Tuesday, January 13, 2015

{I Love you, I Love you not} A Letter of Confession to my Body

I often glare at you in the mornings. I will inspect the ways fabric folds over and around you - clinging in all the wrong places, unfavorable and unflattering.

There are long days in our history of wild, rampant hatred over how I believe you have failed me. You used to be fit, tight, flat, and strong. The fury that fills my veins over you no longer being this way is enough to blind me to all the intricate beauty in this world.

Admittedly I cannot go on blaming you for failing me - for putting you under the weight of fault - because it was never your job to take care of the rest of me . . . Certainly, I have failed you gloriously.

I have broken you down.

Seasons of my life were filled with weekends that existed around testing how many fluid ounces of alcohol I could fill you with before I stopped remembering. I just wanted to forget all the ways we no longer looked the way we did at 16. I wanted to toss to the wind just how much I missed being looked at lovingly. I needed to stop recalling what being called beautiful felt like -- it hurt to much to remember hearing it and realizing it had stopped happening at some point. When did I stop hearing I was beautiful?

In the midst of the consumption of what it took to stop the memories I put you at additional risk. Soft sheets, cold sheets, bedrooms poorly lit, and therefore forgiving, became a part of the landscape of a heart brittle with thirst.

I created friction until you were raw with the wanting.

You continued to get me out of bed each morning -- after gluttonous extracurricular devastation -- after overeating every last single feeling -- after raging screams of how hideous I found you to be. Every morning, we woke up to another day.

How many times have we been here? Me promising to make it better, make you stronger, starve the hatred to nonexistence. Innumerable.

I am a liar in the face of an oblivion of promises.

When did it change? Where the sweat began to be welcomed - because I was doing something for us and us, alone. When did it stop being about who would notice an entrance into a room and begin to be about how much hope came from each minute of exertion?

You never stopped working for me. I simply stopped caring and let you down.

There will be dark days. Without inquiry, I will say something unkind towards you. But this feeling -- this elation at how all your parts continue to get me through each work out, through each day, out of bed each morning -- I want to implant it into my memory.

It won't be easy -- a love affair with the shell that carries my soul. Because the soul, it's wild, and my heart is wandering, and critical judgment comes too swiftly in the valleys.

But it is worth this high.

I really am trying -- I hope the exquisite ache in the muscles is proof of that.

I am so sorry -- for failing you. For putting you in danger. For not realizing what a gift it is that I can move and dance and gesture wildly at any given moment.

And thank you. For helping me realize the wonderment that can come from realizing our own strength.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

A Letter to the Intruder (Through it all, It is Well)

walking into my home, seeing the contents of my desk drawers strewn, seeing bags in my bedroom upended, seeing my clothing lying on the floor after being rooted through, I felt something break open inside me.

you were in every room of my home. you kicked in a barrier that protected me from the outside. you unsettled the frame of my safety and rammed into my life, unwelcome.

did you know that there are nights I simply lie awake because the walls of this home won't stop creaking, every move on the old floors creates whining and I just. can't. sleep. did you know every time my dog barks, I jump? jump, fearful, that the door that is boarded up right now will slowly loosen its nails to let you back in while I am here.

night descends upon Morton avenue and I double, triple, quadruple check every single lock in this house. did you know you've created within me an anxiety I wasn't aware I could conjure? even in the daylight I have to coach myself to get dressed and walk outside - the sky mocks with its cheery brightness as I consider that you know what each wall in this house looks like, you might know the faces of my cherished people, from the photos bracing each table surface. when the pain is especially deep and cutting, I consider washing every single piece of clothing I own, because your hands may have touched them, may have handled them.

I've never felt this deep anger and bitterness before. ever. every face I see in these days following your shattering of my security, I contemplate whether they are you. have you seen my bedroom? I want to scream at every strange face -- can you describe the smell of my house? I want to inquire to every person who looks like they were capable of kicking in my door. but mostly I want to claw the eyes out of anyone who looks directly at me in these days following the breaking. were you aware that I am not this sort of person, normally? I don't want to grow suspect of every person I see; I don't want to question the good in this world, the good of my Father, because you twisted something inside me until it snapped. did you know you've left my heart white, hot pissed?

forgiveness isn't something I usually have to work toward. I am in possession of a beating heart that surges with second, third, fourth chances. in the event I get hurt, again and again and again, I will still forgive -- easily, almost comically so. were you aware that you would make forgiveness seem like a foreign concept? it has become a language my ear cannot grow accustomed to; it is a song that I seemingly never learned the melody to, never learned the correct key to sing within. forgiveness has become something that truly, physically, down to the marrow of my bones, hurts to consider. you did this to me. you took a very character trait of mine and morphed it into something I can't quite recognize for myself.

I consider the people who were affected by your disturbance -- not simply me. you've created concern within people who care for me. you've made space for anger in the hearts of people who want me to be safe. you have single handedly wrecked a piece of their peace of mind. did you know that?

I love Jesus. did you know that? did you walk into my home and see at least one wall in every room holding promises of His word? is that what stopped you from doing more? will you learn more about the Lord because you broke into my house? did you see I am not a girl who is living and walking this life alone? did you know I was protected? make no mistake, you muddied that feeling of protection for me, but you did not break it.

I am told, I have read, that nothing is wasted in God's economy. I find myself clinging to that with a sweaty palmed, white knuckled grip. you won't always find me in the fetal position. but right now, this season, it finds me frightened. and maybe that's the point -- if I am to run to the only true Protection, then I can't go on fearing you for the rest of my days. . . maybe an hour will come -- meet my racing heart and fold some of the anger that courses through my veins in half -- and I will find space to forgive you this grievance.

did you know I was strong? it may not seem like that all the time -- it certainly doesn't feel that way all the time. but I am.

maybe you stomped into my home, my safety ,because you are driven by an evil, an addiction, that I have never experienced. I pray I don't ever know what the face of what was driving you looks like. a small part of me, in this moment, prays you can make those faces strangers to your own.

one day, I will muster the strength to forgive you -- because I know myself . . . and I know carrying the weight of this anger will eventually break me in a way that isn't repairable. so I will, one day. I may never know what your face looks like; certainly I will never possess the knowledge of why you thought it was acceptable to steal my security. but one day I will walk outside and smell the air that flows easily into my lungs and I will whisper, 'I forgive you.'

there is a small chance I might even be able to thank you one day. after all, this is His economy. nothing is wasted. you were to be a part of this story of mine from the beginning.

far be it from me to not believe
even when my eyes can't see

and this mountain that's in front of me
will be thrown into the midst of the sea

through it all, through it all
my eyes are on You
through it all, through it all,
it is well