I stopped thinking for awhile, could you tell? I don’t remember the exact second it happened, but I do know it was a conscious decision. Leading my life with my head had kept me from feeling; I was being safe. But in the last few months, I really tried to do the opposite and let myself feel. Not just emo or happy or sad things… but anger and frustration and emotions that have been real and honest and joy-filled at their core. To be spontaneous and act on impulse and do things because I had an idea and decided to act on it. Instead of thinking about much, I’ve truly lived the last while with the adventure and fervor of the free spirit that I know is at the core of me; the spirit that needs no containment — at least, I’ve learned that now. I want to see and do and live parts of this life and this world for myself, not vicariously through the stories I love to read or the experiences of people I love to talk to. But living by instinct or impulse has sort of made me forget my responsibilities. For example, a friend asked me if I was actually even going to school this semester because there was no way someone with six courses had so much time for… fun. Someone else questioned my attendance to Sunago while someone else made a point to explain how little we’d seen each other all year. So my responsibility to commitments or others changed… so what is the balance? Because living through my head and brain made me closed off to feeling, getting excited about things, and simply living a life of joy that radiates through me and topples onto those around me. Yet living the opposite way, while reminding me of the beauty and awe-someness of my life (and each one of yours), also seems to be really selfish and impulsive or even at times disrespectful.
While I truly believe it is a brave and mighty thing to embrace the true character and nature of who you are and have that person be who you are, every moment of every day, it’s a powerful thing to feel that that said person or free spirit is acting out of ignorance or being irresponsible in relation to what or how you should be.
Are our responsibilities conditioned based on where our lives have been?
In other words, do you ever find that a responsibility is only such because we’ve been constrained by ‘duties’ or ‘norms’ that we’ve adhered to in the past?
What I am curious about is change — where is the room for change?
How can we give grace and room for people who change, or change itself, when we don’t trust grace for ourselves?
Or better yet, what if the change simply means you are finally acting or being the person you know you were created to be and that old version of you wasn’t real?
Let’s take me for example. As I am currently striving to live a life that is honest and real and so transparent that I don’t have to watch behind me for fear a lie or a reaction or an out-of-character moment will ever catch up to me, I am a little distracted by that fabulous and brilliant freedom that comes with choosing to just be. I am being selfish, I know… but you’ve read my blog, you’ve spent time with me, you know how hard I think about many things. It’s been fun to just go with it and be up for anything, not giving anything in the last 5 or 6 months much thought. It’s refreshing. I am happy. I am filled with joy for many God given reasons and blessings.
But that’s not really reality for me either. I want to know the balance. I want to know what deserves reverent thoughts and attention and what just needs to be lived and experienced. I want unconditional grace during this time, but I also want to learn how to give grace and appreciate change freely for others. I want to learn how to feel deeply while living spontaneously and laughing uncontrollably and thinking hard about the things that matter the most. I don’t want to have to apologize for all the ways I don’t measure up but focus on the confidence in how I do. And on that topic, measure up to who any how? What right is that of any earthly human being to decide that… or set the bar for that matter…for others? I know that I am a work in progress, and I love that and the growth that comes along with it, but I think we spend far too much time trying to ‘fix’ or to ‘change’ or to ‘mold’ or to ‘be responsible’ rather than celebrating the very perfect nature of our imperfections. There is a reason it’s called amazing grace. I will try to be better at it.
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well” – Chris Tomlin