I know there are thousands upon thousands of life lessons out there that I could conjure up and consider but right now not one of them inspires inking this virtual paper.
To say we have been roller-coastering would be a mild understatement. We sit here still waiting, still wondering when and are deep under the criticism and watchful judgement of many. I have for a long, long time considered my actions to always be connected to what the guessed reaction would be from those in closest proximity to me and some further away in a more observational position.
I have cared and fussed and smoothed over the ruffles created in order to win over the hearts of the outsiders and insiders in my life. I have fretted over their opinions of myself and my dream-inspired husband and always tried to find a way to increase our popularity. Should I ignore my need to be me and live in accordance with the variegated many out there or do I remain true to myself and what I have been given to do ?
For moments we digressed and veered off the path only to return to that beaten road travelled the few weary souls with some courage and tenacity, others would say foolishness. We decided we would do it despite the opinions and ideas and boxes others would hope to convince us into. And we have walked and walked and walked and now we know how unpopular our decision has been to the point of injustice.
Rejection they say becomes painless after a while but I feel none of us are ever truly prepared for it when it hits so close to home and from such unexpected circumstances. But yes, rejection has been just one of the ingredients – just one of the many hurdles needed to be bypassed on this arduous, but I know, necessary journey.
I am not sure if I am making much sense right now – for me it feels reasonably freeing to write it all down. Slowly typing the words out seems to ease the bruising caused by the blow. So in a nutshell – we are following our path – others have made their assumptions about our decisions and our circumstances and our daily life and thrown the necessary stones. What is the lesson in all of it?
Victoriously freeing – it is this and I hope you all choose it – as we do today. You cannot care what other people think! I never thought I did – I would do what I was doing and ironically tone it down or make excuses or shift behaviour – all the while thinking I was doing what I wanted to do. It’s like the lion you convince is free when in actual fact he just has an enormous cage to run around in. I have realised through this painful and hard hitting experience in my life, that I have never really been free. Not in my mind. In my mind I always hoped I would please those looking in and find their approval.
Robin and I worked hard to do things the right way – well I probably pushed harder than him – he has never been one for really wanting anyone to walk beside him (expect his family) – to say the right things and to cross all those gorgeous t’s with just the right stroke of the brush. The irony of it all is that it actually didn’t matter how hard I tried – when the letters are painted, be it bright red or crimson there is not much you can do in others minds to wipe it off.
I know this sounds rather morbid but bear with me on this one – I have a feeling many of you relate to this space I am describing. I was in no way free from the need to be approved of – to be stamped by society as ‘okay’. It is such a great day actually – the day you realise that you have been searching all this time for the wrong treasure – who wants a stamp? Who wants a great big stamp, covering up their dreams, their hopes, their vision, their talents? And come on, who qualifies anyone out there to stamp it?
None of us are qualified, none of us hold the order “to stamp or not to stamp” yet all of us wield the stamp – we wield it at every innocent (or not) passer-by because it makes us feel better – it makes us feel just a little more powerful than we did 5 minutes ago. Now here is another irony – when you stamp that stamp, you lose your power. You give it away – you relinquish it and you actually line up a series of stamps in your own direction. Maybe not right now, maybe not for a number of months or years – but the stamped don’t forget your stamping. Almost like a bit of stamping karma…Now I don’t believe in karma but I do believe in the principle of sowing and reaping.
My take on all of this is as thus: I am from now on throwing off the need for anyone to approve me – the ultimate, the most reverent, the most qualified STAMPER (in keeping with my theme) my God – He is the one that will approve me. He is the one who makes me okay, who makes you okay. When we realise that the only real thing that holds us back is our own lack of identity in Him, our own lack of confidence in ourselves, that is when we set ourselves free. Stop needing the people you connect with to determine and define your road and the decisions you make whilst travelling it. Let go of their opinions and follow but one – God’s.
There is an amazing scripture in Isaiah 50 “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” If we are determined to stand strong and to cling to what God has set for us we should not and will not feel shame. Shame will never be something we would feel when God’s hand is on our lives – it is only something man dishes out along with that appalling stamp.
My answer is not to the world – nor to ‘stampers’. My efforts to let go I give to God because we all know how quickly we revert to the norms and expectations of this place we live in. It’s something I am working on starting a few days ago – a habit I will be well without. A lesson hard learned for all of us. Whilst not an under-confident woman – I have definitely been deceived in this area and it is with a grateful heart that I recognise it and defeat it. So if you have a look at my life… sorry it is not up for stamping – you can definitely learn from it but it is not available for labelling, criticising or judgements. Just as is yours – anyone see me running around with a stamp please capture me and feed me brussel sprouts immediately – that should be a good cure …
That’s me – over and out – a recovering stamped but victorious soul – walking the road sans judgement stamp in hand and ready for breakthrough.
See you along the way!
Lots of blessing,
Images courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net (foto76)
© Michelle Moller