Two posts in a couple of days! I can barely believe it myself! But I thought it would be good to remind y'all about reminders. Reminders are good. Reminders are sometimes called Reality Checks, which sounds slightly more 'ouchy', but are good in the long term. But even when you know the long term benefits, in the short term, in the now, reality checks can be pretty sucky.
But actually, before the reality check, I was doing really well today. Lewis was a bit poorly, so he skipped kindy and came with me to my monday morning mums group at church. He huddled on my lap in a blanket and I revelled in the luxury of his hair, his skin, his stillness and smoochiness. He probably should have been at home, but I figured that at home I would have popped him on the couch in front of one, or two, or three dvds, while I tried to make countless phonecalls, and 'achieve' stuff. I figured we were actually both better off coming out, and sitting still with each other, snuggling. I gazed down at his face and remembered gazing at the same sleeping face, a couple of years earlier, as I first sat at 'Space', when I was afraid, and feeling alone, and in the darkness still.
Same face, but different.
Then we went home, and I was achievory and industrious. I made about 5 important phone calls, coloured in hundreds of pictures for the little matchy-matchy Speech-Language-Therapy resources, played games with the kids, did puzzles, made nutritious snacks, we decided collectively on a few things we were going to focus on, and made charts; for 'Helping Tidy Up' and 'Eating Some Fruit'. All in all, I was feeling pretty good. I had even read my bible(unheard of!) and found a couple of verses that seemed to 'pop'. Josh came home, we talked intelligently and made dinner together. Housework, TV, chocolate. Etc Etc.
Then I checked on Facebook. I mean, come on, 9 times out of 10, FB will not ruin your day. But if you are feeling a wee bit vulnerable, or the moons are aligned thusly, or perhaps you have been having a great day, sometimes FB can make you feel like Crap. I looked at some cool photos, read some stuff, and then BOOM, there it was. I was left out, I was a loner, a loser, all the cool kids had done something, and I wasn't there. Reality CHECK.
And i felt afraid again.
Same fear, but different.
The negative voice. I am unlikeable, unloveable, forgettable, the last person you would want at a cool-kids-thingy, a loner, a misery-guts, a weirdo.
STOP IT! I shout back. I AM NICE!!! People DO like me back, look, I can count at least FOUR people off the top of my head who genuinely like me - oh wait three, but anyway THREE people. That's enough, isn't it?
Yeah well, they just like you because they have to, or because they feel sorry for you, it's just charity friendship.
NO I shout back, there's no such THING as charity friendship.
Yes there is, the quiet voice, insistent. You do the same thing. Being nice to someone because you feel sorry for them, putting yourself out for them but feeling the strain because underneath you don't really like them. See, you do it to other people, this is the least you deserve! You are a hyprocrite, and a fraud, and all you get is what you deserve.
Slither, creep, a flick of a forked tongue. The poison is inside. I cannot stop its spread.
Same poison, but always different.
Desperately I try to cling onto words, phrases, barriers put into places for times such as these. The verses I just read before, surely, surely they are meaningful... what were they again? The words of truth, they fall through my hands like sand, trickle through my fingers, I cannot grasp onto them.
I try to tell myself that this is the work of the devil, that it is because I had a GOOD day, a GOD day, a day where I felt useful and loved and fruitful and held and promised to. I felt hope.
Because somehow if it is the devil who is doing this, it's almost better. Because I know he speaks in lies, to trick and trip and stifle.... Because if it is not him, then it really is me. It really is me who actually has no friends, and doesn't get invited, no matter how hard I try to be a friend, to be helpful and positive and kind, and to love others.... it's all for nothing, right?
And here is the Reality Check. The reality is, if that is the case, I should still be ok with that...
The reality is, I should be content, I should be grateful for what I have, for my husband who absolutely adores me, and for my children who are exquisite and who adore me, for my one or two close friends who still want to just hang out sometimes, to go to the movies, or make time for coffee, or just bum around. I should be able to rest in God's grace, in his love, and be still.
That is my reality check. I should be enough, with God. And I'm not, i'm constantly wanting, grasping, coveting more more more.... more friendship, more fellowship, more relationship, more community.... and I shouldn't need that stuff. Because we cannot rely on our fellow men. We are all human, and we all let each other down, and that should be ok, because we should be enough, with Him.
I don't write this for charity or pity, for people to suddenly ring up and invite me places or ask me round or make sure I'm ok. I am ok. I AM OK. I just had a reality check. Don't call me now, because that would just be charity. Call me if you really like me, if you want to have a relationship of value with me, if you think that I have something to offer a friendship. Don't call me because you feel bad, or sorry for me, if you think it's your christian duty. I don't want duty either. I want, crave, Friendship, Companionship. And I need to seek that, in the right place. Reality Check.