no matter what the outcome
and no matter how deep my insecurities and anxieties may be.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic –
Let the voice of your soul–God within you–be heard. Dive into your ocean of fear and LISTEN. God’s mighty roar will come through, but you must take time to stop, pause, listen.
SO, HERE’S A SONG (aka. a little release of fear, this was first take, no edits!). I love singing and I love the lyrics to this song, so at the very least, when I die, my family will remember my crazy singing of this song all the time.