Those of you who are familiar with my blog will know that I touch on just about anything that passes my way-after all, my tag line is “Art, Life and Everything In-Between”. Great recipes, family anecdotes, cool products-whatever strikes my fancy may just strike a note with someone else so I write about it. Today’s post is one of the in-betweens, one of those that might be just a bit raw, something that scratches at the deeper truths that play push and pull with my thoughts. This is an excerpt from my recent scribblings…
My mother hated me. I mean, she loved me but she hated me. There was nothing good in me that she saw and I felt it every day of my growing up and away from home. The saddest part is that I am nearly 50 and still feeling this less than quality in my heart. Still feeling and embracing what I thought had to be truth because no mother lies to their child.
I do have moments that allow me to savor accomplishment but never far behind is the grindingly, stultifying failure of being me.
This legacy of less is something I never wanted to pass on to my children-at least not knowingly. And, it is with shame, regret and sadness that I look back and see that I have. In those split second decisions to try to stamp out any behavior that reminded me of me-which of course must be bad-rather than embrace and encourage the strong single minded individuality that could have led to so many positive things-I sowed bitter seeds. Instead I chose to battle it and diminish it because I wanted them to be pliable and more their father than me. So, in this desire to turn the child, I created rebellion and anger instead of the compliance I thought was the better choice. In an effort to eliminate me I sowed deep the seeds of inadequacy in my own children.
It is heavy and hard work to exhume a core of pain, of less than, and replant with new seed. Often the new seed isn’t planted deep enough and the lingering soil of the past sprouts bitter old growths that choke out the tender attempts of the fresh seed. How many times can you excavate and replant before the soil turns to dust dispersed by the breeze never to be recultivated?
Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God? Or, am I trying to please people?
My entire life has been a quest to win the approval of someone who could never give it-and who can no longer. Even after growing a relationship with God, the static interference of this other-significant-relationship has repeatedly short circuited any long term clarity.
I rush and scrabble, searching for God knows what and never manage to find that rest of satisfaction. In my rush to prove something I please, impress and promise and end up emptied, isolated and still less than. Living ‘hope springs eternal’ -a constant stream of new opportunities-going all in and getting upended over and over again didn’t really teach me much. I was always sure that this time it would be different. This job would be different. This church would be different. And none of them were. I put my trust in the people I worked with, hung out with, went to church with, shared my children with-all some form of friend I had longed for and was repeatedly let down, disappointed, used and left hurting. It is the left hurting that continues to hold fast. It is easier to learn from disappointment, usury and simple let downs but hurt grows fibrous, deep and branching roots.
I think saying that I don’t know what I am searching for is disingenuous on some levels. I know I am searching for that yes: that genuine smile and nod from someone else that signifies a job well done or the look in a lovers eyes that says, without words, that I am the beautiful one to him and so many other things the world and my hurting heart have told me I need to feel full-to feel right. All things that grow beyond my grasp in a garden set apart for someone else. And there are a lot of things growing there. It is hard to remember this weed patch of desires which I have convinced myself is a garden is barren. It is true that beautiful flowers with lovely names bloom there but in the end they fade and dry and empty their seeds to the soil that merely multiplies the wastrel, shallow rooted promises.
I will end there for now-the words continue but there is hope in the jumble…God is a God of grace and He is faithful even in this tangled garden I work in…