What if I didn't let me listen to me?

I was walking with my head down yesterday when the temperature pushed upwards of 40 degrees and I spyed the tread of my front left tire and I saw the grit from the dirt road that had thawed and plastered itself onto the black of the wheel and I wondered if I put a penny into the tread how much of Lincoln's head would still be showing. Most of it probably.

And looking at that tread I heard myself whisper to myself, "What if I stopped asking for permission or worrying about the looks I get?  What if I stopped thinking about the fadingness of my face and human and just did what I was yearning to do? What if I tried being Hope instead of desperately striving to be harmless? What would that feel like?"

Hell, anything's better than constantly reviewing your language and words and actions and seeing all their faults. Anything's better than waiting for a gold star from a school marm who isn't there. 

I've was reading this book on habit and then abandoned it for brooding. But I was white knuckling my drive home on worn down tread after work yesterday when I remembered the part on will power. Will power can only get you so far before you crack. Will power works until the moment your mind and body find it so taxing that they light a match and set things on fire that others, who aren't running on will power, would never destroy. (Think big time powerful guys who have affairs with their secretaries- they exercise so much restraint and control in their professional lives that they end up flipping out in their personal lives)

In an effort to behave myself and remind myself that all my natural impulses are in error, I've reached the place where setting shit on fire seems like the best approach.

And that's bad. 

So what if I didn't let me listen to me? I'm my own worst enemy. 

If I didn't listen to me, I'd pick up my guitar and not care whether or not my family didn't like it. I'd write songs instead of escape into laundry and Netflix. I'd let myself just be myself instead of some harmless version of this terrible person I'm wishing I weren't. It's exhausting. I'm exhausted.

In conclusion, I had a friend remind me that we keep showing up every day. She reminded me that I have a brave version of myself somewhere in me and I told her I wished she'd show up and get this cowering fool out of the way. She reminded me spring was coming and it is. Spring is coming. New birth, new life, resurrection spelled out in Easter lillies and daffodils. 

Because the thing is that trying to be harmless isn't doing anything for anybody. It's not making my relationships better, it's not making me a better mom or wife, it's not living in gospel freedom, it's living in lawful damnation and that's a total lie. That I convinced myself to be true but am now going to set on fire.

I'm not going to listen to the coward anymore. I'm going to listen to the crazy one. Don't listen to your weakest self, listen to the strongest. That's the one who was so fearfully and wonderfully made to help the world along, to write the song, to be brave so that others see your bravery and try it out for themselves - scars and all. Do it. I'm going to do it.

Love, Hope

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