Sunday, January 18, 2009


I want badly to be a person of integrity.

Integrity is wholeness. There is a lot of overlap between being a person of integrity and being a person whose actions, thoughts and feelings are integrated with each other: if you act in complete accordance with the way you think and feel, you cannot lie, for instance. Deception fractures the self (indeed, perhaps the soul). When thoughts and feelings and deeds are aligned, though, the self is united.

I want to be whole badly enough that I disintegrate myself. In the moments--or dare I admit, periods--when what I feel (rejection) is divorced from what I know and believe (there is a place I belong), rather than recognize the discrepancy, I tell myself it isn't there. I know what I know. I believe what I believe. What does it matter what I feel?

That is the mantra in my head: My conscious choice is all that matters.

But when I step back from iron determination, I find that in my heart I do not, perhaps cannot, truly believe what I say I do. The words I refuse to say echo in my chest. "No, you don't."

Mostly I conceal from myself the discrepancy between what I believe I should feel and what I actually do feel. I pretend to be whole, even within my own mind. But pretenses make growth impossible. I have to expose the cracks if I am to glue the shattered pieces back together. I have to uncover the rips to sew the garment into a united whole. I have to admit: When you tell me you believe I am a good daughter, I don't believe you. (Sometimes I don't believe you mean it; sometimes I don't even believe it's true.) When I admit my brokenness, finally healing can begin.

So I confess--that I hurt, that I do not have my life together. That no matter how far away I go, your words always have the power to rip me open. (You. There are several of you, the ones I am vulnerable to. I confess--that I am vulnerable.) I confess that I don't feel as though my soul is hidden in the cleft of the rock, or covered there with His hand. I confess that there is a great chasm fixed between what I believe and what I feel, at times.

So hold me,
break me,
mold me and make me
more and more like You.
I've come to worship You.
To love You,
feel You,
draw ever near You
as I worship You.
I've come to worship You,
O Lord.

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