More on the boundaries thing–because it does kind of feel like this post came out of left field.
For years, I’ve felt like I needed to be the girl.
The one who would have the answer.
The one who you could come to when you’re down and she’d know what to do.
The one who had the perfect _______________.
The one who you would always have something in common with.
In terms of clothing, I’ve always tried to make myself that article that cardigan that goes with absolutely everything. Or the classic little black dress that one can can argue with.
And I’m terrified of being that long, light-wash denim skirt.
Or a scrunchy.
Unless the situation called for it–like a figurative polygamist theme party.
As a result of all this trying, I feel as though I’ve put my wants and style in my back pocket to make room for others’. And as for my identity, I’ve started to feel as though I’m more of a copy of other people rather than who I know I am.
And I’m s i c k of it.
I’ve mainly noticed it because I’ve even started to sacrifice what’s best for my son to make others more comfortable. And that’s NOT okay with me. I’m so sick of living this way.
In the pre-Colorado years (ten and under), I lived in California and attended a very snooty private Christian school. Every year, the teachers would pick the most “Godly” little girl and boy from each grade who would then get to attend a pool/pizza party at our principal’s house. Ironically, every year, it was the sweetest and quietest kids OR the kids who were the most popular and acted sweet to the teachers who got to go.
Not once did little bossy, precocious girls with big mouths but who mean well got to go. Obviously, little girls like that weren’t Christ-like or Godly. This yearly tradition sent a message loud and clear that there was something wrong with my personality and that I needed to change.
I was never going to be sweet–anyone who knows me can attest to that. (And frankly, I kind of think super sweet people are boring.) But, I could always take on the right ideals and opinions–other people’s. So that’s what I did. People don’t like to be bossed, so I squished and squashed my naturally opinionated personality down to…well, I was never not going to have an opinion, so I just learned to be very quiet about it. So while the great big world was going on on the outside, I developed a very noisy dialogue on the inside.
Don’t ruffle feathers.
And please do stand out–but only if everyone thinks it’s cute and charming.
I’ve since dumped a lot of that stupid theology about God to know that He created me to be who I am. I know what I need to do: I need to live so that what’s going on on the outside and what’s going on on the inside match. I need to live honestly.
I don’t really know how I’m supposed to get from Point A to Point B, but I’m starting with boundaries. I no longer want to say “yes” while my inside is screaming “NO!” I’m reading this book named Boundaries, and it describes boundaries like a fence with a gate that lets the good in and the bad out. I like analogy; the black-and-whiter within me wants to go to far the other way and make my boundaries like a cinder block wall. Hole myself in. Keep myself safe. But the fence imagery is about balance (which is one of my hardest life challenges to achieve).
Biblically, this makes sense as well. That Scripture verse about our “yes” meaning “yes” and our “no” meaning “no” is so much more than about keeping your word. I think it means that the best way to live is to live is to keep congruency between the inside (your mind, your desires, etc.) and the outside.
So I’m going to start there.