>While I was considering what to blog about tonight, I remembered a conversation Co-Teacher and I had earlier today. Then I started thinking about a U2 song, Even Better Than The Real Thing. There’s a line in the song that goes “…we’ll slide down the surface of things…” Funny thing, surfaces. They can be pretty, shiny, expensive, scarred, broken, chipped, burned, cracked, you get the picture. I wonder what I would find if I could pull off the surfaces and look underneath. The underneath, the hidden, secret things hidden from public view-this was the crux of our earlier conversation.
We are both survivors; myself, often against my will, or in spite of it. We decided that many people, if we could look beneath or behind their surfaces, would have stories similar to ours.
I learned a long time ago to suck it up and screw it in place; never let anyone see you cry if you can help it (it really ticks me off that I cry when I get really angry). Unless you’re a “safe” person for me, you will never know when I am sick, hurting (physically, emotionally, or any other kind of way), angry, or in any way bothered. I will always seem happy and well adjusted. You won’t see the bleeding wounds or festering sores that comprise much of my psyche, my soul. Yes, I’m saved; yes, I believe in God and that He heals and forgives. But it is a process, sometimes a very long one. I’m digressing-this could go into several different tangents and I can easily derail my thought train…where was I going with this?
Oh yeah, surfaces. You can watch HGTV and see how stagers will cover a counter that has lots of flaws with a shiny new piece of granite (or granite like) counter top. Scuffed or out of date flooring is covered with snap together wood or peel and stick tile. Cracked walls can be puttied and painted. Even dead grass can be painted green! The new home-buyer may or may not ever know what is under their pretty work top, wall, floor, or lawn, but it’s still there. Will it one day cause a problem? Will the home-buyer be surprised at what they find hidden underneath? Will it become a deal breaker? Will they be angry and immediately put the home on the market, making sure to re-cover the flaws they’ve found?
Or will they think about it? Will they see the firmness of the foundation? Will they see the character in the design? Will they see the potential beyond the flaws? Will they remember the feeling that brought them to the house in the first place? Will they be able to go beyond the surface of things and repair the brokenness of their dwelling? Will they place value and worth on imperfection? Will they be able to find happiness and satisfaction in spite of all these things? Even if others judge them harshly?
These are things we must ask of ourselves. We are broken, flawed, marred by the past that shaped us. For better or worse, we are products of our environments. We must choose, for ourselves, by ourselves, whether we want to remain broken and in ruins. True, some things may never be repaired or healed, but most things can at least be “brought up to code”. By that I mean, learning to accept certain aspects of the reality that surrounds us. We can’t replace or relive our childhood. But we may learn to view it in different ways. I have learned to try to remember that Grandmother, though she may have made life hell for us, is one of the reasons I have such compassion for others. The violations I endured have caused me to be protective and fierce toward the babies in my care, as well as my friends and family. The broken places that continue to bleed inside me remind me to consider that others, people who make me angry or frustrated, my have the same things going on inside them.
I read something in another blog recently. I can’t remember it word for word but the gist was that our power lies in our wounds. That’s really deep and profound, folks. Think about it for a while.
It’s not our pretty, shiny, impressive surfaces that make us who we are. It’s the hidden underside, and how we regard it.
If you choose to consider any of this, one word of caution: every day, sometimes every hour is a battle. If you choose to find power in your brokenness, be assured that the enemy of your soul will send as much doubt and defeat your way as possible. Make a conscious decision to stand your ground and turn a deaf ear to the voices that would cause you to doubt the new vision you have hidden within yourself. And remember, the most powerful naysayer is probably your own…