Mirrors, Google Maps, and other agents of Satan

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Well hello there fellow air breathers. Yes, I am aware it’s been a while since I’ve shown this blog any love, but really who’s paying any attention. Essentially this blog is a place where I can process my internal dialogue, this is all well and good when said dialogue is focused on chocolate, Benedict Cumberbatch’s chin or whimsical artwork of narwhals. Don’t tell me narwhals aren’t freaking awesome, because they are. So is Benedict. I love you Benedict.

But what of my dialogue of late? It hasn’t been happy, whimsical or even diverted by a certain intellectually stimulating chin. It’s been dark, and sad, and angry, and quite frankly more than a little bit lost. This has been frightening, not because it’s not ok to be sad, but rather because I couldn’t climb out again, at some points I didn’t even want to.

There’s a certain duality that exists inside of me. There’s the part that hungers for rationality, for stability and rightness, for all things to simply be a balance of light and shade. Then there’s this other side that’s forced itself into a dominant position. This part of me that is destructive, impatient, selfish and with little compassion.

There’s a constant battle with a nameless anxiety that sits in the centre of my chest and steals my breath. I know what is inside. It is dark and it’s not worthy of love, praise or even acceptance. All of this exists together at the same time inside of me. a swirling vortex of desolation and hope both warring for real estate in my mind.

It’s exhausting.

I’m exhausted.

Now don’t get me wrong, I can still laugh. In fact this war inside me has made for some pretty hilarious circumstances. For example, just the other day I was getting ready for a road trip. I knew that I was in for a few hours in the car on my own so I thought I would use the time to try and reconnect with God. Well done me. So, I selected the Hillsong United playlist on Pandora and set off. I was super pleased when the first song that popped up was Oceans. Great song. Then, the Google Maps lady starts giving me directions on how to get out of my own driveway. My switch flipped, and I started swearing at the map lady. Now, just take a moment to consider the irony. I am full-rage swearing at a disembodied navigator because I want to sing to Jesus. It’s official, I am insane.

But am I? Am I really? Or am I simply exhibiting the symptoms of a deeper problem. There is darkness inside of me I know that it’s there and I know I can’t fix it. However, rather than fixing my eyes upon the ONLY one who can (Jesus – for those playing along at home).  I have been surrounded with mirrors, mirrors that reflect all the beauty and promise around me, yet the moment I try to go through them into what they portray, all I see is myself. My flaws, my failures, just me. And then I think that the real reason I can’t possibly do, or achieve, or have anything that is good is because of me. That by simply existing I disqualify myself from life.

But thats not right is it. Because Im not seeing truth, I’m seeing a reflection of the truth. A simulacra. A cheap souvenir shop reproduction of a priceless gift. A gift that I have already received. It is already mine through Jesus and the life he gave me.

And so onward I say, beyond the mirrors. Into the greatness of today, and the promise of tomorrow. Because that is what I choose. To see above. To see with a clarity that can only come from the One who made me. My friends, hope and peace are very grand companions, I encourage you to never take them for granted.

imagessigh…

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Day 11: A Letter to My Dreams

Dear Dreams,

Actually, you know what? Just forget the whole ‘Dear Dreams’ thing. As far as I’m concerned, that’s like starting a letter with ‘Dear People’, it’s dumb! I mean, to which dreams am I referring? My sleep dreams? My daydreams? Dreams, as in my aspirations, or do I mean the dreams I had as a child? The ones swept away on the tides of time – I never did become the Cabbage Patch Kid Spokesperson.

Let’s start with my sleeping dreams, I dream vividly. Every night. I don’t always remember them, but usually I’ll hold onto at least a few frames of memory, enough so I know that my mind was wild and active while I slept. I love to dream, I’ve dreamt of the most wonderful things and places.

I’ve walked through a mansion created out of a living rainforest. Ceilings that vaulted into the sky, where the light was soft and green and the air smelled of a waterfall. The massive trunks would merge and divide to form rooms, doorways and windows. Nothing was cut or manufactured, it was all a part of a peaceful majestic whole.
I have flown through the halls of my primary school, felt the exhilaration as I burst out of the doors and into the sky; free, high above everything I ever experienced there.
I have been presented before medieval royalty, wearing an amazing gown of deep silver. I bowed before a throne and solved a mystery hidden within a tapestry.
I have woken myself up with my laughter, and I have woken my husband up with my swearing (sorry!).
I love to sleep, because when I dream, there my imagination is free and unconstrained. I learn about myself, I am told stories, I am brave and adventurous.

Do you dream?

Then there are aspirational dreams, these are trickier. I think their trickier-ness is tied up in the whole childhood part of our dreaming. How many times in your life were you told that for one reason or another, the dreams you had conceived for your life were at best, unlikely, at worst, downright stupid? Yeah, me too – we’ve all had ‘well meaning’ adults kill a dream in it’s infancy with a good dose of reality. Well I think it’s about time we kick reality up the bum (yes, Mummy said bum – she’s sorry).

I lost all my dreams for a really long time. It was awful. Life was so grey, so boring! Then as I began to seize some crazy ideas, some not so crazy and very do-able opportunities opened up! I announced one day that I wanted to be a writer – people looked at me with polite surprise, eyebrows raised and awkward murmurs. But while the dream seemed crazy at the time – the steps I took eventually led me to university. Since then I’ve grown into that dream a little bit at a time. Reality would have scoffed at the notion of me studying at Oxford University, but I did that too!

I have other dreams: I want to live in America – San Francisco has a special place in my heart. I want to walk through Scotland and Ireland and watch my husbands face as he inspects the ancient stone walls. I want to inspire people on a global scale – I want to share hope and life. I’m sick of watching people shrink and decay in lives without vision. I want to write books, lots of books – stories that shatter the walls people have built to contain their imaginations.

Dreams are amazing things, but unless they are coupled with belief and action. They are nothing more than wisps of smoke in the space between waking and sleeping. A dream is a seed, within it is the potential for that final destination. Unless you plant it, and surrender to the processes that must happen for it to grow it will always remain simply words on your wall, a line in your journal or a secret in your heart.

I guess this wasn’t really a letter to my dreams after all, it was really a letter to dreamers.

So My Dear Dreamers,

Dream Big, Be Brave, Be Strong, Be Extraordinary!

xxoo