In my previous blog persona, ‘Love2Bloom’, I was a happy, positive, chipper, maybe and entirely true at the time, “goody-two-shoes”. I honestly think that my always looking on the brighter side of things annoyed most people, because most I think, thought it fake. Yet, at the time I was writing ‘Love2Bloom’, I was for the most part a truly happy, positive, chipper, goody-two-shoes.
But people change.
Things happen to them that makes them change, whether that be something sad, like failure, loss, hurt, theft, gossip or something very good, like the realization that one’s self-worth is tied, not to the opinion of others, but to being who you truly are meant to be and loved and valued for being: the “I Am” reflection of the person as they reflect their Lord, warts and all.
For me that meant cursing the way I cursed in private and letting my anger, disappointment, and generally frayed and harried edges show. Somewhere along the road, I had picked up the idea that letting loose an F-bomb, scowling at others once in a while, crying out in the town square that, ‘The Emperor and Empress are indeed standing on their pedestals, naked’, and sometimes having a bad mood, a bad day, a bad life and not being ever cheery about every damn day and every damn moment would make me less worthy, less put together, less included, less able in the eyes of others. Still more important than what others thought of me, was the notion that if I let the surly, cursing, stay at home wife and mother who appeared to have it all, out, I would be somehow less lovable by Christ and less worthy of redemption.
Yes, I know that Christ loves the sinner and all that, but somewhere along the pit stops of my particular journey which included, but certainly were not limited to: the church pews, the community parish meetings, the PTA meetings, the bake-sales, the carnivals, the fish fry dinners, the bible study groups, 8 am mass, and the stations of the cross, I thought I would be unlovable by Christ if I didn’t act in the same way that all the smiling, ever gracious, ever noble, ever giving Christian women, at church, in the school waiting line, at the market, or at the neighborhood Starbucks and especially on social media, where it seemed to me, so many women were bible journaling their hearts happy , quoting bible verses easily, and decorating their home mantels with perfect family portraits, sculptures of angels, and big block lit up letters that spelled, ‘Peace’ and ‘Joy’,
It wasn’t that my faith in God was false. I see that now. God as the center of my life was never the problem. What was false was my way of showing my faith, because it wasn’t faith in God that was on display, it was fear.
Fear of not fitting in. Fear of not being one worthy of fitting into one of the church groups or being one of the church ladies. Fear of doing something wrong that would irrevocably send me and my soul hurling down to hell, damnation and a fiery, crispy end.
Funny thing was that I never did fit in. Never was I fully embraced by my local church community, but they sure did take my hours of service that I offered to them. Took it they did. Yes, they could see a desperate soul and they were at the ready to take me for all I had. They used me. Let me say that again, they used me.
But, God did not.
I see now that all that nonsense about God, the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, not loving me or finding me not worthy that I felt if I didn’t meet some standard of someone’s made up definition of virtue and piety was false. Actually, it was a ploy on my part to keep myself diminished, small, scared and in a dark place, that though confining, I found safe.
But spaces, real ones or the ones in our heads, are never sanctuaries. They may provide us with comfort and safe haven for awhile but they are only temporary because we can not dwell among their four walls forever, shut out, faking our safety and wellness and agency. Smiling all along, all along, all along.
I must be who I am and if that be a cursing, angry, fist raising individual driving back the ‘Romans’ in my head or on the streets (these days, it’s so hard to make the distinction) who still and above it all believes in the power of love, which it turns out is my higher power – God the Father, then that is who I must be. And so I wrote,
One last thing, this was supposed to be a short post. Believe it or not. I chose this particular poem thinking that my remembrances back to why I wrote it, would be short and not complex. Then I started writing and well, like all things thought small and innocuous, lies, the unhealed wound and the possibility for a cure.