I live with two baby dinosaurs. Their names are Lemon and Cricket, and I adopted them when they were little four-month-old puppies because they were buy one get one free and marketing works really well on me. But now they are NINE-MONTH-OLD HUGE TINY HORSES. They are so big, y’all.
They are not house trained all the way completely yet and I cannot even with housetraining, you guys, but they are very good and go on their mats by the back door now, but they have destroyed my hardwood floors. I am thankful I’ve watched a lot of Fixer Upper and I know that they can just be sanded down and refinished, probably.
But they are my girls, and I love them endlessly, to exhaustion, etc. They lay right outside the door when I’m doing my hair for work and they are very happy that I bought a large sectional couch because there’s room for all three of us to lay down on that thing. They are so excited when I get home from work or the gym. Cricket can almost put her paws on my shoulders and I can’t even pick Lemon up anymore. But I come home, and I put my stuff down, and I go to the back door to let them run around in their yard, even though it is a pure mud pit and that mud gets tracked around my house and makes it look like a hut in the third world. I am mostly okay with it and have ordered a steam mop. But every time, Cricket steps out the door and then turns back around and jumps up and gives me a Cricket hug, like she thinks I’m going to leave again, but I tell her to just to go on, that it’s okay, to play in her yard. Mostly I want them to know that I love them very much. I tell them this repeatedly. I’m mostly trying to teach them about love and hugs and cuddling because I’m training them to be therapy dogs and they’ll need to develop some chill if we’re going to go hang out with cancer patients and at nursing homes to love on people.
I went on like five first dates in January. There was only one that I actually liked, but he said he needed to focus on his career instead of a relationship and he ghosted. And I am absolutely sure that he thinks I am desperate and crazy because I turned into a very needy texter after he did that, asking all kinds of questions, instead of respecting his autonomy and decision making abilities. And so I quit dating after that. January was a trial month and I am starting 2016 over in February.
All that is to say, I loved the attention. I loved the dates and the questions, hearing life stories and telling mine, and getting to know people. Getting to know people is my addiction or something. I throw myself into things very quickly; it is just my nature. I don’t dip a toe in the pool; I’m all in. I’m doing a dang cannonball. I’m the first one off the diving board. Am so not afraid of going there.
But the problem for me is that I have no chill. Absolutely no chill. I am a lot to take on, and as my friend David says, “one day, some guy will step up to the task.” Okay. Thank you for sharing, David. (He means well, y’all.)
And I’m sure one day, one will. That’s not really what January was about, though. January was about mirrors. Let me explain.
A couple of summers ago, very long story short, I had a crush on someone who didn’t have a crush on me back. I am eternally seventeen years old. But I got so upset about it. Like irrationally upset about it. Much more upset than was deemed necessary by anyone else’s standards. And my wise friend Emily was talking to me in my kitchen one day and said to me, “You’ve got to stop using him as a mirror. You’ve got to stop looking to him as a method of determining your value.”
I got so upset after this recent guy ghosted, and I finally figured out why. I was using him as a mirror. I was using all of those dates as a mirror. At my core, I just want to know that I’m loved. I wanted to have someone look at me and say, “Yes, you’re worthwhile.” And when he left, I took it so personally. I took it as a direct hit on my worth and value. That the leaving must have meant that I was not enough in some ways and too much altogether in others. There must be something about me that is excessive or deficient. Too needy. That must have been why. There was no other explanation. The thing is, he’s a person. Not a mirror.
But I am incredibly needy. Am a very needy texter. I used to think I was an introvert, but now I think I'm an extrovert because I'm very anxious when I'm not with someone or texting someone. I chalk it up to being wired for connection. It bothered me when it started up, and when something bothers one of my friends or students, I tell them to sit with it until they see what it has to tell them. So I sat with it, and discovered that I really want to be known. I just want someone to see every part of my story and love me for it. That’s a lot. But don't we all want that? Don't we all just want to be known? It's really a lot.
But, you guys, I believe that God can do that. I believe a lot of things about God, and that is one. I shy away from talking about God on here because I know He is not everyone’s cup of tea, but He is so absolutely my cup of tea. We have a very complicated history. I stopped believing a lot of things about God after Maggie died, and now I’m reclaiming them. And one of the things I’m taking back as my personal truth is that God doesn’t see in the mirror the same things that I apparently see. I was doing the IF: Gathering from my computer this morning and one of the speakers, Jo Saxton, was talking about how when we look in the mirror, we think, “Man, I am so wounded,” but that God says, “right; but I see a warrior.” We see guilt; He sees grace. I see all the ways I must be too much or not enough and He sees His daughter, who He loves.
I've always felt like being needy is a bad thing, but is it bad to be needy of God? I want to know that He loves me. I want to be needy sometimes. I want my Father to tell me that He loves me. Sometimes I just need to be needy and wrap up in a blanket and allow that to be spoken over me. I want people to speak truth to me. I want to hear that I’m unforgettable when I feel unlovable. I want to hear that I’m loved when I can only make a list in my head of all the ways I’ve blown it. Jo says that we see judgment and He says, “well, mercy triumphed over that, my darling.” Sometimes I just have to turn around when he opens the back door and turn around and say, “Are you sure? Are you sure that You love me?” so I can hear him say, “Yes, yes, endlessly, to exhaustion, etc.”
And teeny bonus: I made y'all a Spotify playlist of my favorite worship songs that help me soak that in. You can find it on my twitter (@aphillystyle) or by clicking HERE.