Loved ones, friends, everyone –
We’re in Austin, TX. This is one of the places we’re “interviewing” as a possible place to settle down.
My emotions have been all over the board, not unlike how we’ve been all over the USA. For a good long while, I was not able to muster the courage to blog. Does that make sense – needing courage to blog? I find that, for me, it takes tremendous courage. that is, if I want to say something authentic and transparent. And, if this blog is anything, it’s about being that. So, I’m sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve posted; my courage was… low.
Yesterday Michelle and I drove around Austin to different RV parks, looking for a place to park long-term (like a month or so). Some of these places were pretty scuzzy. All the nice ones are totally full, and we can’t get into them. This is a first for us; an area where we can’t find a good place for the RV. Frankly, it made me feel like such a loser. As we went into the offices of these RV parks, I imagined looks of contempt or pity in the counter person’s eyes, like a bum looking for a shelter. It made me feel homeless. It made me feel irresponsible. It made me feel like an idiot.
Throughout all this, I noticed something inside me; I wanted a way to show people – prove to the world – that I am not a loser by demonstrating in some way how much money I make. Better clothes, a nice watch, a fancier RV, new car… something, anything that would prove that I’m not a homeless, irresponsible, idiot loser! Of course, the temptation here is to feel like a shallow, vain, prideful, materialistic loser… the accuser is working overtime! I had to chuckle at myself… And I’m grateful I have at least a limited ability to see these things for what they are.
I’m not saying that everything I’m doing is right… but I am noticing how hard it is for me to really believe – at a deep, meaningful level – anything outside of my programming. I’ve spent a lifetime constructing the “fig leaf” I hide behind, the system of beliefs, responses, thoughts and strategies that pass for my personality. I can see, in these times when I’m being stretched, just how deep my strategy of finding my own worth in the eyes of others goes. If they think I’m somebody, I must be somebody. If they think I’m a loser… Well, you get it. Getting free is harder than it looks. You can hop off the conveyor belt easily enough, but there can be tremendous resistance to inner change. It is indeed impossible to consistently act in a way that’s inconsistent with the way you see yourself.
I realize how important it is to know who I am. there’s an interesting passage in the book of Revelation, 2:17: “To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name on it, known only to him who receives it.” What is my name? How does He see me? That is reality. Aligning myself with that reality and shedding the fig leaf… that’s the journey of the heart.
Who am I?