The Urge to Purge

When I run, at the end, when I am worn out and want to take yet another walk break, I envision a finish line up ahead. and me striving toward it as the crowd on either side chants in unison for my triumphal entry with uninhibited exhilaration.

Every foot step propels me by their jubilation, until I arrive with arms raised and knees bent just steps over the line at the effort expended…

If that were only the truth.

So far, every race I participate, the end is a collaboration of mishaps.

As the miles decrease, my worries increase.  

My mind chants, “I think I can,” as my body cramps in contradiction.  And I begin to slow down.  And my legs move about as one stuck in the mud.

As I round the corner of the final lap, not at the head of the pack, but more like the middle of the road with other sweat-profused individuals, I begin to develop a large lump in my throat , that quickly transitions into a desperate need to throw up right then and there.

So, with the goal within sight, I come to a complete stop to let the internal contents cool down and the desire to dissipate.

Apparently, adrenaline, combined with the challenge, is the perfect combination to propel my stomach, and not my feet.

I am tired of holding back.

What if I continue and see what comes about?

So what if I puke.  Is that really the end of the world?  I mean, really, if you smelled me at this point, my contents might be a sweet aroma to camouflage the sweat.  (Yes, gross!)

I find I stop short quite often out of a lump of fear.

Fear holds back the impulse to propel forward.

And, impulse is replaced with indecision and doubt and wonder.

I have a lot to say.  But, I stop short because I wonder…

Maybe my words will offend someone.

What if I don’t throw in a bible verse at the end of a post, will people will think I am no longer a christian writer?

I worry if I tell you my true heart condition on a continuous basis, you may wonder if I have went off the deep end, and am in dire need an intervention. Or an exorcism.

Does anyone want to really read these thoughts of mine anyway–maybe I should just keep them to myself.

What in the world?

So, I’ve made a decision.

I will not let fear reign when I feel the urge to purge.

Right now my impulsive “gut instinct” wants to send the letter I composed days ago to the hiring team who dismissed my application for employment–without even an interview.

Since they have not found a qualified candidate, after all these months, maybe I will.  Maybe I will not hold back with niceties, and speak the passionate, raw truth about why I believe I could be a true contender.

Maybe.

 

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Facing Fear-Filled Giants

Caught a glance of an enormous four-legged creature lurking my way while on a run down an unfamiliar path the other day.  It was not quite morning, so I am not certain as to the actual dimensions, but, compared to me, this animal may have been of prehistoric proportions.

Equally startled by one another after our unexpected eye contact, I moved on my way with an extra spring in my step.

The four-legged creature turned out to be a bull–okay, more likely a cow, feeding in the pasture.  Yes, I am certain you think I am full of bull, even so, this two-ton animal caused my courage to cower.

Fear has a way of making us react with overreaction, doesn’t it?

Truth is, most fears are not the bull-sized variety, but an illusion of something bigger in size then they actually are.

I had a dream the other night where I am running somewhere.  Along the way, my shoes become stuck on this unfamiliar path.  Yet, instead of retrieving them, I continue on barefoot.  

Soon, I arrive to an area with people all around.  It is apparent I am without shoes.  Not only that, but my feet are covered in mud.  My daughter happens to be in the crowd and offers up a pair of old running shoes she retrieves from a suitcase.  

I attempt to put them on, but they do not fit my feet.  I make reference to where my shoes are, and my desire to retrieve them, when I am warned not to go on that path.  Apparently those around me feel this path is dangerous.  

I feel worry creep in as I wonder what to do.  But, before long, as with dreams being inconsistent with time, I am in front of the entrance to the woods.  Fear rises my heartbeat as I lean into the dimly lit forest.  

I hear a voice from somewhere assure me it is okay right about the time a large tube-like curvy slide appears on the scene.   I hesitate only a second and then jump into it–not a moment later, I am at the bottom and awaken exhilarated.

Reminds me of the words penned by Robert Frost about paths:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


Fear has a way of keeping our feet firmly stuck in place.  Immovable, when we should move.  But, in the case of this dream, and in real-live life, sometimes the biggest fears do not arise from within.

Fear has a way of appearing around us in the form of concerned loved ones–cautioning us of the dangers ahead, with offers of alternate routes to dodge the dangers around unknown corners.

