Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Outside of Me

I am so irritated with myself right now.
Why? Because I want to be a different person.
For a rare moment in my life, I don't actually want to do homework.
So what is the problem? I don't know what to do with myself when I don't do homework (other than sleep or exercise compulsively).
I am sitting in a room full of people--people playing card games together, people talking, people playing music, people surfing the internet. A room full of people--and I feel like I cannot connect with any one of them.
Well, that's not entirely true.
My best friend is in the room. But see my best friend wants to play cards. He can connect with them. He can enjoy himself.
Me--I just feel stuck. Stuck not wanting to do homework. Stuck condemning myself for not wanting to do homework. Stuck being unable to connect with people. Stuck realizing that the reason I cannot connect is because I have withdrawn so far within myself. And my best friend is the only person I have let in.
I feel stuck between two people: the quite, isolated, task-driven person who doesn't mind being alone and the yet to be discovered and experienced, fun, people-oriented, relational person who can truly be with people and enjoy them.
I feel stuck because I am the first person, but in order to become the second person I have to let go of.....something.
My best friend says it is control. This is definitely one thing. Another is my fear. A third is my perfectionism. A fourth is my shame.
One might say to me: Ask God to take those away. Believe me: I have.
God has not taken them away. Instead, He has said, "Jaime, you must choose to lay them down." And as horrible as this may seem, I am not yet willing to lay them down.
"You will never be ready," says one person.
Okay. But that doesn't change how I feel right now. I feel fear. And clinging to my shame, control , and perfectionism offers me a blanket of protection. ("Oh, no! People!")
So what would happen if the fear was gone? I don't know.
Why do I hold onto the fear? Am I holding onto the fear? I suppose I am allowing the fear to remain in place by not challenging it.
Unfortunately, I did not challenge it tonight. Instead of staying in the tension, people-filled room where I would have had to make a choice, I left. I went back to my bedroom. Back to my isolation. Back to where I can deceive myself and pretend that I am not incapable of connecting. Here I can forget. Here I can hide in the silence and forget about the laughter. Here I can stay in my head and not be challenged to do something different.
How pathetic......How......depressing......
I know how to throw myself over the edge and into freedom. I can go on a trip half-way around the world into a different culture. I can apply to a program that will tear control away from me. I can attach myself to people who are spontaneous and daring and feed off of their freedom.
But I can't seem to just set it down. I can't seem to let my white-knuckled fingers slacken. I can't seem to walk out of the prison door that has already been opened.
God tells me that He has done His job; now it is time for me to do mine. I am the one holding myself back. Why?
I feel so distant from God. As if once He said, "Jaime, it's your job now," that He just walked away from me. But I know better! I know that's not true! It must--it MUST--be me. I must be the one turning my back from Him. I must be the one saying, "I WILL DO THIS ON MY OWN! LET ME DO IT!"
Perhaps that is the answer. Perhaps I am insisting that I must be the one to lay it down ALL BY MYSELF. Maybe--just maybe--Christ is willing to help me more.
Will I let Him?
Will I?
Do I throw myself off the cliff once more? Until I am convinced that He will catch me regardless of if I jump or merely set it down?

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