It is funny when you learn about defense mechanisms. I never knew about the idea or meaning until I started digging into the root of myself. I kind of knew all along I was who I was supposed to be. I knew I was what made me feel loved. I couldn’t even think of what my own beliefs were at 45 years old. I just believed in what was right as so I was told. I was so agreeable. I also think I knew, I was dying piece-by-piece inside. I imagine it looking like I was walking on a sidewalk, and making an effort to not step over a crack. So from a distance my stride down the path was uneasy. With every big step I had to take to miss a crack, those places I practically jumped over, were missed life experiences meant for me. Maybe that piece of the path was just where I was supposed to land but out of fear, I stepped over it. I am sad in retrospect knowing there were life should have been moments that I did not step into.
But then, I do not believe that I missed all of what was expected for me. Maybe there were options but I believe that God has a plan for me and for all of us. But I have to believe there is a back up, just incase we don’t actually chose what he has planned. I realized that I was not going according to His plan because the same life experiences kept happening, over and over. I stopped dead in my stride as soon as I knew I needed a new way.
Think about it. Almost all of us have said at one time or another, I am in a rut or under a cloud, or things never work out for me. Like the record keeps going round and round and round. How many times have we all given the same advice to the same people about the same things? Sometimes in life we end up just back where we started. Life in general or on a board game is one in the same. You get sent back to where you started. And in both, it is not about luck it is about strategy, about thinking and observing where you have been and where you can go and who or what is in your way. I was terrible at games. I was also a terrible player in my own game of life.
I have imagined God looking down on me and shaking His head, rubbing His forehead and sighing in pure frustration and sorrow. The path to the highest point, the sidewalk to my soul, was actually a straight smooth line. As I tripped and fell and went uneasily ahead, I continued to follow, the way, of the others.
When I cried out, “My God why have you forsaken me”, my tears and despair must have shut out His voice, as He said back, my Daughter, why have you forsaken me? I gave you your own path. It was not I; it was you who took the harder road.
I know the whole time He was watching, making sure my journey was not more unbearable than He knew possible for me. And then, I hit the inevitable roadblock. Despair. That is what changes life. That is what changed my life.
You believe you can succumb to despair, and align with the evils of life that will keep you down. Those evils aid you in remaining hopeless; they nurture your desperation and toast you in your anguish. Some people live happily in despair and get a dis-ease as they unfortunately, unknowingly and unconsciously choose.
I was at unease. I knew I was not going the way I was supposed to. I knew why, because I was lost, I was confused and really didn’t know anything about the path I was on. I didn’t know anything but only that I was on the road of supposed to. Because I had no idea who I was, or had thoughts of my own, or opinions about where and why I was on that path, except someone was told me, this was the right way, and to follow. So I did, for years.
I didn’t know for so many years. I assumed I was so fortunate to have been told the secret to heavens gates, I didn’t know why people would chose to live with out the possibility of eternal life and chose the other ways. But man, they were having fun. They lived; they walked easily but with challenges associated with all travel. They actually had answers. They lived, they saw, they experienced, they knew, a lot more than I did. Or not.
I can tell you where my journey started and where it derailed, when the turn was optional and when it hit a dead end.
My journey started with a bag full of fear. I had carried for so long the weight of judgment, and judgment is a magnet that sticks to every life experience. Letting go of judgment would have let go of fear, insecurities, and loss of love, loss of acceptance, loss of identity. I was hooked on Judgment like a hopeless crack addict. I did not know what it would be like and the fear of wanting to me be me, made me much more true to the values of which no one would judge. I was a prisoner of a feeling and emotion that essentially caused disease, upset and much loss. And as I went along my weight of judgment, fear becoming my sadness and my rage into despair, until I dropped the weight of my journey with judgment.
Shedding. That’s another new term. I had not heard or knew the meaning before this time in my life. Suddenly, the levels needed to peel off. I never thought the shedding could be painful. And I never thought it could be cold, and hard being different than who I thought I was. I was freezing. I am freezing. It is cold and dark but now I can see the light.
So here I am. 46 years old. I feel like I am grasping in the air for all of my life I missed. I am so scared at the same time. I do not know the way, but I do know God is with me. I am alone on this journey, because the way intended for me is different than those I had followed. I had to go back. I had to go to the root of the seed of my soul and start over again.
I am different. Every fall, scrape, and uneasy unbalanced step I took was alone, was often in sadness, in uncertainty and in breath alone. I was alone even though I was with everyone else. Isolation is possible in large groups. That reality was my despair.
Today I know that my whole life I gave for acceptance, love and appreciation. I was a good girl, because it made me feel loved. I journeyed to acceptance without judgment. Judgment meant, I was not good, I was not what was supposed to be, I was not smart, I had bad manners, I wasn’t a lady, I wasn’t clean enough or my appearance wasn’t appropriate. Everything I did was to avoid being judged. If someone judged me, it meant I was wrong. I did something, and I needed to fix it and prove to them, I was what I was expected to be. I could do no wrong, until I couldn’t anymore.
I will be shedding. I am shedding. It scares me. I don’t see people the same. My reality is clear and the fog has lifted. I made a choice to be ok with what I believe is God’s plan for me. I do believe that part of it is learning to live beyond judgment and fear. Getting to accept my choice, it often hard. Every now and then, I give in, to the expectation. I feel hurt, even when I know I shouldn’t. What hurts the most is knowing just how different I always was and how indifferent others have always been. Shedding is tough, but I know in the end, my holding on to what was, would hold me down. So I continue to shed the skin of others energy and intent that is not meant to be aligned with who I was intended. With every learning experience, I realize whom I let go. And for a time, I mourn their departure in my life and then embrace my new skin.