Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Nudist at the Pool

I haven't been very joyful lately.
I haven't felt a whole 'lotta peace either.
When these things are absent, I know there are a few obstacles standing between me and God.

I don't actually believe that the distance between God and myself ever changes. I believe Truth is always arms-reach away. Maybe this is Biblically sound. Maybe not. But wouldn't a God who leaves us in hard times and draws nigh other times be flaky? Unpredictable? Distant? No, I think that when I feel "far from God" there is just a lot of fog between us.

One such fog: "perfection."
But also, let's not forget: "anxiety," "fear," and "trying to do too much."
Common culprits that make me feel far from God.

This is my obsession.
This is my hurdle.
This is my fog.

I remember about 4 years ago, I went to a string of doctor's appointments related to my eating disorder, my digestion issues, a string of flus, allergies, joint pain, etcetera and nearly everyone asked me, "How is your stress level?" and I answered how everyone must: "Umm...fine. I'm always stressed. Isn't everyone?" This is the point when every medical professional would smile gently, tilt their head to one side, and say, "Well..." with hesitation "no." This is one of the first times I recognized that not everyone was seeing the world the same way I was.

I'm well associated with stress. But what I've encountered lately is anxiety.
Which surprises me and I think:
          What do you really have to be stressed about? 
          Your life is good. 
          This isn't "legitimate stress." 
          Get a grip.

It's in these moments when I recognize most clearly: Oh, Helga's back. Make yourself at home. You know the place well.

And I want to give in and let her take over.
I want to just slump into a heap on the floor and say, "You win." Again.

But then I remember, that as stubborn a houseguest as she is, Helga's a pansy when confronted a few key things, namely:
slowing down          
and deep breaths

Helga can't take it.
Won't hear it.
Vacates faster than the loan swimsuit wearer at a nudist pool.
She can't handle the vulnerability.
Can't take the heat.

The fog lifts only when Helga is completely out.
Not one foot in the door.
Not screaming insults from the window.

This I know for sure:
There is only joy and peace when transparency steps in and fear steps out.