After writing “Struggle For Meaning“, I received responses from several people who clarified some comments I made that may not have been clear, possibly even in my head. I appreciate the support and thoughts. They’ve made me think.
Masterpiece Waiting to Happen
I know all the things they said are true and, as I prayed about and thought through what was said, I was able to see the issue at hand more clearly. I am on a journey to not only find who I was made to be but also who I am. I want a dream. I want to want something on this earth,not just living moment to moment, dealing with whatever comes my way. While I know I will still be living moment to moment, I want to be doing it with a purpose behind it while moving forward in life. Just getting by and living to exist holds no real hope, excitement or promise. Except for the knowledge and promise of what awaits me when I join Jesus in Heaven, life here is like a blank canvas without any imagination or vision pointing to what the painting will be. There can be no masterpiece, or even a moving piece of art (or a life with a purpose), unless there is first a vision or a leading as to where to even start.
As part of the journey, I have come to understand that I am not a complete person. I have been told and shown repeatedly that women mean nothing. I know this impression was given to me by men without Godly character or, at least, by men not allowing God to change and shape them into men of His character. So, even the fact of being a female is difficult to come to terms with in some ways. I also wasn’t allowed to have (or at least show) hard feelings. I never fully learned how to describe them and, as I’ve recently learned, I don’t even know what some of these feelings mean.
Because of this, my counselor gave me a list of negative feelings and asked me to define them. The first one I looked up was anger. The definition was: a strong feeling of belligerence aroused by a wrong. When I looked up the word belligerence it was defined as: a warlike or aggressively hostile nature, condition or attitude. It made me sick to my stomach to read these definitions. I had been called angry and selfish by people who only cared about themselves and were major players in my life almost every time I displayed or expressed hurt feelings. It didn’t matter what part they played in the story, I was somehow made to feel I was in the wrong. For example, if they told me I was worthless and I got upset, by either walking away and being quiet or crying, they left me with no doubt that I was clearly an angry person and was only upset because I thought too much of myself. They were just giving “constructive criticism”. I’m not sure in what world saying this to anyone would be, in any way, considered constructive. It is simply tearing someone down!
Angry and Selfish? Really?!
The saddest part is that I have accepted the labels of angry and selfish. I believed them. Why wouldn’t I? It’s what I’ve heard for so long. But I was rarely actually angry, if anger involves blowing up and striking back. It probably isn’t hard to believe that two of them consistently threw fits and blew up so many times, yet I was the angry one? How does crying and being hurt beyond expression add up to being called angry? I am beginning to see that their choosing to consistently tell me I was angry and selfish was an attempt at deflecting their own responsibility in hurting me. It’s so much easier for abusers to use derogatory words, that put the blame wholly on the other person, rather than accept they did anything wrong.
Once I realized all this, I began to understand why writing fiction has felt like a huge mountain to climb and I have hesitated so much. I know in a story, there has to be both good and rough feelings and events involved. As an author, you can’t just put down that they were sad. You have to be able to describe and create the scene in the reader’s mind. Often, the word sad isn’t even used, but, instead, the events and thoughts that surrounded their feeling a certain way. The writer has to understand the depths of the character’s being and what is happening inside them as well as what is going on around them to have fully developed characters and stories.
Experiencing rough feelings isn’t fun, but to actually understand and feel them is essential to living. It’s, going to be a part of my journey. I honestly don’t know what is ahead of me or what to expect, but it’s an adventure and something I am going into with hope.
~ Joanna Lynn