Thursday, January 27, 2011

A load of BS

For over a week, I have been trying to craft a post regarding "being yourself" to go along with the EHS study at Vintage.  I have one half written, but I can't finish it.

Because it's a load of BS.

Something that has come to my attention lately is that I have a very low tolerance for BS.  I did not realize that this is unique to me.  Probably because my Mother (or Mother B as she is seen in these here parts)  is the same way.   I have this compelling force inside me to experience the world and people around me as portraits and not cartoons.  I abhor flattery.  I internally discount about 95 percent of the compliments people pay me.   I even wince when my kids say "You are the best mom in the world." Because it isn't true.  I might be a decent mom. But the best mom in the world...nope. Not me.  Even criticism, which I take to heart deeply, I weigh in my mind and test carefully.  If my heart smites me, I am truly apologetic.  If in my heart, I know the criticism is off the mark, I am annoyed for the lack of accuracy.  It's why I cuss.  Damning things is precise.  I love vocabulary.  But I place a higher value on what people do over what they say.  Because words can be so flimsy and scattered like buckshot.  I use a lot of words, for no other reason than to get to a detailed picture of what is real to me. And if I can't find the words...well that is why I never finished most of the thank you notes I should have written.  It seemed too paltry to say, "Thanks for the gift"  in a little expected card. I find myself trying to repay people's gifts with thank you's spoken in the language of action. 

In the truest moment of my life, giving birth to Mattie, I yelled at the nurse who was trying to encourage me...

"You are doing great!" she said.  To which I furiously replied,

"YOU PEOPLE ARE YANKING ME AROUND!" 

They must have found that confusing. Robb still thinks it is hilarious.  But to me, it was painfully (burning really)  clear.  I had pushed for more than an hour and there was no baby yet.  So, obviously, I was NOT doing great.  I was still pushing.  Don't tell me I'm "doing great"  when there is no baby.  No measurable mark of success.   "Shut the hell up and let me concentrate"  was what I was thinking.   What I wanted was some measurable piece of information. 

That's why I liked grades in school.  Measurable.  And that's why I like business.  Measurable.  Accurate.  Honest.  You can't BS  bill paying day.  You can't flatter your creditors. I like precision.  Accuracy.  Truth.  It's why I like vintage and antiques.  Real metal. Real wood. Real hand-painting. Real fabric. Real craftsmanship.  Real time.  There is something about authenticity that moves me. 

I think it's because you can trust authenticity.  You can put your weight down on a real wood chair and it will hold you and hold together.  The particle board counterpart will fall apart on you when you least expect it..you will fall ...and it will hurt.  Something will get broken.

I have long wondered what I bring to the table as a pastors wife ...shoot ...as a human being.  Being brutally honest is not the super-power I would have picked.  I would have chose to be able to sing like my friend Candice.  I would have picked having a heart to work with children like my friend Shari.    I would have picked being wise and gracious and inscrutable like my husband.  I would have picked being sunny and warm like my sister Ashley. I would have picked being a good listener like my friend Kathy.  I would have picked pretty much anything but being honest or authentic or anti-BS, or whatever you want to call it.

(And while I was at it, I would have picked a different chin.)

But.
For better or worse, this is who God made me to be. 
I could spend more time apologizing. Or wishing I was different. Or trying to do and be other things that just feel clumsy.  Wasting the time and the life that God gave me.  Refusing to let Him work through me.  Missing the sweet harmony of God's grace notes.  Missing those remarkable times when we are blissfully un-self conscious...just being ourselves....and something moves, changes, and blooms through it. 

There is considerable assent that "being yourself" is a good thing.  I even found some great quotes about it.

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. " ~William Shakespeare

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."  ~e.e. cummings



"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." ~Judy Garland
 It takes faith...real, honest to goodness, belief that supports action....to defy what everyone says you should do or be...to defy expectations and be yourself.  To say, "God, I trust you enough to be satisfied with being me."  To alter your own self talk throughout the day that berates and accuses you.  To squelch jealousy for another person's identity.  To be confident and focused on the work that lies ahead of you.  To mourn thoroughly what you are not and never will be and then go on with life.

I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.  I don't know exactly how to measure it. But I wrote this post, and that's something. 

3 comments:

Mother B said...

Malachi 3:3 says "he shall sit as a purifier of silver". I just read an article that said that you know when the silver is done being purified when you can see your image in it. So.....God is purifying us as we go along and we'll know when we have arrived, when we see His image. This was a heartfelt, honest and wonderful post. Your mother understands your heart so well. Thanks for helping me to know my own, as well.

Life with Kaishon said...

I like words. I love encouragers. Love them. If my kid says I am the best mom in the world, of course I know that is not true. I still think it is nice he thinks so.

It is interesting how each person lives life and how they think and feel and what makes them real.

I love that the nurse at the hospital was kind to you when you were giving birth and I am sorry that you did not appreciate it.

Glad you are learning how to be the best person you can be.

klasieprof said...

For some reason the Old KJV version...."Be not afraid, for I am thy God ..I will hold your right hand saying..BE NOT AFRAID".

I find myself in another journey...one I never wanted to take...and bullshit is high on my list of things to flush.

Caring for others...giving up my own life..there is nothing stoic or good about it. The reality sucks most of the time. So..I have sunk low and sought pleasure where I ought not..and that is my burden.
Authentic...seems I cant be anything else.
Holy..another thing altogether.
I have missed reading you my friend. I hope I'm back for a while.
Donna

Word Verif: MACHOBA: the line dance men make going toward the restroom during football games

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