Sometimes it is good to receive perspective from outside sources, other times our fear-filled friends and family derail us from our path by throwing caution into our sails.

And this concern immobilizes action.  

In the end, I bulldozed through the caution, and made my way to the other side.

May I suggest this is the answer for many-a-fear?  In order to courageously conquer, we must bulldoze through two-ton giants of cautious concern on our paths?  Of course, do this as gently as possible–don’t want to awaken an angry giant.

Desperately Seeking Single White Sock

I’ve been somewhat anxious.  One day she was here, the next, she seemed to disappear.  She, being my white sock.  Actually, she is no longer white, but more of a well-used dingy color.

You see, I lost her the other day, and I have worried of her whereabouts ever since.

Now, I can probably guess what you are thinking, “what is the big deal?”

Wear another pair.

But, you don’t understand; she is special.  For goodness sake, she is a running sock. And if you understand the price of woven material such as she, you would understand that her fabric costs me $15.00 a pair.

Now, you understand my fret over footwear?  Right?

With each load of laundry, my insides become anxious–wondering– worrying, “will I ever see the likes of you again?”

Now, once I leave the laundry room, this anxiety seems to dissipate with every step further away from the dirty clothes hamper.

But, isn’t that how worry works?

The anxious thought process has me obsessing over things that are entirely trivial and hardly worth the extra measure of energy spent over-thinking the matter.

Worry wears us out.  

But, we still do it, don’t we?

I have a drawer full of them–socks with missing partners.

Maybe it is not a sock though.  Maybe I am anxious over other seemingly unimportant-in-the-grand-scheme-of-life matters of little matter:

Like when I run late for an appointment and traffic crawls at a snail’s pace.

Or, the lasagna isn’t ready and the guests are to arrive any minute. 

Or, bouncing a check.

Or, seeing someone on an airplane using their electronic device when we were clearly told to turn them off.  

Or, drinking expired milk. 

Or, BED BUGS

Or, forgetting someone’s name we should know.

Or, wearing the wrong outfit.  Or, worse, someone has on exactly the same outfit as me.  

Worry.  

It cuts a hole at our peace.  

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And all this worry was for nothing.  Today, as I folded the clothes in the dryer, out she popped.

Safe and sound.

I can breathe again.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)

When I Want to Be Invisible I Wear Beige

My daughter’s friend commented once to her, “your mom always wears beige.”  What?  Offended.  So not true.  How dare he remark on my attire wrapped up in one color.  Does he not know there is a difference between beige, khaki, stone and camel?

There are four colors to my neutral palate, thank you very much.  I must say though, in all honesty, these not-really-a-color colors look fairly nice on me.

Nice. Soft. Neutral. Warm. Serene.

Neutral territory when color will not do.  Kind of like the Switzerland of my closet.

I tend to go to these shades often.  Sometimes I do this so I can blend in with the wall.  And become a wallflower.  You know, one who blends in so much that he or she is no longer seen.

There are no risks involved whatsoever when I wear a monotone fabric.  I can easily fade away into the backdrop.

I mean, to throw on a color–I risk being noticed.

No thank you, I would rather be invisible.

Isn’t being invisible one of the superpowers many people, when questioned, desire most?  To be invisible.  But, why?  Why on earth would one want to observe the actions of others without being seen?  This perplexes me.

The invisible barrier of beige.

Invisible in a sense because others don’t recognize I have placed barriers around me.

I am beginning to realize that this desire to be unnoticed is a result of good, old fashioned, shame.  Shame desires me to hide out while in plain sight.

Adam and Eve did this in the garden when they recognized they were naked–because of their shame, in fear, they hid.

I’ve been studying this one-syllable word for some time now.  Shame is as complex as we humans are, and I cannot come close to explaining in this one post the vast complexities involved. I can say though with absolute confidence that shame destroys our true identity.

Shame covers me in diminished feelings of myself.  

And because I feel less, I begin a vicious cycle to attempt to cover this up.  For me, I attempt to fade away by blending in so no one is the wiser to my less-than-valuable, negative self worth.

Unfortunately, the shame does not disappear.  No, not at all.

I am the one who eventually disappears.

The real me.  The one God says I am.

It is scary to come out from behind the wall of shame.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:4-5 NIV)

For today, I decide on a nice watermelon color.  It’s a start.