Sunday, July 5, 2015

Still Mad

I woke up yesterday morning still mad.

And then I had to remember what I was still mad about.

Oh, yes. Completely justified.

I am the wife that stays mad long past whatever crime was committed. I am the mom whose feelings stay hurt long after the words were said. I am the friend who can hold a grudge for eighteen years, three days, five hours and sixteen seconds past the date my feelings were hurt. I will still smile. I will still laugh. I will still spend time. I will play tennis and take a walk and go to church and lead bible study and drop off at baseball and ballet and fix dinner. There may be something there, something you can't quite put your finger on, but we will go on as if nothing ever happened.

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
{leviticus 19:18}

I didn't want to sit down and write today, I really didn't. Sometimes it's a confidence thing, sometimes it's a time thing, sometimes it's an emotional energy thing. Sometimes it's a am-I-seriously-going-to-tell-everyone-that-I-hold-eighteen-year-old-grudges thing. Because then I will not have any friends. I know I don't have to say anything I don't want to, but part of writing is being authentic, and really, how many times do you want to read about how to cook chicken? I'm not knocking anyone else's blog; Lord knows I have no room to be prideful or boastful about mine, but I do feel like we relate better when we know honesty.

There comes a time in every person's life where one must accept responsibility for one's own actions. This mean no more blaming parents/teachers/pastors/friends/everyone else for all the things that went wrong in life. I am a top-notch blamer. If my mom hadn't been such a yeller....if my dad had been more emotionally available....if someone had just given me the chance to shine....then life in 2015 would be swell and perfect, wouldn't it? Me thinks life in 2015 would probably be very similar to what it is right now, despite the yelling. Of course, that's just my opinion and I have absolutely no basis for that, other than to reason that I was born to two imperfect parents, who raised me in an imperfect world full of mistakes and difficulties.

In barre class last week, Whitney Houston's How Will I Know came on, and someone (was it me?) mentioned the sad situation that is the Houston/Brown legacy. "It all went downhill when she met Bobby Brown," someone commented, and we all bobbed our heads in agreement. Mmmmmm-hmmmm. Except one of us (it was not me this time) mentioned that Whitney Houston actually had a head on her shoulders and made her own choices

Which is what I'm doing when I hold a grudge and think I don't like somebody very much but can't actually remember why. Making a choice, albeit not the best one, but still. My choice. My responsibility.

Sometimes people make me so mad. Holding onto anger for me is like pulling on an old leather glove. Fits perfectly and is comfortable to boot.

You remember your first love, where you just gave your whole heart away, and then that person took it and stomped on it and then you said, well. I'll be damned if I ever do that again. 

Holding onto anger is like putting up a wall. You put up enough of them and you don't have to deal with things a) because you can't feel anything anyway and b) because you won't ever get close enough to someone to be hurt. You can keep someone at arm's length and stay sane. Because letting them in could mean disaster, could mean hurt, could mean losing yourself.

I've never been that person--that super-fun totally, really cool person that everyone wants to hang out with. Some innocent comments made about me today kind of reinforced that concept: we are super-fun and wild and crazysexycool and you are...not. The thing is I've always kind of wanted to be that super-fun, totally, really cool person that everyone wants to hang out with, and I feel alone because I'm not so much. (I mean, I think I'm cool, that's just not an opinion that has gotten really popular yet.)

It's easier for me to build walls and keep everyone at a distance, because then if something hurtful, or even catastrophic, does happen, I tend to reason that it would be easier to deal with. Investing in relationships takes such an emotional toll on us, it really does. And sometimes I only want to invest a part of me, because all of me would be too much, and I feel like I would drown and lose myself. And to a girl who feels like maybe, just maybe, she still hasn't exactly ever found herself, losing herself would be too much to bear.

Maybe we are all just trying to find solid ground to stand.

If you grew up in church, you probably know the hymn that goes on Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is siiiiiiiiiiinking saaaaaaaaaaaaaand. And if you grew up in a pretty traditional church, you had the choir to draw out the last two words and the aaaaaaaa-meeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. (Now that I go to a church without a choir, I kinda miss that.)

It took me forever to grasp the concept of Christ as the "solid rock". I sometimes think I never really wanted to know what it meant, because I never really wanted to know Christ. I wanted to go to heaven for sure, because the alternative sounded miserable, and if there is no heaven or hell, then I was safe anyways--kind of a CYA thing I guess, but to know Him wasn't really an interest of mine, and besides, I knew all the rules of religion. Don't cuss, don't have sex, don't drink, don't do drugs, don't smoke, don't gossip (but do gossip during a prayer request, because that's totally okay), obey your parents, follow the rules, blah blah blah. Rules. I wanted somebody who could get me out of binds and get me into heaven, not somebody to make me follow a bunch of unfun rules. And besides all that, there was all this talk about giving your heart away, and for a person like me, giving your heart away really is akin to drowning (I wasn't kidding when I said that before), whether that be in sorrow or rage or uncertainty or depression or anxiety, and I'm not so into that.  So I looked to other ways of finding solid ground, a way to make me stand out and feel good about myself. But, I have yet to actually find that thing, that one thing that will make me a super-star {insert clumsy jump, hands under armpits, then to nose, a la one Mary Katherine Gallagher}, so I can have confidence and I don't have to worry about losing myself so much because I will have found me.

It is so frustrating and exhausting to be on that never-ending search for salvation.

Whoever finds their life will lose it
And whoever loses their life for my sake 
Will find it.
{matthew 10:39}

But all this grasping for something is like grasping for straws, which is essentially grasping for nothing, and nothing is not all that filling, which leaves a person empty and building more emotional walls.  See, I'm just as lost as the next person, with my own habits and hang-ups and sins and errors. (Which is why the whole "us against them" mentality doesn't work with me. I've heard it. People mention the latest political gossip to me in the hopes that I will agree with bigotry and hate, and I can't. I just can't. Because I am that person I am pointing a finger at, I am the person I am throwing a stone at, I am the person who is in desperate need of saving. So I can't. People who have invested way more time and money than I ever have in research and classes and studying and seminary can probably shoot a bunch of holes all in my theory, but the way I see it, I am them. So I can't be against them. It's us.)

So please don't judge me
And I won't judge you
'Cause it could get ugly
Before it gets beautiful.
{chris brown}

But in the process of all that grasping at straws and nothingness, the most beautiful, most astounding, most life-changing thing happened. I found out what Christ the Rock really means. Solid ground can't be found in things that are always changing. (That's the world, if you didn't know what I meant. The world is always changing. Nothing ever stays the same.) But Christ is unchanging--he is the same today, yesterday and forever (hebrews 13:8). So little by very little, I've started putting weight on that Rock, just to see. First my big toe. When that seemed safe, my foot. Then my leg. And instead of falling, He has given me a place to stand.

This very well may be the longest blog post in the history of Finding Security In Him, and if you've made it all the way to the very end, I congratulate you. Through a sea of words about building walls and anger management issues and blame and searching for salvation, with a few straws thrown in for good measure, I hope you got one thing to ponder tonight: Christ the Rock. Christ the Redeemer.

Christ my Rock.
Christ my Redeemer.

Christ.

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