Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Liberation from Our Demons

I've been thinking about this week's Gospel, Luke 8:26-39, about the demons that wake us up in the middle of the night, the demons that won't leave us alone. As a modern person, I tend to see Biblical demons as metaphorical, even though I realize that people of Jesus' time would have seen them as literal. More on these demons in my Thursday meditation on the Gospel.

Over at my Creativity blog, I wrote an entry about my ongoing feelings of not living up to my full potential, my worry that I'm wasting time. I wrote:

"Since I was little, I've worried about not living up to my full potential--I've always wondered if I could be doing more to be the best Kristin I can be. Maybe I should relax a bit more about that.

I'm the kind of woman who, if she solved the world's hunger issues so that no one was going to bed with an empty stomach, why, I'd say, 'Well, that's very nice, but there's all these landmines that are maiming and killing people. What are you going to do about that, Kristin?'

For me, a gizmo that took accurate measurements might be a useful reminder of all that I do get done. Or it might be a way for me to beat myself up with more accuracy.Clearly, I have some self-improvement work to do--work at self-acceptance, at not flogging myself to always do/be more."

I've been trying to adopt what I imagine God's view of me to be, to change the inner demons who hiss in my ear, for the voice of God who would console me, if only I would hear. I want to believe that God views me in the same way that my 4 year old nephew does. So far, my nephew has been very non-judgmental. He's just so happy to be with me. He doesn't look at me and think about all the books I have yet to publish, all the pounds that I lose and regain, all the ways I've disappointed him. He just sees a wonderful woman who makes him puppets and takes him to Taco Bell and plays in the ocean and reads him story after story.

I imagine God to be much the same. God probably puzzles over all the ways I invent to make myself unhappy. God probably says, "You're such a cool person. Relax with all the self-improvement. You're perfectly fine, just as you are right now."

Maybe God says, "Hey. I made you this way for a reason. If I wanted you to be ballerina-thin, I'd have made you that way."

God probably says, "What a cool poem you've made. I can hardly wait to see the next one." But I'm the one who hears that as a negative criticism. It's my inner demons who twist my ears so that I hear, "Why are you so slack that you write so little? You're wasting your life."

Let me not listen to those demons who tell me that I'm not good enough. Let me listen to the voice of God, who delights in me.

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