I drive back from dropping off my youngest, and the wind is howling, nudging my big rig side to side.
Tuesday is garbage day and as I near my house, I see every street littered by pieces of trash that have fallen from knocked over cans, swept up in gusts.
I pull in front, and the garbage truck across the street lifts a plastic can with its mechanical arm and shakes it. Tissue, paper and wadded wrappers fly from the truck’s body and all over the street.
It hits me how much I know about this because I’ve brought those full bins to the curb — all the trash I don’t want anymore — and then the winds pick up and set things off balance, and pieces spill out and scatter, and sometimes I feel I don’t have the will or energy to scramble after them to toss them out again.
Sometimes I don’t know how to do anything but watch the scraps fly.
These days I’m walking through a time of greater risk-taking — speaking more in front of groups of people with faces I can see — and putting myself out there in other new ways, too. It’s scary and uncomfortable, and so I’ve found myself doing some of the things I know to do when life stirs unpredictable.
I play the comparison game.
I question my earthly packaging.
I doubt my abilities.
Earlier in the week, I recorded myself speaking and spiraled, attacking every aspect of my outward appearance like a boss. I felt old tentacles of self-hatred try to worm in, and I looked at all these non-changeable things about me and so badly wanted them different, and it broke the mother’s heart inside me, actually — the way I was viewing myself.
I tried talking out all my perceived imperfections, but focusing on them only made them grow.
A few nights ago I spoke on a blogging panel with two other women, and, though I enjoyed the experience and some of the significant conversations that followed, I found myself questioning the ways I came across in comparison to their professional, wise and beautifully measured demeanors. I worried that I seemed all heart and no head, wondered if anyone could find any gems among my arm flailing, non-dignified extroversion.
Too easily I forget this is not about my dignity.
Or about how I appear.
Or about my strength.
And I need to be reminded.
Eventually, I turned off the video camera. I cast all those picked nits at Jesus’ feet. I reached out to Michael and sisters who helped wrap me in what is true. I sat in quiet spaces, instead of working to manufacture words and worth. I soaked in the Eternal. I thanked God who continues to move through this insecure girl shaking in her boots.
As my sister memorably said to me the other night, “You don’t need to be anyone other than who you are. Everyone else is taken.”
On a windy day, sometimes I’ve gotta stop running to scoop up and examine all the scuttering pieces and just let them scatter.
Maybe you need to release some of those same lies today. Perhaps you need to know you are beautiful. You are treasured. You are plucked from the trash heaps and loved with an everlasting love.
Consider yourself reminded.
Linking with Jennifer and a community of women desiring to see themselves as God does — enough, known, whole, free!