Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Captivity of Image
I've always wanted to look good.
I'm not even talking physical attractiveness. I've never really been one to obsess about having every hair in place or make-up perfected before I walk out the door.
No, I'm talking about how I wanted to look like I had it all together. My kids in line, perfect little human beings that would not dare to hurt someone else's feelings, disobey my words, or throw a fit. My bag expertly packed with whatever the kids or I might possibly need. My house clean and organized, because, of course, that would be my priority for a properly maintained household.
But, the thing about image is that it is pretty one-sided. Two-dimensional. Flat. Often, paper-thin. Easily torn. Quickly marred. The fact is that kids are kids, no matter how well you think you can prepare, the inevitable happens, and having a clean house isn't just all it's cracked up to be, especially if you have been run ragged trying to keep it that way.
But, the real detriment to caring about this whole image thing is that it can cause harm to my children. In my haste to protect my ego, my self-esteem, my self-worth, I have easily destroyed theirs with harsh words when they did not perform to my expectations. With my desire to have the perfect presentation, I have chosen to put the extra household cleaning in front of spending time playing with them on the floor. In my effort to foresee every possible glitch in the scenario, I have wasted precious energy worrying, sapping my patience in the moments when I must deal with the mundane, the ordinary, the commonplace.
I cannot say that I am completely free of the chains that bond me to this paper-thin picture of me. However, since I have become acquainted with the destructive effects of trying to keep it up, I have asked God to teach me how to love unconditionally as opposed to expending energy trying to gain the world's applause. Because, let's face it, the world is much more fickle than my children will probably ever be. I will never be able to live up to the world's expectations, but I certainly am going to try to fulfill those of my children.
Linking up with Tiffini today for Word Women Wednesdays - come check it out!