I keep making a mistake, I say. I keep falling down. I keep having a hard time. The standards are too high. I’m not enough. I’m never enough. But in Me there is no condemnation, You say. Only love. And this is how and why your inadequacies Cease to be just about your shortcomings, But about My Grace. Your righteousness is not of your own ability. The righteous shall live by faith. -Romans 1:17
“You are worried and upset about many things,” You say,
“But few things are needed – or indeed only one.”
Hold my heart
May it never fixate
On the non-essentials,
But be concerned with
Only one thing,
The only thing that matters —
To sit at Your feet.
I remember a dream I had a few years back – it had to do with witches and an abandoned building. The witches were injecting some kind of potion in me to make me forget – everything – forget who I was, everything I knew.
I remember trying to fight it. I remember telling myself again and again, over and over my name. So that when I had forgotten everything, I would still remember one thing.
And today, I am reminded of how quick and easily I tend to forget. Of how I easily let go, and immediately, allow myself to remember not even one thing.
Do you remember? I did not remain dead. Do you remember? The tomb where my body supposedly lay was found empty. Do you remember? I resurrected. Do you remember? “When God raised him up, he raised us up with him and seated us with him.” Do you remember? “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.” I am the Resurrected King, and I have also resurrected you. All the dead parts of you, I have brought to life. All the withered parts of you, I have brought into full bloom. All the broken parts of you, I have filled and made whole. You are spirit. You are not flesh. My spirit that is life dwells in you.
Sometimes I fake a smile. Like I don’t really smile, I just move the facial muscles that make me smile. I don’t feel like doing it but I do it anyway. Not really to fake it, but because I know it’s the stronger thing to do — and whatever it is that can make you strong and move you towards okay, you try to do.
Ever felt that?
The first thing I do is run away. Even if I must come, even if all the more that I must draw near. But I don’t. I go in hiding. I run away. I lock myself up in the closet, And beckon the darkness to lose the key. I don’t want to be found. I am all flesh. The heart is deceitful above all else, he wrote. Desperately sick. I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do, he wrote. These, I feel, I am, I could have written the very same things myself. Sometimes I wish I was the ocean, Or the tree. So I won’t have to run away. I won’t have to be flesh. I won’t have a deceitful heart. I wouldn’t be me. I would reflect only Your glory, none of mine. I would show only Your beauty, none of my wretchedness. I would all be pure, with no hint of a corrupted heart. I would only praise You, always, forever. As the ocean, I would forever dance for You. As the tree, I would forever clap my hands for you. And my hands and feet would always be set apart, Never having been used for perversion. I can’t keep on living this way. I can’t keep on taking one step forward and two steps back. My aching soul is longing to be home. How do I do this? I ask. What do I do? “It’s not about what you have to do,” You say, “But about what I have done for you.”
You don’t know it, but I needed it too, probably even more than you did.
It was a pass or fail sort of thing – the kind that I don’t think any teacher wanted to be caught in. We wanted you to pass, Chris and I, but we had to make sure that it was a decision that you were actually able to live up to. We didn’t want to be pulling things out of thin air; we had to be stewards of impartiality. We had to sit you down – it might have seemed painful and difficult, and it might have looked like we were trying to wring you of answers for the fun of it (of course, not), or in an attempt to be critical and disbelieving of you, but it was really for us to be able to understand where the lack was all coming from.
We had to flesh out the root issue here, which according to you, was the fear of being graded. The fear of being judged, we expanded.
Like we told you, it doesn’t go away. Apparently not. I’m actually only starting to learn it now.
We never want to make mistakes, we never want to be thought of as inadequate – none of us do. It’s the default human setting. But it’s something that we have to overcome and set aside, otherwise we could wake up one day and find the pressure so overwhelming, that we wouldn’t want to actually wake up anymore, and just much rather stay in bed. And the moment that happens – well, let’s just say it’s much easier to expect for things to only go downhill from then on.
There will always be things that we will not be able to do. There will always be things that we will not get right the first try – maybe even ever. But that doesn’t make us inadequate. It’s not that we’re not enough – it’s that there’s just not enough spaces to fill when it comes to learning and growing.
There will always be expectations from other people, from other things, and the truth is, it takes a keen eye to realize that these expectations are being set by none other than ourselves. We have to let go. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t. If it does, then it does. The meanings behind these are ours to determine, ours to choose.
If things don’t work out, that doesn’t make us less of a person. It only means there’s another opportunity to try again. Or maybe move on to the next thing.
We can’t always be the first ones to doubt ourselves, be our very own faultfinders – I wish it was a lot easier done than said, but that’s gotta be something all have to learn, or rather unlearn. Ruminating on the negative things – the should have’s and ought to’s, could have’s – it’s a habit. As much as this is a habit, rummaging for the good things, the right things, the strengths, the potentials, and even the strength and hope to keep going – that’s a habit too that we can learn and form. And it’s probably the most important habit in the so-called real world.
We may have seemed to have said these things with much certainty, seemingly with so much wisdom.
But like I said, I needed to hear it myself, really. Probably even more than you did.
A lot of people don’t know who I am.
No not in an enigmatic way. Not in a Batman or Spiderman kind of way.
Very few people really see me for who I am. Very few people really know who I am.
I don’t blame them.
I’m not an easy one to figure out.
I wish I was.
But I myself, have a hard time figuring my own self out.
I think I’ve always known who I’m supposed to be, I’ve always known what I want to be, I’ve always known who everyone else is expecting me to be. But who I really am, my real self – that’s a little tricky.
And the thing with people is that it’s either they don’t know who you are at all, or they know things about you that aren’t really true.
I think the latter is the worse one.
That could be the case for me.
Sure, I’ve put up some high walls. But that’s only so because I’ve been misunderstood – and that’s possibly the worst feeling ever.
But then again, surely people are always more than willing to understand, should I only try a little harder to explain.
But exactly how can I explain something that I myself, cannot understand.
So you see, it’s not all deliberate.