What a time to be in a national crisis.
My History Professor taught us about the Rwanda Holocaust today, just to lighten the mood (okay, okay, so it was already in the curriculum, not her fault.)
She had some personal experience, having worked in Rwanda for awhile.
Needless to say, it was an upsetting Class lecture. I’d already read the famous “Left to Tell” book, but have yet to work up the courage to watch Hotel Rwanda.
I was feeling good before class, but it left me kind of depressed.
It’s rough to be going through the Therapy/Recover experience at the same time as a National Crisis, and now a national scandal with rioting and protests.
It never rains but it pours is such a true saying.
When someone is in recovery, it can help to be able to focus on the world outside of yourself. To be involved in things bigger than you.
And it does help me to volunteer at my church’es food bank.
But all my other activities have been cut off. I can not leave my house for days on end. Even to go in the backyard.
I have lived my life around indoor activities my whole life.
I never thought it was strange that my mom wouldn’t take us to the park, or to events to hang out with other kids, except at church.
I never thought it was weird that the only other time I left the house was for “educational field trips” which I would never know anyone else at.
We had some play dates when I was little, but after awhile it died out. My mom doesn’t maintain friendships for very long, I notice.
So, I learned to be a bookworm, a writer, a backyard play person. My sibling and I invented a very detailed imaginary world for our toys.
I’ve heard of other kids doing this, but interestingly, they were also ones without many friends. It’s like we have to fill the void of needing interaction somehow, and we’ll invent people if we don’t know them.
The trouble is, if you become content to just stay in that imaginary land, you will begin to think it’s better, and learn to dislike people for not being as easy to manage as your fantasies.
As a bookworm, I read plenty of books centered around characters with rich imagination. I loved the Anne of Green Gables series.
Yet with age I’ve realized how unhelpful it is to live in a world of fantasies… not that fancies are bad. I think they are good. Any healthy adult ought to be able to have fancies that are childlike.
But when you substitute that for reality, it means you don’t want to accept your reality.
Sometimes its okay to cope that way, often we have no other way, and fancies are preferable to the destructive habits many of us develop.
But someday you have to grow up. Because you have to decide what you will be. Who you will be. Your fiction will never dot hat for you, you have to do it in the real world.
The best fiction prepares you for that, while escapist fiction is hampering it.
And escapist fiction isn’t generally fairy tales, the worse fiction is the ugly, engorged stuff that feeds all the worst things in us. Porn, smut, superficial romance, mindless comedy, all that is far worse for you than an innocent kids story will be.
The reason kids blur fantasy and reality is because they know that one affects the other, its adult who tell ourselves our fantasy and reality are separate lives.
(Kids are the more biblical by the way, Jesus taught that your imagination is still part of who you are, and even where you sin the most.)
Anyway, for me it was sad to let go of fantasies. I cry every time I read the end of Winnie the Pooh, or watch Hook. It’s bittersweet.
Yet, like many adults, I can’t get away from the feeling that I traded fancies for something less good. Like my real life is underwhelming and uninspiring. Boring. Meaningless save for snatches of importance.
Yet, if I were asked to define what I think a meaningful life is, I wouldn’t say an exciting one.
I would list off a life filled with genuine love, doing what you were meant to do, impacting people on a personal level, and above all, knowing God well, as the top qualifications.
And my life isn’t so bad.
I have this blog, with over 140 followers now. It’s doing better than ever.
A growing YouTube channel based off doing something else I love.
I write my own stuff hours every day, and I love it.
I like school and I get to go almost for free.
Not having a job or boyfriend are annoyances, but not defining ones.
And I have my faith, which is worth more than all the rest.
I also have friends I can talk to more often then I’ve ever been able to before.
So, why do I not feel happy?
There’s this quote from “Through the Looking Glass” that sums up most of adult life, I think.
“Here it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place.”
There are times when it takes all you’ve got to just sit still, to just rest where you are at.
As Switchfoot put it in their recent song “Give me the Strength to Let Go.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujo984rLHRA)
It takes strength to let go.
