Friday, December 12, 2014
Embracing the crazy
Does anybody remember when this happened?
If you're my mom, my brother or any of my friends that attended this movie with me the first time I saw it, you remember. I think I was maybe 5 or 6 when we went to see it at the theater. I became inconsolable. I fell apart. Wept!... I. Couldn't. Even. Oh, they all tried to help me pull it together, even when things turned around and the bear wasn't actually dead...but there was no coming back from the pain and anguish in my broken heart. Some of the other kids laughed at me. And sometimes, when I reunite with that group of people, they regale the story of when Jenni lost it during the Jungle Book.
I can laugh about it now but even looking at that image makes my heart catch in my throat just a bit. This is serious stuff. How can a little girl be expected to handle such a thing? Cue the sad music to go along with it and I just don't know how anybody could keep it together.
I was a very dramatic child, teenager, adult... middle-aged woman. Even my kids will, at times, tell me, "Jeeze Mom. Don't you think you're overreacting just a bit?" And, I have to pause and consider the fact that, maybe I am. Just a tad.
Because of a lot of self-doubt and fear, I usually questioned every emotion I had. Like I thought something was really wrong with me for feeling sooooo much. "Do I need meds? Do I need a psychologist? Should I probably be committed? Maybe I should grow up already."
Ah! There was the answer. I needed to grow up. The funny thing is, I had to totally change my idea about what being "grown up" meant. I always thought that maturity meant that you had a clean house, paid your bills on time, maybe had a hobby like needle point, and went to bed at a decent hour. Booorrring!! No wonder it took me so long to want to grow up. I've discovered in the last couple years that maturity really comes when you embrace who you really are. The good and the not so good. Maybe it isn't maturity at all. Maybe it is this other thing. This thing called FREEDOM! It's not growing up at all, it's growing into exactly who you were meant to be. Whether that is a person that needs to keep a lot of rules or an enlightened free spirit, BE IT! Embrace it!
Something miraculous happens when you stop fighting your natural self. God made you the way you are for a reason. If He just so happened to give you a great big, mushy, bleeding heart, you might need to just go ahead and feel that stuff and let it lead you. I read a quote recently that nailed this on the head...
"Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things. Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep, feel it all – look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love." -Zooey Deschanel
Gratitude for being vulnerable? Really? YES!! What else on earth are you here for? You're not a mindless drone meant to serve a meaningless purpose. Think about the times you've felt most alive, your best memories, your greatest moments. It probably involved some vulnerability and fear. Our greatest joys, our highest heights just come with a big dose of butterflies. I've learned to welcome it. If I get an overwhelming feeling, I don't ignore it anymore or try to rationalize it. Being rational is way overrated. Recently, someone I love very much sent me a text that made my heart so happy, before I even knew what was happening, I found myself curled up in a ball holding on to my heart to try and keep it inside my chest. I also found myself within the last couple weeks digging under my bed for a T-shirt I couldn't find. Because I'm a grown up. I'm the grown up I was meant to be. I no longer listen to the outside voices that tell me what I should be. I take advice. I am always learning and growing but the core of who I am doesn't change. It never has, I just accept it now.
I remember one time my brother told me a story about listening to the music that all his friends were listening to. He said he was alone and had a lightbulb come on like, "I don't even like this music! Why the heck am I listening to it?" Then he turned on what HE liked. That always kind of stuck with me. Why do we feel like we need to do what everybody else is doing when you have a blazing fire inside you telling you something else? I hope that my friends that read this already know all this and are just shaking your heads going "duh". But, I hope that if you do find yourself a little lost or afraid, that you will have the courage to just step into the life that you know you are meant to lead.
I don't wail during Disney movies anymore...just kidding. Yes I do. Just not to the point where everybody stares and I make an incredible scene that people will talk about for decades. You can be socially cool and still have a big old heart. I think.