Amidst the craziness of the Holidays, Football season, and having a child under 1 year of age, life can suddenly feel like it is slipping through the cracks. I woke up this morning and realized we had forgotten to take out the trash. So I jumped out of bed, asked my sister to come lay down with the baby, and ran outside to move the cars and take the cans to the curb.
Needless to say I am now wide awake with a threatening sore throat and cold.
I have been really reflective this past month despite traveling to Portland, Los Angeles, having people in town, and going through weeks of football that seem to fly by faster and faster as the days go. Thinking about how much time I have wasted trying to be somewhere that I am not, something that I am not, or covering up who I really am. It's not that I think who I have projected myself to be is much different than the real Lizzy, its more that I have always felt uncomfortable in my own skin and situation.
Which gets desperately exhausting.
I will be eternally grateful to my beautiful daughter Ashby for her life as it has stopped all of that nonsense dead in its tracks. Suddenly I had a reason not to go on living this way. Suddenly I had a person who was going to be all up in every aspect of my world all that time and would be scrutinizing every move I make as her way of discovering who she is made to be. Holy responsibility. Holy reason to stop with futile attempts to avoid fear, avoid insecurity, avoid pain, and avoid all of the other difficult things that really just mean avoid healing.
I realize now how much $ I have wasted trying to create a beautiful outside when I really felt like a mess inside. I realize how many times I have eaten another cookie or another plate of food, or even justified eating complete junk knowing that it would bring a temporary satisfaction and comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable internal world. I am reading this amazing book called "When food is love" by Geneen Roth, and she confronts the very reasons why we compulsively do anything (eat, shop, clean, exercise etc) as an attempt to avoid the raw and gritty parts of life and how quickly that compulsion becomes the focus. Our brains are really quite adept at survival. Especially emotional survival.
This last year of my life has been like a scene from Where the Wild Things Are. I finally said "enough" to the distractions from the reality. I am insecure. I am afraid of not being enough. I am afraid I will not have enough. In some regards I have always felt like I have "too much" and therefore need to become less so as to be able to actually keep friends. Yep, I said it. In fact, I feel like I have actually begun to make friends with these demons. Instead of running from them at a breakneck pace, I stopped and turned around so quickly they ran right into me. And we all collapsed into a big pile, staring bewildered at each other.
I think what I am realizing this quiet morning, with my cup of echinachea throat coat tea (I will not get sick, I will not get sick...) is this:
All along my biggest problem has been running away from these things because they are so scary. But the reality is these things are a part of me. They are and will be my biggest teachers and my tools for healing. If I am not willing to just stop and get all tangled up with them, I will never be released from them. And in an effort to give my daughter the best possible chance at a life free or at least freer, from these things, I am willing to turn around and look. To ask God to reveal to me where these things come from, to understand where they have a stronghold in my life, and to not go anywhere (or shop, eat, run etc...fill in the blank) when I feel uncomfortable having them stare me down.
I believe God is changing me. I believe at my core the chaos and fear and anxiety is beginning to abate. I believe I will come through this a more authentic and confident version of myself. And I believe this ABSOLUTELY has to happen in each of us and as long as we fight it, we will go on decaying further and further from who we are made to be.
This Christmas, thank you Jesus for coming to us, for being born in an animal feeding trough in a barn so that I did not have to be outcast. What more do I ever need than that.
Thank you beautiful, sweet, daring Ashby for wanting to be with me all the time and opening my eyes to how much more growth God has in store for me.
What are you running from?...