Today I hate this stupid project. I’m so angry and mad that I have to talk about it and, worse yet, film it. I had an angry morning blowout with my daughter and I quickly understood very clearly that the rage that erupted in me had only a little to do with the mess she left, her sloppiness and her crappy attitude. I’ve joked before that you don’t ever want to see me “Hulk out,” but really, it’s not funny. Those feelings are poison, laying dormant inside of me. Today I realized that all of those feelings I’ve been pushing down for 46 years have been finding their way out–seeping through the cracks of other upsets that come my way… and I’ve never really noticed it.
I reined in my anger, dropped her off at work and then decided to go to a quiet spot by the lake and try to figure out what was going on.
The little park I stumbled on was magical. I had no idea it was even there and I’ve lived in Racine for over 10 years! As I sat praying and just breathing, it became so obvious what a perfect analogy this whole environment was to my 100 Days of Fighting Back.
From the outside, the park looks lovely with well manicured grass, benches and even a gazebo. But for those willing to explore a little more, there is a path that takes you down closer to the beach. It’s filled with rocks and wildflowers and tons of wildlife. It’s a wild weedy secret garden complete with ponds and lilypads… a couple mucky, tepid, smelly lagoons, too. The path I was wandering through had high wood fences on either side to keep you from exploring out of the boundaries. There were signs every 15 feet warning you to “STAY ON THE WALKWAY.”
It struck me as funny that this is just how I’ve lived my life. Imagine those fences are blinders to the muck and weeds just out of reach in your life, and just beyond your surface appearance. It represents the conversations in my head, the judgments, the upsets… and the ANGER. I have pretty much closed myself off to what’s beyond those fences because it’s really messy. Just like the weeds and bugs and stagnant water in the secret garden, those are things I’ve avoided. Although, from the outside, I’ve cut the grass, painted the gazebo and really pretended everything is FINE. What I realized is that amid all of the muck were wildflowers, ducks and the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen… and to think, I would have missed it all had I stayed up on the bench and not ventured down to the winding boardwalk.
When I turned the corner, I came upon a guy in the murky lagoon up to his waist in this black goopy pond. He was separating the tall cattails that were growing inside along the edge. I said to him “You have a gross job!” And he responded “Actually, I really like it. If you don’t pull out some of these invasive species, it ruins the whole pond and park.”
HAH! He is me–he is doing EXACTLY what I’m doing right now in the murkiest part of my life… wading in and ripping out what has invaded and getting rid of it so the rest can grow and flourish. What an amazing blessing it was for me to come upon this place at this moment. God is SO GOOD. <3
So now I’m clear. This is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is where I’m supposed to be. I need to just keep shining the light into the dark parts of my life and my brain and my feelings and pull them out into the sunshine and they will eventually burn away. The truth is what sets you wild and free.