Two things were on my mind this morning when I woke up- the constant reminder of my own unworthiness, and how badly I hated my alarm clock. I hit the snooze button once more before I finally rolled out of bed. I wished for the umpteenth time that I hadn’t raked those leaves. My body is not going to forgive me so easily. At least it will be quicker than the nagging, evil voices that threaten to drive me to insanity.
I get in the shower and hear the incessant stream of insults. “Do you honestly believe anyone wants to read anything you have to say? Why bother pursuing this career at all? Nobody is interested anyway. You can’t even form coherent sentences.”
It’s going to be a long day. Ironically, I’m working on a paper about depression. Specifically, I’m writing about ways to fight this illness and live a productive life in spite of the negatives. The problem is that I’m being sucked back in. I mourn the loss of my creative energy like a missing child. I want it back in the worst way. I beg, plead, and coerce my thoughts into some kind of order but they resist. Instead, they’d rather visit a dangerous neighborhood known as self-loathing. I hate this place but they seem bound and determined to hitch a ride on the first available cargo ship loaded with evidence.
“Your own parents don’t even call you to check on you. That should tell you something. And that writing challenge? Forget about it. You haven’t placed yet and there’s a very good chance you won’t ever because you have no creativity.”
So here I sit with one final thought regarding this whole, nasty business. I would really like to get back to basics. I’d like to hear God and everything He wants to tell me. I’d like to just strip away the stinky, sweaty, old and musty shroud of worthlessness and just start over. I remember when it was just the two of us, God and I. We’d write together for hours, completely oblivious to the time or circumstances. What mattered was that I mattered to Him and vice versa. We were each other’s best friends and nothing could convince me otherwise. What if I tore off the veil of forgetfulness and insolence? Could I perhaps fool myself into thinking that great ideas were actually in there, albeit hidden away behind a curtain of dust?
I hereby challenge myself to strip away the layers of self-doubt, inconsistency, and excuse and begin where I left off. I must start the way I came in- with absolutely nothing but the Lord and I. I’ll have to construct a box large enough to drown out the sound of the evil one, the distractions of the world and life as I know it. The walls will have to be sound proof, fiery dart proof, and of course, kid proof. The roof will have to guard against windblown tears and misplaced despair. The door will need one small window so that I can look out and be reminded of how blessed I truly am. There is no need for a lock, because every now and then it’s important to let others in and see what has been accomplished. Oh yes, there is one anther thing. It must be mobile. It must be able to go with me wherever life, love, and faith walking are bound to go.
With pen in hand, I begin anew. Vulnerability is chillier than I remember but I guess that’s ok. It beats the heavy sweater I’ve been wearing for so long. I think it looks a little better too. Now where did I put that hammer?
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