Crash into my life
Force change and create confusion
Leers at me
Foils attempts to ‘sort things out’
Haunts my behavior
Especially on days without sunshine
Creeps from head to toe
Lulls me into dreary gray oblivion
Dare I welcome
These strangers in
For tea and conversation?
I fight the urge
To show them the door
As though they didn’t exist
I want them to disappear
Like the unrealities
I want them to be
As a girl child I was instructed at home, in school and in church to avoid or get rid of all things negative. That included lying, cheating, pouting, complaining to my parents or fighting with my sisters.
Though this was supposed to make me good and happy, this negative approach seemed to border on magical thinking.
Avoid this or stop doing that, and you’ll win the Good Girl Lottery! It might not always be fun right now, but it will be spectacular later on—especially after you die and wake up in heaven.
And yet, with all that goodness drummed into me, I wasn’t protected then or now from difficult situations. Instead, my upbringing instilled voices and unhelpful habits that drive my behavior more than I like to admit. They kept me from exploring and celebrating my voice, and the woman I was becoming then and now.
I’m just beginning to recognize the way these drivers work in me, and let them go. They’re named in the litany I wrote about here:
- My desire for security and survival
- My desire for esteem and affection
- My desire for power and control
- My desire to change the situation
Saying I’m letting go is relatively easy. Living it out is difficult. It’s difficult to let go of what I’m not willing to understand. I want to welcome these desires as the realities they are, capable of supporting life or of putting it at risk. I don’t want to slam the door in their faces. They might be my best coaches—or at least helpful visitors I dare not silence or ignore.
So how do I welcome these strangers and listen to them? How and why did they become powerful and controlling in me? Who put their insistent, insinuating voices in me, and why? And how does this affect my responses to unplanned events, chaos, indecision and lethargy?
More fodder for self-reflection during and beyond this Lent season. Thanks for reading!
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 March 2017
Photo found at islamforchristians.com