It's important to recognize when the fortune cookie is smarter than you are.
The wisdom delivered here hit me right between the eyes. It goes far beyond exposing the recklessness of deception. It's also a reminder I can't put anything over on God.
I have finally *really* figured out that I can't show God a particular side of me. He sees the WHOLE of me... "warts and all" as they say. What's more He LOVES the whole of me and doesn't hold my warts against me. He isn't even repulsed by the great big booger hanging off my nose. All He sees is the being that He created me to be.
Beautiful. Radiant. Flawless.
That doesn't mean anyone else sees me that way, or needs to, or that I think I'm perfect because God sees me that way. It REALLY doesn't mean that He thinks I don't need any improvement or correction. God has been correcting my ass off in recent months. What it means is that I don't need to be self-conscious, because I'm good enough, just the way I am, for anyone... even me.
Which brings me to the other truth that this fortune cookie revealed to me...
I can't outwit myself, either.
No matter what persona I project or how I wrestle parts of myself back in fear that people will be uncomfortable with me at "full strength," or perhaps they'll realize just what a doofus and fraud I really am, the "real me" is still there. Who I am lurks just below the surface clambering to be seen and heard in more than just regulated, censored cameo appearances... because that is the person God created me to be.
I can't change it any more than I can change the color of my eyes or the length of my legs.
I don't need to fear negative reactions because I say what I really feel. Someone just might be thinking the exact same thing. And if they don't agree, they are certainly entitled to feel differently. It doesn't mean I'm stupid, or wrong, or bad. We simply don't agree. It's not a crime or a sin to disagree.
The greatest disservice I can do those around me, especially those I love, is to withhold my honesty in a vain attempt to "protect" them somehow and display only what I think others deserve, or expect, or can handle from me. That's not to say that I need to be brutal or cruel. Just real. To say the truth and then work through their response with love and respect. That is the only way to have a firm footing.
To build a relationship while being who I *think* I'm supposed to be and expressing only what I imagine my loved ones want to hear is to live on a constantly eroding slope that will inevitably continue to fail and lack true stability until the bedrock is finally exposed.
What greater expression of Love for my family and friends could I offer than to allow the person God made me to be finally beam at full candle-power in stead of a feeble attempt at acceptable fashioned by my own floundering, myopic humanness? To quote Ani DiFranco, "I'm 32 Flavors and then some..." My family deserves them all... not just the ones I *think* they like.
How will they know they like pistachio unless I give them a chance to try it?
Mint Chocolate Chip?
What better gift and show of respect for my Creator than to quit camouflaging His design?
I'm done being afraid of who I am.
I'm pretty much done with fear in general. Fear is the opposite of Love.
I'm ready to Live Out Loud.
I'm ready to break free of self-imposed twilight.
At last, I am ready to shine... and maybe even sing.
Nothing like a little Pad Ginger with a good friend for lunch and a smack upside the head from God for dessert, eh?