On Being Uneasy and Transformed

Apr 23 2012

Today, I’m uneasy.

I’m not uneasy every day.

But I’m not uneasy just today, either.

Today, my fingers are tingly and my stomach is fluttery and I feel a little bit off, a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit embarrassed to be me. (Sorry, me.)

Today, my thoughts won’t settle or shush. They’re a jumble of things that I’ve left undone, partly (if I’m going to be fair) because I actively choose not to do everything, and partly (if I’m going to be merciful) because there aren’t 35 hours in every day.

Today, my heart is jumpy. It flips and it flops and it’s not on speaking terms with my brain. My heart is trying be touchy-feely, to acknowledge where I’m needy and why I long to be More and Better and Bigger and Stronger. And my brain is trying to be logicky, telling me to write using real words, like logical, because life’s not about having fun, Beth; it’s about making sense!

Today, I’m writing in a stream of consciousness because my heart won. (Sorry, brain.)

Today, I’m thinking about faith and fear and the ways they both engage me – Me the Mama. Me the Wife. Me the Friend. Me the Writer. It’s like faith and fear are at the ends of life’s elastic, pitching me alternately forward into love and joy and strength… and then flinging me back into self-doubt and criticism and not-enoughness. Sometimes I make the trip from faith to fear and back again so rapidly that I’m surprised I don’t have whiplash.

Today, I’m thinking about my kids who are busy hatching from their shells.

It’s a strange thing, this practice of breaking free, discarding shells and rising from the muck that’s always part of a new birth. And one of the strangest of the strange things is the fact that kids so often hatch without their knowledge.

It’s like they’re made to hatch.

It’s like it’s an instinct.

It’s like they’re naturally driven to break free from the things that hold them back – from their shyness or their social angst or their stubbornness or their fear. Wildly and completely oblivious to their success, kids peck and wiggle to discard their prisons. They thrash and fuss in their efforts to change.

It’s like a miracle.

When I’m at my mama best – when I remember for just a minute to discard the blinders of Making It Through Today so I remember to look where we’ve been and anticipate where we’re headed – I can see it. I can see my kids, pushing through today’s shells, all wet and wobbly and new, and I can shout with glee, “You’re hatching! You’re hatching! Look at what you’re doing, Kid. Look at who you’re becoming! You are AMAZING!

But they don’t see that they’re sitting the in middle of their own tremendous transformation – not yet – and so they’re half pleased with my raucous celebration and half resentful, wondering whether I’m right or whether I’m just crazy – wanting to believe me but afraid to trust what they don’t yet know for themselves.

Today, I’m uneasy.

Today, my fingers are tingly and my stomach is fluttery and I feel a little bit off, a little bit awkward, a little bit embarrassed to be me.

Today, I feel the fear-flinging breeze in my hair as the elastic pulls me backwards into self-doubt and criticism and not-enoughness.

But today, it occurred to me to wonder if my wobbly vulnerability might be part of the angst of transformation. If I might be rather like my children. If I somehow confused my status as a grown-up with being, well, grown up. All done. Finished.

And so, today – just in case I’m not done – I will dig my heels in deep. And I will ask God to help me pull the emergency brake so we can fight this flight toward fear. I will keep my eyes open to the possibility that I’m growing and changing and transforming.

Today, even though it’s the hardest chore on my list, I will do my very best to remember for just a minute to discard the blinders of Making It Through Today so I can remember where I’ve been and anticipate where I’m headed…

…and to listen to the Voice that says, “You’re hatching! You’re hatching! Look at what you’re doing, Kid. Look at who you’re becoming! You are AMAZING!

Today,
Beth