A war has broken out. One, inside me. I find the 52 year old me in an intense war, with the 17 year old me. This war has been going on for the past few days.
As God and Life digs deeper and requires more, of me, of my effort, if my safe spaces, of ALL of my spaces…*sigh*.
Freedom is wonderful. It comes at great price. Freedom, TRUE freedom, costs you everything. EVERYTHING.
Yet, in giving up everything, you FIND everything. You find you.
Here lately, I have been perfectly content to allow God and Life full access to every area, space, dream, goal, love that I have.
“Have at it”, I confidently told them. SMH. I was confident They could do and have all of me, knowing all is for my good. Yea, I figured I would have an uncomfortable moment or two or ten. I could ‘manage’ those. I could handle those. I could stand: on God’s Word, on God’s CHARACTER, and upon God’s Deep and Abiding Love for me.
Anyone can stand, for a while. Anyone can boldly give up this or that, when the giving up of this or that does not require much thought, effort or truly giving up of a thing, hope, dream, hurt, loss, pain.
God and Life are super smart. They know, full well, we all in it and will give all and do all so long as not too challenged, so long as They keep away from ‘certain areas’. It’s like company coming over. Rather, ‘certain’ company that comes over.
Close fam/friends get to sit in the comfy room where everyone hangs out. Super close fam/friends get to hang out in the bedroom or separate ‘living spaces’ where we let our hair all the way down. Magazines tossed about, couch pillows every which way. This is the place where we are the loudest, where we feel the most comfortable, where we truly let our hair/guards down.
The ‘other room’ is for company that rarely comes. It is always immaculate. No one really ‘lives there’, you know? I guess it can be called the pretend living room. We put company there to impress them. We don’t expect them to stay long. They don’t. They have received the message to visit, to not go deep, to keep it brief and keep it moving along. Another visitor checked off of our ‘have to’ list in ‘reaching out’ and loving folks.
I must admit, and, it pains me to admit this, to me, ESPECIALLY to me, that I have been keeping everyone in the pretend living room. Yes, I go and visit them. To THEIR homes. I go and minister to them and encourage them. Then, retreat and retire to my pretend living room. If I invite them over, it’s not to the comfy room, the ‘living room’.
I’m a passionate person. Always have been. Always will be. That ‘passion’ has always been viewed as ‘too much’. Too loud. Too ‘angry’. Too passionate.
“Use your indoor, voice”
“No one has time for all that”
“Why do you ALWAYS have to have something to say about this or that?”
“Why can’t you keep that to yourself?”
“Does it really take all that?”
“Is it really all that serious?”
I would rush out, fling my arms wide, and invite the world in. Just wanted to share my heart, my thoughts, my joy with the whole world. I wanted to love the world and have the world love me back.
At times, some would come. They would hang with me, in the living room. We would kick it. Eventually, I would become ‘too much’. Too loud, too passionate. Too, something or other.
Over time, I learned to invite less and less peep over. Okay, I would invite the same folk over. But, I began to use the pretend living room. Now, when folks came to ‘visit’, I learned to tone down the joy. I learned to share surface things with them. They gladly accepted the surface things, I found. Much easier for folks to stay on the surface, of life. Very unsatisfying to me but something I had gotten used to, over the years.
The only time I could be FULLY me was when I was hanging out with God. With Jesus, specifically. I could be as loud as I pleased. I could be me. I COULD BE ME! Jesus loved me. ALL of me. He seemed to love the loudest parts, the silliest parts, the most.
He and I talked endlessly, for hours, about everything and nothing. He kicked it with me in my living room, laughed with me in the pretend living room. Eventually, He helped me realize it’s okay for me to be so passionate. I was made this way. His Love helped woo me to the love of The Father. This was a scary place to go, for me.
Father was a hard word for me. A father was harsh. A father was a task master. Or, so I believed. Long story short, I learned to trust God, The FATHER. Eventually, He became MY Father. He became My Home. And, in becoming Home made Himself completely at home. God invited Life to come with(they are a set, you know?), and both took abide with me, in me.
Which brings me to current events: Civil War….*sigh*.
In unpacking, God and Life have discovered many boxes in needing of being unpacked. Time to deal with things. Time to deal with ME.
The more God and Life has freed me, the less I am willing to keep hiding me, hiding my passion, from this world. I find I can no longer bear to be less than 100. With God. With Life. With family. With friends.
Friends? Are they really? Have I really ALLOWED them to be? Have I hidden behind the tired excuses folks are too busy, they have kids, they have work, they have this or that? Has it been easier, for me to be less of me, hoping to receive more of them?
Yikes. Egads….hmm….where did yall come from?!….*Cassandra weighs embracing Yikes and Egads to find out where they are leading her. Or, should she continue to reside in her pretend hiding room, even from herself*….
In being 100, and unpacking a Yikes, I find that I have been protecting myself and not showing all. Yes, I give 1,000 percent when it comes to encouraging folks, loving folks, being there for folks. Keeping it 100, as young folks say, I must admit to showing about 75 percent, of me, so folks won’t think it too much, think I am ‘too much’.
Egads, I find I no longer have a ‘not enough’ problem. In doing away with distractions, I find that I have a ‘too much’ problem. I find part of my heart standing, alone, upon a ‘it’s okay’ post. I won’t be ‘too much’. I will be silent. I will be ‘convenient. I shall be like a Hallmark Card: wonderfully encouraging, when needed, tucked away, in a drawer, when not.
Look closer, says God. Look closer, says Life. In looking closer, I find the one standing, alone, is me, yet not. It’s the 17 year old me. The 52 year old me looks at her and am sad. I know she is standing on sinking sand.
I want to race to her. Want to shout to her to come down from there.
“COME DOWN FROM THERE!” You don’t have to be there. You are loved. God loves you. Life loves you. I love you. You don’t have to be anything less than 100 percent of you.
Go to her, God says. Go to her, says Life. I go to her. She has run away. Stalemate.
It’s time to deal with her, God says. It’s time for you to deal with her, Life says. It’s time to deal with me, says me.
The only way that I know to get to her, to get to ME, is through words. It’s all that I have to try and set her free. The 17 year old me. She has been silently getting in the way of just too many things. She is making it difficult for God and Life to be fully at home. She is angry. Extremely angry. Something happened, when she was 17 and she has been angry every since.
Angry with God. Angry with Life. Angry with…more later on that. Angry with herself. Especially, with herself. She has been angry for 35 years. God is tired of seeing her lugging that hidden anger, that silent anger, that raging anger that will burn down the whole house, if He does not step in. If I do not step in.
I invite you to come with me, as I go in search of her, in search of me, through letters. I shall sneak them, one by one, under her bedroom door. Hopefully, she will come out soon. Hopefully, we can connect, she and I. I need for her to forgive herself. She was 17. She did the best she could. Alas, I had best save these arguments for her.
Pray for me as I go to her. Come with me. Maybe, just maybe, you also have a part of yourself that is struggling to be free of anger, hurt, fear, pain, whatever it is that has been holding you back for years, for decades.
We have a life to live, not survive. I am done surviving. I am done showing less of me, hoping to get more of you. If you can’t deal with ALL of me, that’s okay. I shall enjoy life with God, with Life, with fam/friends who get a kick out of the loud me, the sports nut me, the super in love with God me, the super serious me, the stupid me, the ridiculous me. Yikes and Egads thinks I am a hoot. I keep them around with my shenanigans and thoughts and deeds. Yikes. Egads. See?
See you on the other side of the letters…