the Trigger-happy housewife

Bringing the constantly fantastic and painfully insane together daily!

Knowing when you know…

on October 14, 2013

We are going to take a trip, you and I, down the terrible lane of memories that lies on the outermost outskirts of my mind. The last little run down area of my brain “town” where the sad and wasted memories live. It’s an area of “Brain Town” that is a lot less populated than it used to be. See there has recently been a revival of sorts, you know, where lots of work has been done to heel and restore and in that a lot of the resident memories here have either found joy, received restoration or at least lost their ability to really cause a problem. Still we are going to go in there and look around for a few so that I can tell you what came to me this weekend.

I am not sure that EVERYONE will have this memory, but I am pretty sure we all have one like it. You are in love, you have found the perfect person and  you just know it’s going to forever be wonderful. Until, it isn’t. Try as you might you just can’t ignore your inner voice saying, “This is very wrong.” Your perfect partner is flirty with another girl and you KNOW that something is going on. They deny and call you crazy. You start backing up your argument with facts: they are always texting someone else, they take secret phone calls, cancel on you constantly, smell like perfume. You are met with names like petty and immature and as they continue to deny and act like you are crazy. Suddenly your desire to believe in them causes you to give up believing in yourself and before you know it you are having a conflict deep inside your mind/heart. You KNOW that things are wrong and that you should not let things continue, and you also KNOW that they are lying – only now you have no idea how to listen to your mind when your heart wants to buy the story so bad. By the time this relationship ends – and it will, it always does – you are left with such a disconnect that you just don’t trust yourself anymore. The next few perfectly nice people who you date are subject to constant scrutiny, jealousy, distrust and anger (which is actually at yourself because you just can’t figure out if you trust them or if you don’t.) Someone’s lies have left you completely unable to trust your instincts. This can take YEARS to heal and fix, this can ruin wonderful relationships and for some people last a lifetime.

This is what happens in religion. WHAT? How did this crazy Christian take that turn in thought? I will tell you how, because over the last few months my self-confidence has been waking up. A return to KNOWING IN MY KNOWER and TRUSTING WHAT I KNOW!

See, my entire life I have been blessed (and it is a blessing, though I honestly wrote it off as a curse at one point) with a strong, loud and clear, will not be ignored KNOWER or conscience. The reason that I thought it a curse was because from a very young age my conscience would not let me simply accept things, it would “ping” and instantly questions would enter my mind, spilling from my mouth before I could stop them. Often I didn’t even get what exactly I was asking and I never understood why the adult or whomever would get irritated. I started to see that around my high school years. I started to realize that no matter how politely I worded my thoughts, no matter the care I took to express them, no matter how innocent they were people took offense. They were offend that I “challenged” their opinions, that I “argued” everything and – the conclusion that made me finally withdraw and shutdown (how else could I shut up) – the better my point, the more validity I had, the angrier the person I was speaking with would get. The place that this applied in my life the most – church.

Over time, with enough different people constantly repeating the same rhetoric and seeming so educated and charismatic and so SURE of themselves – I just started to doubt what I knew I knew. I started to buy the story, only not in a, “Heck yes, pass that Kool-Aid ’cause I believe!” way, in that same sad, worn out, “I don’t want to fight anymore.” way that you give in when you know that you are being lied to, but can’t really take being right. I started to look around envious of the folks who didn’t have a constant stream of consciousness making them inexplicably curious and thoughtful. I started to think I was broken, defective, bad.

By the time I met my wife I was over trying, or I thought I was, and I spoke freely to her about the things that had happened, the conversations that had taken place, the thoughts I had once just known were true. We had lots of conversation and for the first time I felt like my thoughts were being able to form in their entirety, she didn’t shut them down. She embraced them, thought them over and asked me clarifying questions. Often her new questions brought new knowledge, new words from the inner voice. I was always very careful to tell her, “I am probably wrong, but I think…” and, “When I was little they would say … but I always thought …” Funny thing happened, she agreed with me most of the time. She would answer with questions and statements like, “That makes a lot of sense.” or “Yeah, putting it that way I believe it. I couldn’t really grasp it before.” This really stirred me up, because I respect my wife. I think she is very smart and I enjoy her opinions. Suddenly having her find my inner voice, who I had given up on, reliable – well, it changed everything. Once during a conversation I made a reference to the fact that I just wish I could not think the way I did and my wife almost flipped, “That is a gift, it is your gift!” I thought she was cute, but wasn’t sure.

When we found my church something really bizarre happened, I met a pastor who voiced AND BACKED UP WITH THE BIBLE a lot of the random beliefs I had always had. I can’t tell you the amount of  times my wife looks over at me and says, “You said that!” or “You say that all the time!” Often on the drive home I sit silently connecting the sermon with my inner voice, quietly filing the evidence and answers and thinking, “You need to learn to trust yourself again.” My wife and I will talk over what we heard, me giving her my thoughts – because sitting in my church I can literally see my thoughts bloom like flowers, I scribble constantly little notes, connections, examples, taking things further or back to another thought… She and I ask questions, some that I just answer as I let my conscience freely flow, some that I consider deeply, pray over and look in the Bible to figure out – all of them lead to a deeper understanding and more questions. We never stop, we just get distracted with life… Move from discovery back into worship as we go through our day.

More and more often, as I work through this life with God, I am shocked by the fact that the doubt and self-questioning I subjected myself to was actually not mine. I was a child so sure of myself that others felt their faith threatened and chose to combat that by shutting me down. I was a person whose open and honest questions caused those closed and unsure people to feel exposed and to cover themselves I needed to be silenced. It is sad how many of us doubt our own voice because of the lies, deception (both purposeful and not) that others fed us when we were merely finding our way. This isn’t just in a religious aspect, it is in many aspects of our lives and we owe it to ourselves to shake it off. To stand up and take back that which is ours, to find a quiet place and to learn to hear our own voice the voice that God gave us – our conscience.

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