Emergence: Becoming Me

Growing, changing, becoming, emerging…

These have colored my speech and my experience recently, partly by choice, mainly by providence. I’m learning to comply with the aspects of emerging that are not within my power to control: the pain, the unknown. I’m learning to appreciate the surprises that, for so long, I failed to even notice. I’m learning to continue to become despite the chest-tightening, oppressive, unutterable fear.

The sounds of emergence are of breaking, shattering, tearing, ripping. The tastes are sanguine and salty. The sights are blurry and confusing, too bright to fully set one’s gaze upon. The sensations are chilling, brisk, unconfined, indefinite. The smells reminisce of a recent cleansing rain.

Emergence is awakening. Awakening and knowing. I was lulled to sleep slowly and methodically over many, many years. Denial, self-pity and fear protected the slumbering me. Life’s cruelty labeled me a victim. A victim of so many. And I believed. I learned to live asleep, dead. I was the walking dead, less familiar with myself than with the strangers I passed daily. Yet I threw myself (arguably futilely) into ushering others to places of self-awareness. I was a stranger to myself, and consequentally a stranger to everyone else who thought they knew me.

I was taking an hour and a half road trip with friends a few months ago. We missed a turn and as a result the trip ended up taking seven hours. I needed every extra second. We became engaged in a conversation about why I am so resistant to anyone saying anything good about me. About why I am not embarassed at all by the divulgence of my worst failures, yet I become completely discomposed by the slightest praise of what I have come to refer to as my “glory”.

I believe that all are created with glory, that which makes us resplendently beautiful and magnificent, that which brings the Creator to his feet, that which causes him to look on us with delight. It is not hard for me to identify the glorious in others, even in those who have personally caused me quite a bit of suffering. But I have historically had a hard time accepting that others see the same in me. I wouldn’t say that I thought that I’m altogether wretched, but there has been something in me that does not want to hear that which is good, though I know and agree that it exists.

For seven whole hours my friends waited for me to answer one question. Why is it so hard for you to acknowlege your glory?

I tried to answer. I cried. I stalled. I changed the subject. I wrestled. I fought. I resisted. I succumbed. I stayed silent. I swallowed my words over and over and over again. I didn’t want them to leave my lips because if I never believed that words have power, I did that day. I knew that once the words escaped my lips, the layers of my cocoon would be disrupted and torn. I knew emergence would begin and there would be no turning back. After seven hours and having to write the words down before I could say them, they finally escaped from my lips:

Acknowledging my glory calls me to believe that I am not:

  1. a victim of multiple sexual abuses,
  2. a victim of an adulterous marriage,
  3. a victim of abusive religion,
  4. a child of an alcoholic parent,

but that I was created for more that has little if anything at all to do with the sum total of my suffering.

That was the day I began to emerge. It was the day I acknowledged that beneath the pain of life’s disappointments is a person I am only beginning to know. It’s a maddening process to learn to be who you always were while unlearning to play by the rules of the you you’ve only pretended to be.

I’ve adopted the dragonfly as my personal symbol. If it weren’t for my supreme aversion to pain, I might have permanently imbellished my body with its image.

Dragonfly symbolism crosses and combines with that of the butterfly and change. The dragonfly symbolizes going past self-created illusions that limit our growing and changing. Dragonflies are a symbol of the sense of self that comes with maturity.

Sainthood emerges when you can listen to someone’s tales of woe and not respond with a discription of your own. ~ Andrew V. Mason

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8 thoughts on “Emergence: Becoming Me

  1. The metamorphosis from victim to survivor, from poor me to overcomer is always a joy to behold. To see you land and settle on that ever-so-small island between the land of arrogance and the valley of low self worth is, to say the least, exciting. Continue on your journey, on the emergence of you…

  2. Dear Lex,

    You’re very brave to even think of facing down your personal demons in order to grow beyond them. This is never easy, and most people are too afraid of the unknown to try.

    We all have stories we tell ourselves, stories that often began before we were old enough to understand that we were not to blame for the bad things others did to us. We may have been victimized, but we are not victims if we manage to keep our hearts open enough to love new people and to love ourselves. The demons from the past have no power over us if we can somehow do those things.

    While searching for my own answers, I realized that we learn best from pain. When things are wonderful, we don’t question anything; we just enjoy the ride. Those who harm us also give us the opportunity to grow, to actually begin to love ourselves and to make a stand by rejecting them and their bad treatment. In saying no to them, we say yes to protecting ourselves from future misery we don’t deserve.

    Just as Nature abhors a vaccuum, so it is also on the spiritual plane. When your life is cluttered with toxic relationships, there is no space for good and worthy ones to come in. There has to be a vacancy, so it is necessary to clean house sometimes. As you come to know, love and respect your true, beautiful self, you attract new people into your life who are also on a higher level and deserve to be there.

    So, if anybody tries to mess with your glory, kick ’em in the nuts. Okay?

  3. @ Kwesi

    Thanks, man. And thanks for not letting up on me that day.

    @ Heart

    Thank you so much. I’m not sure I feel brave. I just got to a point where I was running out of options. I was running out of places to hide from truth, and so the work began.

    Your comments about cleaning out the clutter of toxic relationships is so poignant. It’s difficult, but as the good and worthy enter the vacancy one by one, I am convinced that it’s worth the effort.

    And, yes, I believe pain is God’s megaphone.

  4. So true. I remember that ride and how difficult that was for you. I have since made it my business to remind you that you are indeed worth every good thing that God sends your way.

  5. Lexi, I have to say that I completely understand how hard it is to admit your comfortability with denial and self-pity. If you read my post about Bondage or Freedom, you’ll see I went through a similar experience where I had to come to grips with what was holding me down or holding me back and how once I gave it to God there was liberty. And even though I was afraid of what that meant, the fear of liberty is a much better feeling than the weight of sin and denial. I’m glad that you are becoming yourself. It’ll be nice to see what we become in the end!

    Tink 😉

  6. @ Heart

    I’m sure I heard that somewhere before, though I’ve said it so much I think it’s mine.

    @ Katrice

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that. I am still very surprised by each piece of life that seems to fall into place. It just seems so…so…wrong! I’m the freak who says, “why me” about the good stuff and not the bad stuff. But, you know that all too well, huh? Thank you so much. I love you to pieces.

    @ Tink

    Thanks, I’ll go read that now. Yes, it remains to be seen. I’m looking forward to it.

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