A Question About Insecurity:
It’s that lonely scratch that stalks you like a wolf. Running quietly between trees, so faint that even dry pine needles don’t crack under it’s weight. But it follows, waiting for the right moment to bound forward and take it’s sitting target.
Rustling of fur
knife-tip teeth and
all in a lighting second.
One minute sittin’ pretty in your best pair of shoes
the next bending backwards trying to scoop up the little pieces of yourself that spilled everywhere like a broken bag of marbles: you’re just rolling everywhere.
And you see this image of yourself
all behind you collecting debris as you walk along.
A long train of old leaves and pieces of dry.
Your eyes have no more gleam, just grey on grey on grey. And you’ve got this hunch in your shoulders like
walking with a heavy suitcase bound around your neck
Everyone’s going to see. Again?
Everyone’s bolted to you
bolted to the ground so
there’s nowhere to go,
just to clench your fists and hope to disappear.
But then you open your eyes a little wider and see that everyone else has a grey gaze.
They all walk around each other in conversational labyrinths. If ever meeting in a corridor, they climb up and over the wall to avoid that dumb laugh people spit out when they’re nervous.
Not knowing what to do when we stand face to face with someone else’s sorrow.
Not too close
I might see your eyes.
Might catch a hint of your breath.
Might believe your worries and they’ll turn into mine.
what do you do when the world is so disappointing? When people are made of one-way streets? When they prefer to drag clouds over their eyes? When you begin to follow suit to what everyone else wants, and THEN they love you,
they love you they love you they die for you they’re at your feet.
Why are we like this? Why do we pretend?
Try so hard to squeeze ourselves into a plain suit that’s too small.
Can’t even lift our arms above our heads to shout to the sky.
Why is confidence so easily said and so simple to break?
So ready to
swerve into arrogance,
into obsession with your own hands?
Into the kind of self-love that fills us with sawdust and worms.
Fickle as a cheaply made watch, but running like that sturdy old machine.
I want to sit and stare. To be safe and quiet behind locked doors. But it’s not right.
We have to fight with determination, with
To wipe away the brevity of made-up relationships.
Take the gloves off and get into the guts of other people’s lives.
We run toward fear.
We strip ourselves and become innocent to listlessness.
We stand next to our brother and tear the thorn out of his side, even if pulling it makes us bleed.
We believe in our own weaknesses and fill our bones with prayers for strength.
We stop trying so hard to do things for this and
for that and
anxiously waiting for updates on everyone else’s opinion and
open our ears to
To shut the mouths of everyone who seems to live in your mind.
(Don’t even let them build there. Not even a bus stop to loiter at.)
we have to make a clearing.
Plough the dried-up sediment
it’s been blocking in so much hatred
it only curdles inside you.
Dig it up. Pull it out like weeds, and ask God to throw them in a fire.
See that’s the thing about hating yourself, it starts as a single sprout, but overnight becomes a forest. And you want God to uproot everything and toss it into unending destruction, but first you have to say yes.
To throw your own pride in that fire and say help.
You have to let go of everything everyone said to you in that tone like they half-heartedly agreed then refused to make eye-contact. You have to release the handfuls of ill-feelings-stomach-sick resentment that you carry around with you. To let your fingers open and relax and let all that sludge plop off you until the last little trickle.
after months and months of holding onto your doubt that you have toward yourself,
that barrel you stuck in your own mouth,
that painful desire to keep your gaze locked to the mirror in uncertainty about every aspect of you,
arguing every good thing about yourself into a meaningless accident,
you shed it off.
Lord you have to.
You forget that well traveled path,
putting leaves and rocks over it so you won’t be able to find it again.
You let God strip you of it, so you can tear yourself away from yourself and now be clean.
Now an opportunity to be used for good things.
Not a branch, but a trunk,
not a dry bone, but a body.
A hand full of seeds.
God’s roots clinging to you,
keeping your spine straight.
Chin forward and chest inside out,
ready to take on the day.
Assured of the footsteps you will take,
assured of the person you are