Today’s writer is one of those people whom others are naturally drawn and attracted to: you meet Corrie, and you just want to eat a big slice of all her goodness and merriment and love of life. She tacks on a disclaimer at the beginning, but really, I think it’s quite unnecessary, for this lovely lady tells it like it is. Thank you for sharing today, Friend!
In the blogosphere, I am at a disadvantage. I am below the age of 25—the age when science will finally confirm the full formation of my brain—so humor and wisdom are highly limited for me . I don’t get to cleverly recall an anecdote from my youth, using the self-deprecating humor that I love oh-so-much, in order to display the nugget of wisdom I have obtained since then. I just haven’t earned that right… which is highly unfortunate, and kinda makes me feel like a caterpillar among butterflies. As much as I would like already to have blossomed into a beautiful butterfly, I just can’t deny that I’m still long and fuzzy— awkwardly whittling my way along this life. Nevertheless, here I am. In the midst of my youth, here I am to share a few specks of gold I have somehow stumbled upon. Literally, stumbling is exactly how I found them.
About two years ago a came to a petrifying realization:
I don’t exist as an independent being.
I need to know people and be known by people.
I need to be a part of community.
“I reject this,” said every bone in body, “I do just fine by myself, thank you!”
Yet in my deepest parts, I knew.
I knew that I had to allow people close enough to know me, and that I would have to put my effort into knowing them back. Not in a linear way, where we just tell each other about our lives and how we feel, (which is totally part of it), but in a dynamic way – where people learn my weaknesses, strengths, quirks, likes and dislikes from direct contact.
I knew that this would ultimately bring me great joy, but I was not looking forward to the journey it would require.
The journey ahead would be full of rough terrain, and required that I lighten my backpack of some heavy stones—stones I’d carried for as long as I can remember.
-The need to be right.
-The need to impress.
-The need to appear like I have all the answers.
-The need to be special.
-The need to be better.
-The need to have my problems under control.
-The need to be busy.
-The need to be super “independent.”
-The need to be in control.
The list goes on…
Such a journey could not be survived if I carried any of these stones, and I knew that. They had to go! As my hand began to reach for the first stone, it burst into life—it became a monster and fought with me, reminding me of how much I needed it. Time and time again, it had been there for me in the past, right there in my backpack, ready to be hurled at offenders any time.
“You need me,” it would say, in its familiar voice: “You will be weak without me.”
With each stone, came a different monster, a different fight. One after another, I fought back, and the strangest things happened: my load began to lighten. I felt… freer? Able to run and explore without thinking about how heavy my backpack felt—without thinking about me.
Every once in a while, the monsters tried to crawl back in. Yet each time, I fought them. And each time, they became smaller, and smaller: easier to defeat. Eventually they stopped coming back. Especially once they realized they had been replaced.
-The need to be right was replaced the humility that knows one’s perspective is limited.
-The need to impress others with a greater desire to bless others.
-The need to have my problems under control was replaced with the delight in allowing my friends to help me gain perspective instead.
-The need to be busy… well, that one still hangs around, but otherwise has been replaced with the understanding that time invested in relationships bares the most fruit, and produces the most laughter.
-The need to be super “independent” hasn’t come knocking since it was replaced with the understanding that independence doesn’t equal strength: being supported by friends does.
-The need to be in control has simply been replaced by a newfound love for the “out of control”—a love for what happens when I decide to step out of the boat into the unknown. Especially when I know that I’m doing it with friends.
The journey was not easy, and still isn’t. At times I want to crawl up in a ball and cuddle with my stones. Their voices are so familiar. But each day, as I chose to leave them out of my backpack, their voices become stranger and stranger, distant memories. Each day as I “lose my life,” somehow I find it. I find the freedom and ability to know and to be known. I find community.
Don’t you just love her? Thank you for your sage words of wisdom, Core – we do not discount your youth, and neither should you! Do leave a comment for Corrie below, and in the meantime, cheer on Cara’s writing today by becoming a fan of be, mama. be on Facebook, or by subscribing to receive emails in your inbox directly (click “follow” in the left-hand column).0