You see, even as a kid, I was a dreamer. I was never content with fancies. I couldn’t wait to be an adult so I could get out and do what I wanted. Make a real difference.
I wanted to travel, to teach, to take care of orphans.
I am one of those people who just wants to heal everyone’s pain. Who wants to have enough love and patience to help them all. To have the provisions to give.
I have been like this as long as I can remember. I can date first realizing it to reading “A Little Princess” and “Heidi.” But it was in a lot of books I read growing up.
My parents didn’t teach me this really, they taught me the principle of giving, but we didn’t go out and do stuff like that, like this other homeschooled Christian family I know. We stayed at home in our own little bubble.
And I got used to it. I feel secure in it. But I was at war with it, because I was always dying to get out.
From birth I was bolder than my other family, and I can attest to it with a lot of stories. But I can’t explain it, no one taught me to be that way, I just was.
I always took the Bible seriously, I guess, you have to watch people like that.
Well, maybe I’m not alone in this. Maybe some of you have always felt too big for the space you live in.
I can be scared to go outside, but that fear was learned, it wasn’t innate. I hate it even as I feel it.
Maybe you do too.
This whole crisis has got people scared stiff, but a lot of us feel boxed in. We hate it. We hate the fear, some of us because we feel it trying to get a hold of us, and we don’t want it to.
AFter God began healing me, I often had the sensation of being chased by some dark monster I had escaped from, trying to get me back into its clutches.
Freedom comes in two steps. First there’s the initial freedom of release, and new perspectives and new opportunities, and then there’s the Freedom of Security, no longer feeling you will get drawn back in.
Even people who get out of prison experience those two phases, so it’s a quite literal phenomenon as well as a spiritual one.
I still get that sensation sometimes. It took years for me to stop feeling that way about living in fear, and now I have to fight feeling that way about being emotionally abused.
That’s why I think it takes all that running to stay still. It takes all your strength to hold on to the progress you’ve made.
Talking to God about it, I don’t really get any clue as to when this process will be over (both for the world, and for myself).
All I get is the idea that I have to let go of trying to fix my future, and fix everything around me.
I don’t think my dream as a kid to heal and help people was bad, it was just seldom realized. Still isn’t as often as I wish.
When it is, I feel the most right with myself.
But usefulness is not the basis of self worth. IT’s good to ahve a purpose, necessary even, but one has to be first and foremost God’s child.
Letting go is hard, it takes more work not to work, not to try to run ahead of God.
And we still have to do our tasks at hand that He has given us, we just can’t try to do the next thing, before we’re even sure what it is.
I still feel trapped and hemmed in, same as when I was a kid. I can’t even say how long that will be my circumstances.
I don’t know. None of us do.
I keep waiting to go from feeling frustrated about it to being at peace with it.
It’s easy to think, “Well, all this hasn’t changed, so nothing ever will. I will always be this way.”
That isn’t realistic, however. Even if I wanted to stay the same, I couldn’t.
This all bothers me most at times like this when I’m stuck at home, and can’t do a thing about it. And everyone is sharing that feeling now.
Whether you’re like me, and this feels like a repeat of your whole life, or you are entirely new to being a homebody unwillingly, we’re all in the same boat.
No predicting when it will end.
But, the thing that helps me most I think, is to thing that this time must be preparing me for something.
The thing is, people tell me a lot that I have a lot of Wisdom.
The only way that I got to be that way was being alone so much, and asking God to help me with that. I had to learn it all the solitary way, with books and movies as inspiration.
People who’ve always been around lots of others aren’t necessarily wiser, hardly ever in my experience. Other people pull at you, they mold you, and it can often be in bad ways.
I had to develop a very strong core personality. And while I don’t like all the alone time, I am glad for being able to know much more what I really believe in.
So, try to think of it like that. Whatever else this crisis is, it is time to try to learn something new, to build up strength in isolation.
Something all humans have to learn sooner or later if we intend to mature.
Anyway, that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.