Under a microscope

“The love you accept is the love you feel you deserve.”
– from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Spending a day being mindful of accepting compliments yesterday was exhausting. Being aware of all those little things that prompt me to dismiss and excuse love handed over was heavy duty work. Maybe thats why its easier to ignore them every other day!?
What about you?
Did you catch yourself doing it yesterday as much as I did?

So many things are connected.

At the end of the day the focus had grown from being about looking and feeling good or doing a good job and welcoming the compliments deserved…to it being magnified into some bigger issues…

Instead, I found myself asking why it even matters if people think I’m pretty or not? Clever? Loyal?
Id like to say no, but that would be a lie. I do care.
If I care, what am I willing to do to gain it? To keep it?

Not as much as others physically, obviously. I WISH for that kind of discipline!
For me, more mentally and spiritually. I think we all compromise a part of ourselves to belong in a tribe. Different, subtle things. Each one selling out a bit to belong. Tendencies we kid ourselves into thinking we’ve left behind in high school memories. Rushing to get out there and collect those compliments that we are so eager to deny.

Its funny how an exercise in the simple discipline of just saying,”thank you” to compliments had turned yesterday into a day of introspection. Examining the things I have been “willing” to do or believe to belong to a tribe. It seems everyone has had the “right” answers but me. I’ve wanted to be “in” so bad.

The tribe I’ve chosen is the Jesus tribe. Serving faithfully, although at times wobbly, since 1999. I’ve bought all the way in and followed blindly. No looking back. I was 17. Turned myself completely over to the cause. I knew I had fallen short and needed saving…mostly from myself and personal destruction.
Now it seems in these maturing years that my faith is being challenged and shaken. Trying to learn how to be a good wife and mom, and authentic person has forced me to study inward. I desperately want to break chains and end unhealthy cycles. Old faithful and comfortable, reliable answers don’t satisfy anymore. And that’s okay. Im trusting God is big enough to sort all that out.

I’ve cemented myself in certain truths simply because I had been let down by those that were supposed to protect me when I was young, and there has been safety found here. The promise of enduring through these pains to get to the other end…(refiners fire we call it) and come out victorious!
Yes! I’m in! I’ll take it!
I’ve grown and evolved, learned and believed that it is easier to swallow the hard stuff when it’s all a “part of Gods plan”.

And it is.

But not in the way it has been manufactured and packaged. Like Gods plan is something we can buy into for 5 easy payments and free shipping. This idea that if we just live by this clean Christian code we will all fall right into place, all as it should be and have joy that surpasses all understanding. And be sure to invite a friend.
Boo.
Why are do many people still hurting? Because they haven’t dug in deep enough yet? Haven’t died enough? Or is it we just aren’t serving enough? “Witnessing” enough?
No. It’s because we have taken the free gift of salvation and added a church tax. We have built dens for robbers. Charging behaviors as currency, so we all act a certain way.

Who can know what His plans are? It’s a glorious mystery. If it were really that easy we would have no self doubt and loathing plaguing each of us.
Keeping us from vibrantly accepting praise from each other, spurring one another forward.
Keeping us from the freedom of our Father in heaven who wants us to live and thrive. Keeps us from REALLY believing His unending love for us.

Wow. I know some people are praying for me this morning! Reading my words, shocking and scandalous. The truth is I don’t give a crap anymore. I can’t! I’ve got to break through so that I can live my numbered days abundantly and make my time spent here real. I don’t want my kids to see through me and peg me a phony.

I have cared MORE for the hurt feelings of some…who have had no regard for mine.

I had accepted the love that I thought I deserved.

TAKING BACK MY FAITH

You wont hold me back.
You can’t decide who I am.
You cant tell me who God is, or isn’t or was … Or withhold his hand.
You won’t Shepard this lamb.

Your judgments are plentiful, abundant and fruitful.
But what about your life?
Your love?
Disrespectful.
Harmful.
Abuse-full.

Better be careful…
Its a shame to be clothed in those purple robes.
Tassels and hassles.
Must be rough keeping everyone in line.
Walking so fine, tip-toe ing the narrow.

Let’s not forget the planks that are pressed,
Into everyones eyes, in ALL of our flesh.

The universe holds such mystery and wonder…too long believing those who’s authority I fell under.
Call it a spell, I was lied to!
I’m pissed!
All this life that I’ve missed.
I’m breaking free…
and for the first time in long time feel saved.

God does not need your help.

Guiding me on the roads He has paved.
Loving and leaning on others who are also on their way.
A new day.
Thankful to be able to say…
finally,
the truth.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. randysiever
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 07:53:15

    (Sound of applause from your balcony)

    Reply

  2. Paul Maloa
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 09:03:20

    I think God is happy that you figured it out. Action is required of what we learn, so take action. You got this!

    Reply

  3. jeffsteachingblog
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 09:18:21

    Thats awesome.

    Reply

  4. T
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 15:46:38

    Hot damn! This is why I love you so much, and having a blog that is your real voice…proud of you! You will seek and value acceptance from people in your life that matter, your just learning who does and doesn’t! As I’ve been on that same journey for a little while now, I can say…..its’s shockingly few! And although you’ve told me many times…”God doesn’t need me to stear you toward him teresa” this post is why I’m comfortable questioning, trusting and valuing your, for lack of better wording….religious viewpoints and the relationship you have with “your” God.

    Reply

  5. HP
    Mar 08, 2013 @ 19:03:35

    beauty from ashes my friend. your words bring so much truth and life.

    Reply

  6. Danielle
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 22:30:44

    Amen, so true. Wow- thank your for your honesty Mandi. I love a sister in Christ who has the strength to say what so many others are thinking! Your poem could so be a song.

    Reply

  7. Trackback: My 100th Post | Realology

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