Probably one of the most widely-used words in the English language – but.
And its connotation, sort of hilarious actually.
I’m sorry, but…
I love you, but…
I will, but…
I did, but…
It almost negates the first part, doesn’t it? It’s a sharp tool of excusing something away. I have actually tried recently to extract it from similar statements. I am doing my best to stop pulling someone else’s stuff into mine.
It’s a game we play. Someone does something & so we do something. Or we are one way, they are another so that “makes us” do something else. OK… Hmmm. It sounds a bit like a crazy-not-so-merry-go-round doesn’t it?
I was having a conversation with 2 close friends last night over dinner. We laughed & cried as women do & we talked about freedom & what that means to us. We shared things we wouldn’t just say to anyone because we were in a safe place. I love my friends. They are all individually precious to me. Somewhere along the way, I confessed something out loud & lost it as the words were exiting my mouth. You could almost hear the chains clanging to the floor as they fell from me.
I made a statement about this part of me to them that was undeniably broken & messy. A dark-something that I used as a weapon. I didn’t see it then as one – I see it so clearly now. And for the first time ever, I did it without a “but.”
I would fling pieces of this broken thing at those closest to me whenever I got fearful about something. Which was most of the time. I lived afraid. I would fling then pounce – sinking my teeth into my strong opinion that I arrogantly saw as factual (we all only see in part) & wouldn’t let go till someone either gave in, begged me to stop- blew up, or just left. And boy was I good at it. Powerful – just the wrong kind of power. At the end all I wanted was to be right – to be heard – to be safe. There was only temporary pay-off most of the time though. Sometimes none at all, which drove me further into my brokenness. The epitome of a vicious cycle. I could have been the poster child.
As time has gone on, I have gotten more & more free from that person I was. It has been a process though & not perfect – still sometimes being guilty of tying that part of me to another’s shortcomings, saying – “But they did this or that so I was this way or that way….” No longer. That hatchet is going into the ground to be buried where it belongs. And I already know because I wielded it for so long it will try to come back & haunt me. Except now I live under grace & I get it. Which not only covers me but it empowers to me to stand against such things in triumph. Hallelujah.
To truly & solely own our own stuff is scary as hell. It’s ugly & we don’t like ugly. But the lie is that if we ignore it long enough it will go away. It never, ever does. It will live as long as we feed it & it will rear its ugly head over & over till something or someone dies.
When we fully own our own stuff without attaching it to someone else’s – that is true freedom. To rid ourselves of the buts – is nothing but gain. It cannot be anything else.
It frees us to fully love – as we are fully loved by Love itself – a cycle I want to get caught up in & stay. A home where we belong.
Life is a vapor. Embrace it all – the horrid, the beautiful, the pain & shame – the victories & the grace & mercy that carry us. And Love – the greatest thing of all.
We only have one shot at this. Let’s make it our goal to draw our last breath in peace knowing we really lived & loved. And we didn’t wait to try another minute.
Here’s to no more buts & the challenge of starting right now.
Much wild & crazy Love y’all,