Crowning


I've been trying so hard.  Trying so hard to fit where I've always found my place.  My soul cries out against this effort, and I hush it, muffle it, muzzle it.  Shut up, I hiss.  Can't you see I'm sweating at maintaining my status quo here?

But my soul, she won't be silenced.  Now that she's finally gotten a good gulp of air and gathered her wits abut her, she won't go back to the prison of my benumbed heart.  She won't go down without a fight.

And . . . I don't want to let her.  I want her to rise up -- I want us to rise up -- and claim the me I was always meant for. 

Except that that me doesn't fit.  Not in my old circles, my old thinking patterns, nothing.  I can't find my place anymore.  I got up from the table, and now my seat is gone.  I took the chair and hit it when I'd risen, and now it's nowhere to be found.

I'm glad.

And I am terrified.

It's hard work, to find your self after three decades of living to everyone else's expectations.  And I can't blame them, really, because they were trying to do what they thought was best.  I believed it was best, too.  That it must be.  Who was I to know better?

Now I realize -- who was I not to know better?  Who was I to abdicate my identity and throw it into the hands of anyone else but the one woman who mattered (that's me, in case you were wondering)? 

I've been a fool.

And now, I'm waking up, and it's hard and scary, and vital and needed.  There's fresh blood pumping in my veins, and I'm finally building my own spine instead of resting against everyone else's.

I am looking at my own face in the mirror and telling her -- you matter.

It's about time.

Even so . . . there are times when I want to run back into the comfortable, ever-waiting arms of the known.  I ran back this week, and thought I could make it work, espouse beliefs not my own and confidently live what I knew would be a lie [for me].

And now I find my self slumped in a corner of my bedroom with her wrists tied bloody by too-tight ropes and her eyes shot crimson, her lip split and oozing.  I ask her, who did this to you, o my soul?  And she says,

you did.

I did. 

Am I brave enough to walk my own path, the one rugged and untamped?  Do I have the courage to leave the path worn smooth by the steps of many, to be who I am even though it is unpopular, uncommon?  Even though it comes with labels like "damned" and "fallen away" and "in sin" and "heathen" (although I rather like that one)?

But really, this isn't even a question.  Not anymore.  My chafed wrists are proof of that.  There are two choices here: Life, or a living death. 

I've been choosing death all of my days.  It's time for living alive -- chocolate melting slow on the tongue, sun warm against bared skin, freedom the only weight on this heart.

I'm scared, but I'm ready.  Finally ready for all of me.  


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