Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why I Love Giraffes

There are some areas of life that most men have difficulty dealing with. That is presumptuous though, I can’t speak for “most men”; I do, however, know my man pretty well and there are certain things he has trouble dealing with. So I will address these. 

Lowell has a hard time with PMS, dirty diapers, crying, bad drivers, inconsiderate people, Tide detergent and the heat. Unfortunately, in our little world, we have two daughters rapidly coming up on puberty to add to his already PMSing wife; an infant who seems to like to poo as soon as I leave the house; a very emotional woman (that’s me); about 2 million inconsiderate, bad drivers; and more than 50% of our days each year top 100 degrees. The only thing he is successfully avoiding is Tide.
That being said, he’s coping quite well. He is learning to deal with the heat; he avoids the poo whenever possible; he works a ton of hours which allows him to escape his emotional wife; and, well, he still hates inconsiderate people and bad drivers.

I do have to give him credit. My husband is very supportive, even when he doesn’t understand  a fraction of the craziness that’s my existence. I have abandonment issues, a shopping list of fears, abuse issues, insecurities, control issues… I cry at the drop of a hat, I can’t remember sh…. Stuff…
Anyway, my point is that my husband tries. He found a support group for some of my issues. Its an hour long twice a week on Tuesday night. We’ll have to get a babysitter and its in Goodyear, but I think I just might try it. And if my pride gets in the way, I can reassure myself that its an educational venture; I’m merely researching support groups for my clients.  Sure.  
On the other hand, that would be complete denial. Because I do need help. I know I need someone to talk to because every time I get together with a friend I find myself drowning in words. I can’t seem to get them out of my mouth quickly enough. I have to consciously choose to ask other people about themselves, about their interests, their lives, because I am so pressured to talk about everything that is flipping around in my brain. My lack of self-expression is part of the reason I blog. But it isn’t enough. I still have to filter my blog. I yearn for a place of expression where I don’t have to censor myself, where I can be completely myself and completely open.
I believe it is a universal human desire to be completely known, to be understood and to be accepted for who we are. It is what makes us seek relationships, what pushes us, again and again, to reach out to those in our life, to share our experiences, to feel relief when we find similiarities with another person, and to gravitate to those who share our experiences, beliefs and values. John Milton said, "Lonliness is the first thing which God's eye nam'd not good." Right after God created man, He said it was not good for man to be alone, and thus we have woman; created to be his partner.

There is one major caveat to the whole "being known" thing... It requires honesty. If I want someone to know who I am and love me, I have to let them know me. The real me. Like, the "I can't believe my children actually want to eat three times EVERY DAY" me. The "I have sinned so many times today I just want to crawl into my bed and hide" me. And the, "I struggle with not allowing money to become a god" me.

In order to be known and to feel that sense of connectedness that we all crave, we must first force ourselves to be honest. To admit that we are scared, guilty, ashamed, selfish, arrogant, doubtful, hoping, caring, lonely individuals then opens the door for connections to be made on a real level. One that can nourish and feed the soul.

Why am I writing this? Well, for starters because I'm lonely, but also because so many of the people I see each week are suffering with lonliness and when they learn that honesty is the answer, they are so fearful of letting the world see their true selves, they choose to remain alone and unhappy rather than face rejection. When did we ever learn that beauty and worth exsist only in perfection? God says that in our weakness, He is strong. That we are His masterpieces.

Instead of being free to show the brushstrokes of our Creator, we are deterimed to show a Photoshopped face of blandness and togetherness, of fake perfection and homogeny. We rail against laws that restrict our freedom and yet we are too ashamed to have curly hair in a flat-iron world. We are ashamed of freckles in a land of concealer. We cringe because God painted our masterpiece using cool colors when red is all the craze.....

People often question why I have a giraffe tattoo.  (This is not my tattoo) Especially one linked to a Bible verse. I like giraffes because they remind me of my own beauty, my own place in the Louvre. Giraffes are unlike any other animal but their differences serve a great purpose. They are created with long necks so they can reach the leaves left on acacia trees by the other animals. They have long legs for running, for height and for weapons of survival. When I start to feel uncomfortable in my own skin, I think of a giraffe because it reminds me that I was created differently for a purpose. God has a purpose for my pains, my hurts, my gifts and talents, my weaknesses, strengths, and for where he has placed me in the world. For my abandonment issues, shopping list of fears, abuse issues, insecurities, control issues and even my memory problems.

The trick now, is to live my life knowing that I am loved, accepted and created this way for a purpose instead of letting my fear stand in the way. It is a choice I have - to allow fear to rule, or to live embracing the freedom that is already mine in Christ. It is my prayer that more and more of us will choose to be honest, choose to embrace ourselves as we are and, in so doing, to give others the freedom to do the same.


Stony and Brit said...

I like this Rani. I like your reasons for loving giraffes and your willingness to grow and be open with others. It's not easy. But you are right, God did create us to be with others and to be known...praying for you as you become more transparent with those few special people who love all of you.

theKband said...

Now I know the reason! I've always wondered! it's beautiful.