With These Hands

“Modern Americans suffer from a fear of judging. Passing judgment on the behavior of fellow human beings is considered an act of medieval, undemocratic intolerance.”

–Lewis B. Smedes

Whoever said there is nothing to fear but fear itself didn’t grow up in my household (and yes, for all you smart alecks out there, I know which president said that!!).

There was a lot to fear in our household, mostly, uncertainty. You never knew if dad was going to come home drunk and angry and rage against someone or be the happy drunk (which was rare) and it was popsicles and jingle bells all around. And when you grow up with inconsistency, you crave sameness and stability as an adult. But here’s the rub, too much of that leads to a dull, bland life, void of taking any chances, living spontaneously, and being able to live in the moment.

Trying to undo patterns of rearing is no easy task, but I’m certainly not going to spend my days dredging up old memories and wailing over days gone by, but it’s important to acknowledge them and understand how it effects my actions today.

While coming up with gifts for those participating in our wedding, I really wanted to make them personal, special, and from the heart. There’s only one problem with that, in order to accomplish this, I would have to tap into my creative side, and take a chance, show some vulnerability, that what I created might not be accepted, or ‘good enough’. Silly to think that way, I know.

You see, everything that I do I judge and criticize with such a heavy eye that at times it can paralyze me. So for the effort it took to make a ‘homemade’ gift for a few of the wedding participants was a huge leap of faith.

While I acknowledge the effort, I have to also appreciate the shortcoming of looking to others for approval, which I did, by showing it to a couple of trusted confidants, to make sure that what I had done was ‘okay’, and get the validation I still lack internally.

Baby steps.

Just for today, I will continue to make progress, leaving behind the childhood of lack and embrace the adult of enough.

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