Perfectly Willing to be Perfectly Human

Midwestern cold knows not mercy. It crawls and creeps into every crevice until even the breath you take is sharp against your lungs. The kind of bitter that leaves you nauseously trying to warm your fingers against your dad's chest when you wear the wrong gloves. 

I held the barrel as steady as I could but still it wavered. My adrenaline made it difficult to sight in that small spot behind the shoulder where he'd always told me to aim. On an exhale, with the heat of my breath forming moisture beads on the gun, I closed my eyes and pulled tight the trigger. The deer never took another step.

"You got 'im," my dad said. All his words were edged with giddiness and somehow the mistake of washing my hair with Pantene instead of doe urine was forgotten. (I may be admitting a near 20-year secret that this wasn't by accident. Sorry Dad- we all have our limits.)

Trauma works in a similar manner. Sounds, smells, images on a billboard or commercial, and suddenly like the deer I cannot take another step. It's a bullet between the eyebrows of my past. Unseen until it's too late. 

This anxiety disorder thing I became aware of when I was thirteen and pimpled. This thing I'm still learning to manage almost two decades later. It can throw me into defeat about as fast as a deer drops. I start to believe I'm stuck and wonder if I'll forever be doomed to a life of fear. Talk of hope begins to feel like a hoax. 

Professionals call it "all-or-nothing" thinking. Isn't that a dainty little package? I prefer to name it a "slippery slope of lies," or possibly even "perfectionism."  

When I can pull myself far enough away from this type of thought-processing I start to ask questions like: What if I embrace the difficult, ugly bits of my life along with the graceful? How would it look to say yes to the hard the way I say yes to the easy? What if beauty is in the ashes and connection happens from being vulnerable about our wounds?

“What if part of God’s message to the world was you? The true and real you?”  
-Donald Miller, Scary Close

My past doesn’t define me. Speak. Believe. Repeat.
But it is part of my story. And I think that might just be okay.

“I am willing to sound dumb.
I am willing to be wrong.
I am willing to be passionate about something that isn’t perceived as cool.
I am willing to express a theory.
I am willing to admit I’m afraid.
I’m willing to contradict something I’ve said before.
I’m willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one.
I’m willing to apologize.
I’m perfectly willing to be perfectly human.”  
-Donald Miller, Scary Close