breaking point

lately i've been thinking a lot about identity and influence. about the thrust of life and the impact of culture. below are my somewhat incoherent ramblings on the subject.

i'm not sure my thoughts are even fully formulated yet (in fact i'm rather sure they're not), but too often we're taught - often unintentionally - that we shouldn't be who we are. there is obviously some tension in this statement, but i think far too many people can look back on their lives, and point to a time when s/he lost him/herself. it's not that the culture tells us specifically to be something different from what we are, in fact many people would say quite the opposite, but despite the individualization of our culture we still don't push people to be their true, original selves.

we like people to fall somewhere in the realm of normal. a certain amount of creativity, and creative license (or lack thereof) is okay as long as it's somewhere along the continuum of acceptable. 

too often we allow ourselves, and each other, to deteriorate into something else. we try to fit a square peg into a round hole. yes, we will be affected by life. yes, we change throughout our lives. that is normal, expected, and good. it's just sad when we change in such a way as to become a shell of who we are. we live trying to be something else SO much that we neglect the gifts and unique talents we were given as individuals.

i'm not saying that we shouldn't grow or change over the course of our lives, quite the opposite actually, but there is a difference between growing - pushing oneself out of one's comfort zone because you need to grow, and allowing oneself to change into something or someone you're not.

we each want to be seen as independent and individual so much though that we don't reach out and ask for help if we need it. so many things are stigmatized. weakness, in any form, is bad in our culture. and yet, we are all weak. and we all have a breaking point. we all have an "i'm done" place. where we simply cannot will oneself to go on.

and often that is where we get lost. we will push on and persevere, and then suddenly, we break. and something is lost. our back gets broken, and we are never the same as we were before.

sometimes breaking is a good thing. sometimes it allows us to grow and change in a way we need to grow and change - to grow in a way we wouldn't have, couldn't have if we hadn't broken.

but sometimes it makes us into something we were never meant to be.

it's interesting though, because i can think through all of the above, and come to the same place i have before: we cannot be fully ourselves because we live in a hurting and broken world. we all need redemption, and until we are redeemed we have no hope of being made whole.

the now and the not yet.

we are in process. God knows who you were created to be. he knows the whole story. all of it. he can redeem your story. he can redeem your pain. we may never understand why certain things happen. but at the end of the day i have to either trust that it can be redeemed by something bigger than myself, or i'm stuck with the opposite - that it cannot be redeemed, because i know that i cannot redeem it.

i know this post is all over the place, but if i waited to share these thoughts with you until i came to a complete conclusion i don't think i would ever share them...

what do you think?


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