I have people in my life I’m very close to that are in the throes of either falling in love or staggering through an unexpected divorce right now.
And my heart is swinging out this way & that for them both.
I wrote this piece two years ago for my blog ~ and thank You Jesus from my bottom depths, I have gotten even stronger & wiser since.
When I re-read it last night it struck me because of these things going on around me. I hope it speaks to you & extends some kinship.
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,