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had a great fall

had a great fall

Well Poop, I am Humpty Dumpty.

stock-vector-humpty-dumpty-falling-of-the-wall-with-the-sky-and-clouds-behind-74904328

I was trying to figure out which Fairy Tale was most like my life. I really dont know why I was trying to figure this out, but it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. I have had great perseverence historically and I thought about Jack and the Beanstalk originally. I couldnt come up with a specific example for an analogy of the beans. Sure, I could have called them the false gods I seem so attracted to. They could be emotional escape, intimacy, alcohol, television, whatever. But I dont think I would climb that high without a harness.

I kept thinking of the squeeky clean exterior I wore as a mask for decades. My outward appearance was pretty shiny. It became impermeable to mild assault. It repelled and maintained its luster. Inside was gelatinous goo. I protected the vulnerable insides with a smirk and sarcastic wave. I was deft enough to avoid many a calamity. In fact, when things did arise, I would immediately call attention to them so that others could tell my exterior how wonderful it appeared. I kept hoping the kind words and support would make it through the impermeable wall I had set up. Nothing could get in or out. The goo had spoiled and had begun to stink, the shell held its ground.

I perched on a wall, far removed from other people. I went to meditate and consider my plight. I had been told that an egg was only half a life. What I needed was another half. I needed to be completed. I had searched and found someone willing to take on the job. My shell grew thicker instead of thinner. We both faked happiness as we clamored internally to the sounds and fume of rotting souls.

I had been told that success, power, women, money, recreation, even God…. would restore my soul. It would allow me to relax and direct my life. The shell held its ground. I knew no other way to protect my fragile insides.

Ever wonder what caused Humpty to fall? Was he pushed in an attempted murder? Did the wind blow and he simply lost balance? Did he jump? Was he staring into the future and longingly trying to grasp it? Did he scream to God that he could no longer continue on? Did the pressure of the fumes and gaseous emissions inside build up an unsustainable level? Was it all of the above?stock-photo-an-egg-is-broken-306767045

I hit the ground and cracked. I shattered. I felt the foul ooze seep on the ground. I watched as my shell splintered and scattered. I smiled. There was instant relief. I knew that the insides would repulse others. I knew that I was fetid and broken at that point, but I wasnt fighting to hide. Despite the relief and the freedom, I tried to put the pieces back together. It was a fantasy, but I thought if I hurried, no one would noticed. I could be decorative porcelin with age cracks. I struggled to imagine life without my shell. I was defenseless. I called upon others to help me. They were royalty in my mind, or near to it. I demanded they helped. I begged them to help. They tried, noses wrinkled. They tried to ignore the sticky goo. They searched for shell. They had creative substitutes for the pieces they couldnt find. I patched the shell with other false gods. I tried to be someone new with the same broken and now defunct shell.

I also forgot to collect the insides. I rebuilt the shell, but left the goo. I was hollow. More importantly, there was nothing inside to rot, nor to heal. I had effectively allowed myself to not hurt, but I wouldnt be able to love. I had a body, but no soul. I had a structure, but no function. I was inert.

As I looked at the goo on the sidewalk, I wondered if I was an unfertilized half being. Did I need something to complete me? Was it the insides that mattered and the outsides were useless? I imagined trying to be just the amorphous blob sliding through life. I would have emotions. I would be open. I would be vulnerable. There would be nothing hidden. The carrion birds I had in my life began to carry away parts of my goo. The soul and the heart of who I was were pecked at, tormented, and assaulted. With wrinkled nose and a fake smile, I was urged to climb. I was urged to perform. My non existent shell was beheld and complimented like the emperor’s new clothes. It felt great to feel appreciated. It felt great to imagine I was loved. I think I knew it wouldnt last, but I held on to it. I wanted to be seen and accepted for my insides. When it was exposed as a scam by the same people that had imagined it, I was again defamed and left to rot.stock-photo-an-egg-is-broken-306767042

It came as a whisper. It came as the wind. It was a warm breeze and a chilling breath. I am not half. I am not inside nor outside. I am both and that is whole. I am permeable protection. I need shame resilience, and self regulation. I need to defend myself from the hate and hurt from others, but I also get to enjoy my insides. I get to grow and nuture. I get to cherish the stuff inside for its limitations and triumphs. I am a whole egg and a good egg at that.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2015 in divorce, faith, journey, life

 

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yes, you are

Who do you think you are?” Ever heard that? If you are anything like I was as a kid, yep you heard that plenty. It generally followed, “Look what you have done.”
As I write this, I realize I never once answered the question. It was probably a good idea to keep my mouth shut, but that didn’t stop me in other situations. I was asked this question once as an adult. It wasn’t because I did something bad and it wasn’t following, “Look what you did.” (I must have grown a little) I couldn’t answer the question. I spent a long time figuring out why I couldn’t. I started with what people say about me, and the things I do. I even went through the list of labels: I am a doctor, a husband, a father, a brother, a husband, a bald spot with a guy underneath, blah blah blah. The questioner pushed a little and said, “No, I meant who are you underneath all that.” well that was entirely too close for comfort. I teared up and told him, “Now look what you have done, who do you think you are?” Underneath all those labels and masks, and holograms, and defenses, and barbed wire, I am a scared child unsure on how to live into life abundant. I have built up walls to keep people out from knowing me, because if they really knew me they might not like me. I don’t like that kid inside.

The question I asked myself is, “Who does God think you are?” It followed an understanding that it didn’t matter what I’ve done. I had this image of Jesus hanging out in a hammock, sipping lemonade. He was daydreaming about the world and thought of me. He smiled as He thought of who I was and who I was becoming. He embraced the thought of my wanting desperately to love and be loved. He embraced me and drew close and I felt it. I felt the warmth and peace. I felt the comfort. It was then that I turned to Him and asked, “Who do you say I am?” He smiled. I decided I knew what he would say. He would say I am a beloved child of His, a doctor, a father, a brother, a son, a husband. He would say I am the bonehead who did this and that. He would say I am the miracle who spoke the Good News to a list of people. He would count the ways I honored Him and the ways I denied Him (probably more than three, huh, Peter?). I stewed and reveled in my insecurities and faults. I felt the wall going back up.
However, Jesus held back the wall and smiled and said, “You are.”

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in faith, journey

 

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