For several years, I’ve pursued what I was told I was supposed to pursue. I have done what I was told I should do. I have believed what I was told I should believe. Then the day came when I questioned every bit of that. I had to ask myself, “What do *I* want?” Then it occurred to me that I didn’t know who I was. I had become what I was programmed to become and still, I wasn’t “approved”. I was stamped with the rejection label. After all the work, I still had not arrived at what I was told I would be.
Like a tornado, my world was ripped apart. The chaos of the aftermath left fields of rubble. I approached every day sorting through the broken pieces. I was plagued with the old thoughts of who I tried to be for so many years. I had been a part of a fundamental/evangelical community for what seemed like an eternity only to realize that I never really fit in with their description of what a Christian should be.
I had gifts that were all too often rejected by the leaders and followers. I was told my gifts were not “of God” and that I should ignore any prompting from such ‘evil influence’. In hindsight, I’ve had these gifts since I was younger and I can’t turn them off.
Believe me, I tried.
I tried to shut it down, ignore it, stuff it, and reject it only to discover I was rejecting ME.
I had days when I felt like I was wading through a foggy swamp just trying to catch a glimpse of myself in the murky water. I was ridiculed, “Can’t you see? You must be blind!” As clear as they claimed the water was, all I saw was a distorted blurry image. Then came the accusations, “well, that’s because you have sin”.
I wish I would have had someone there to explain to me that my gifts were unique and how to use these gifts to help better my life and help others too. Instead, I was “mentored” to rid myself of these ‘aberrations’. I submitted myself to remove these so- called defects until all I had left was a clone of someone else.
Making the trek back to my core self has not been easy. The hauntings of rejection echoed in the halls of my mind, but they grew more distant as time goes by. I’m not so bothered by them anymore, but they fight for their last grip on the loose threads of my mind.
The more I live my life as myself, the more hushed they become.
As I crescendo in my gifts those voices wane to a minuscule existence that I hold loosely, only to remind myself of how much I’ve ground I’ve covered these past few years.
I’ve traveled the yellow brick road with the ruby slippers all along and the friends I’ve made around every corner have been worth it. The adventures we lived through together have taught us great truths about ourselves.
That ‘great and powerful Oz’ was no wizard at all, just a little man behind the green curtain. The bellowing voice that issued demands no longer has power over me.
I didn’t need his bag of tricks to find my way home. I’ve had my own magic all along.
There’s no place like home.
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