I gotta tell ya…this was one for the books.
This past couple of weeks, I addressed people representing my “family” in court. That’s all I really want to say about that right now. I also stood alongside my church family as my pastor and his family mourned the passing of his oldest brother. Top that all off with suspicion, jealousy and intrigue from a very nearly different direction, another week of being counselor to some real characters. There was a lot of sadness, frustration and a smidgen of drama. I could surely live without another couple of weeks like this for a VERY long time.
But, with everything that anyone can encounter in life, there was a lesson to be learned, or, at the very least, reinforced. This is a lesson for which I am always grateful and glad to come back to.
There will always be people who misunderstand you when you are taking the time and full consideration to be yourself. ESPECIALLY, when you have made a concerted effort to figure out, to the best of your ability, who you are.
Society does not make provision for individuality. It matters not your association. Once you’ve been introduced to a particular faction and express any degree of familiarity with that community, it can be assumed that you ‘belong’ there. You should find yourself quite content to be labeled as, “one of them.”
So, what happens if you discover, much to the dismay of one community, a degree of familiarity with another community? Or a FEW other communities?
To whom do you belong? What if one community doesn’t care for members of one of the others? Should your fidelity be in question? Does that make you a traitor? Should you be forced to choose? What if the community into which you were born is not the community in which you are comfortable? Do you stay there and just learn to conform and endure? Or do you wander off into the unknown to discover another?
I know. I am throwing a lot of questions at you…sorry. But this is the kind of stuff I’ve been dealing with.
One truly minor incident brought me back to my senses and to my grounding place.
I was being confronted by someone who assumed I was trying to take something that belonged to them; further assuming that I wanted something that they had: farther assuming that this thing belonged to them in the first place. They had set out to undermine my credibility as a way of discouraging others from associating with me. It was all pretty ridiculous, I assure you. But, it reminded me of something that kind of put the period on the end of the sentence…
“If you can keep your head, when all about you are losing their’s and blaming it on you…”
That’s all it really took. That right there: The poem, “If,” by Rudyard Kipling.
One of the things my mother did incredibly right, was encourage me to memorize that poem for the prize of a piece of pie (you could talk me into almost anything for the right dessert, but that’s another story). And I did. It has been my saving grace more times than I care to count.
That poem helps me remember I am who God made me. Queen. Priest. PECULIAR. Prize. Beloved. Precious Pearl. All of my many facets that make me attractive and appealing to the sane and the strange, the demonic and the divine…they were fashioned and formed into me by the Master Craftsman.
Love me or hate me. Understand me or don’t. It is not wise to assume that your perception of me is going to change my design. You can no more un-make me, nor I you, than I can un-make a lemon and turn it into an apple.
Let’s stop trying to make everyone we know fit into the mold we’ve imagined for them. Intimately knowing one facet of a person does not give you access to all of their form and dimension. It’s important for us to give one another permission to be whoever we are and trust God to get the glory out of all of it. It’s when we spend more time defining the side of them that we DO see that we miss out on the opportunities to be amazed at the beauty and wonder of the sides of them that they want to reveal.
And shame on ALL of us, for making that the rule rather than the exception.
I am grateful to have so many aspects to my personality. I am glad that, even at 44 years ‘more,’ I still have so much left to discover about myself.
This is why I love the simplicity of a good James Taylor song. The one that fits the bill today says simply, “Be as you are. As you see, as I am, I am.”
In all my dusty glory, cracked pot that I am…I’m gonna do me and be okay with that. I suggest you do the same.