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Mad Hatter

Image credit here.

Image credit here.

Sept 26, 2015

Mad Hatter

I am anxious. I am irritable. I have too much time between clients and too much time to think.

Isn’t this what I wanted? To think? To think about writing? To contemplate my enjoyment, which has become tinged with fear, and may be tipping into dread? I love writing for you. Yes, YOU. I also feel frightened and exposed. My perfectionism is a stitch in my side. And the demands of blogging etiquette stretch my introversion to desperation even while I enjoy your writing, and I lap up the comments you send my way.

I have a few moments, and so I continue the waiting I began earlier this week. I talk to God some. Mostly, I listen. I need to learn what comes next. I am both wonderfully strong and entirely dependent.

I purposed—and I think I still do–to finish my blog threads Family Rules and The Story of Hanna. I had written most of my material before the idea of a blog had even crossed my mind, and I have spent the months since February polishing and supplementing the pieces through which I have experienced freedom from suffering and greater self knowledge. During this therapeutic process, I became aware of a desire to try my voice in the hearing of others. I started this blog. All of this felt God-led.

Now the realization of my goal is within sight. What lies ahead?

I am known for fleeting passion. I gardened with fervor for a few seasons and then dropped it cold. My husband Henry and I worry about the appearance of the flower beds I started but do not maintain. Are the neighbors pissed? I crocheted my fingers to the bone last year, and now I can hardly stand the sight of yarn. Early in our marriage, I cooked everything but pasta from scratch. Then it was couponing for a few years. Before I started blogging, I was addicted to Bones reruns and Bejeweled Blitz. You see my pattern?

I have had to review, at many junctures, which parts of me are ME and which are merely hats which have caught my fancy. I have a list of ME parts. I keep it to remind me of who I am when I am in danger of becoming confused. Without it, I don’t think I would like myself very much, and I think I would have a hard time looking God in the eye. God’s pleasure in me is my guiding principle, or at least I want it to be. Not because of fear. No. Because I have experienced the goodness of God and can’t unknow it.

Here are some ME parts:

My relationship with my husband.

My relationship with my children.

My relationship with God.

My counseling career.

There are others as well, but these suffice for now. I am committed to the maintenance of these parts even on days when Henry and I argue, my daughters spill nail polish on the rug, God seems remote, and work straight up sucks. I will attend, fight for, defend, and nurture these parts even during times when my love is a discipline scant on warm feelings.

Writing might be a hat. I can’t tell. If so, it is one which I have worn with enjoyment. I might wear it for a while longer. Or I might put it in my closet and wait to see if it comes back into fashion. Then again, maybe writing is meant to become a part of ME. If this is the case, I will need to learn how to make a more permanent place for it within this anxious and chaotic woman. God can show me how to do this—and I will submit to this molding–but I don’t believe I can do it on my own. Perhaps writing will occupy some role which I haven’t even considered. I will have to wait and see.

And so I have entered a process of discernment.

Which, at times, requires me to lie in my bed with the covers over my head.

So that when I have become fully divested, I will do whatever God asks or permits.

Because following God is not a hat.

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17 responses »

  1. My husband knows this pattern too – I do something ALL THE WAY for months and months and then drop it entirely. Writing is something I have always returned to.

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  2. What a lovely post and wonderful journey. It seems you have a foundation grounded in values that sustain you – values of love. So the rest of life is like the seasons, blossoming, ripening, withering and lying dormant for the next seeds to sprout and bloom. There is nothing wrong, in my mind, with these cycles. You are free to follow your dreams, to change dreams, to resume dreams, to discard those that have run their course. It’s all good, Jane.

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  3. This is the second post I’ve read today where there seems to be a struggle to remain focused or find enjoyment in the things we once considered a passion. Our is it that our true passions are surfacing above the mundane things of daily life. Whatever the case I do enjoy your writing and enjoyed this post. Best wishes for a great week.

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  4. Writing can help all of your different parts express themselves and grow healthier! Or it can lead to navel gazing. I’ve done both. 🙂 Blessings on your time of discernment. Here’s a quote I read this week which I thought was really profound. You might like it, too: “Confessing means asking the reader for something — for forgiveness, for punishment, for some kind of response that makes you feel less alone. Honesty means offering something to the reader — a piece of yourself or a set of suggestions. Honesty means making the reader feel less alone. Honesty is inherently generous. Confession is inherently needy and intrusive.” — Cool, huh?

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  5. By the way, that was memoirist Meghan Daum’s quote.

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  6. Because “following God is not a hat” says it all. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

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