Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An Off Button

I wish there was an 'Off Button'.
An Off Button that quickly turns my crazy, irrational thoughts into sane, rational ones. An Off Button that quiets the lies, the insecurities, the fears, the worries...

But there isn't one.
And sometimes I feel trapped between my own version of reality and the actual version of reality (unfortunately, they don't always line up).

I had an epiphany this last week about myself and the way I project things upon others. Ready for it?

Here's what I do:
If I recognize something in myself that isn't good, right, edifying, desirable.... if I recognize the darkness within me as something that's driving me or motivating me, I quickly let that become all I see. I cover myself with this blanket of darkness and let that be the filter I view everything else through. It also becomes the lens in which I perceive everyone else to be viewing me through. Here's the visual--->

I convince myself that if all I see is this grossness, how could anyone else see anything different? Surely all they can see is the blanket that's covering me, too...? And if that's all they see, why would anyone ever want to stick around?

Eventually I start to distance myself from others, I start testing them, I start trying to gauge how soon that they'll abandon me. And, more often than not, I'll convince myself that it's soon and so I decide I'll make the first move. I'll get out before they have to ask me to leave. I'll get out before they decide for themselves that's what they need to do. I want to make it easy for them...

So, before I've ever even had an actual conversation with another person about all of this, this dialogue within myself has already taken place. Decisions have been made. I'm swallowed by the blanket and I'm convinced that no one wants a blanketed person in their life. Not when the blanket represents ______ (fill in the's most likely different every time).

Oftentimes the blanket represents my insecurities. My inability to trust. My selfishness. My tendencies to be so easily unsatisfied. My high expectations. And when those things are triggered, I begin to despise them within me. I begin to let them be what defines me...and so I beat myself up over it. The initial lie takes root and suddenly all I am is someone who will never get over the past. Someone who will never be fully confident in who the Lord says I am. Someone who will never be selfless. Someone who will never let what other people do be good enough

My life turns into absolutes.
The blanket defines me.
I am insecure. Broken. Untrusting. Selfish. Unsatisfied.
How could anyone ever want that?

But people do. The Lord does.
They don't only see the blanket that I'm convinced I'm under. They see more of me than I'm willing to see myself. They see good things. They see the bad things. But they're willing to keep choosing me, to keep loving me...because those aren't the things that define me.

The blanket doesn't define me.
Not really.
Only in my perceived reality of how things are... which is often very different from actual reality.

I need an 'Off Button'.
An Off Button that reminds me that who I am is far different from who I think that I am sometimes. I'm praying that the gentle truths found in Scripture would be what define me. The whispers of a Savior to rebuke the lies. The light to penetrate through the dark.

But there isn't an Off Button.

Because I am a sinner, yes...but I am saved.
There isn't a need to run, to hide, to let the darkness define us any longer... there isn't a reason to push away the good in our lives because we're preemptively trying to protect ourselves from all the worst-case scenarios we dream up.

I am redeemed.
And I'm begging that my identity would be rooted in who Jesus says I am instead of whatever image I choose to adopt of myself, instead of whatever I choose to project onto others.

I know it's better there.
And so I'm fighting for and praying that I might exist in a land where my actual reality also defines my perceived reality.

In all of my imperfections, I'm mostly overwhelmingly thankful for the patient ones who love me when when I fight, run, hide and project lies upon them regarding how they view me.

I am humbled.

Just as I am...
and as I move toward better (and as I, often, take a step back).

What a life...

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  1. This is exactly me and what I'm going through in this exact moment, even. I was just having a conversation about this.

    I'm praying for you. I know how badly this hurts.