No, I mean it. I am a lousy wife, a lousy mom, a horrible friend, and a worthless writer. That, and I think God rolls His holy eyes at me like you would do when your crazy Aunt Louise farts at the Thanksgiving table. That Aunt Louise, you think. I love her, but good grief – here we go again…
Have I told you that I am a direct descendent of a soldier who fought at the Alamo? For the Mexican army? My grandmother told the story many times, but she was a little nuts, so no one completely believed her. Sure enough, last year a cousin of a cousin of a cousin pulled together a genealogy with all kinds of letters and records, and there he was, smack dab in the middle of the family tree. Grandpa Ravia.
If you’ve ever studied Spanish, you know that the Spanish ‘v’ is pronounced like an English ‘b.’ Ravia sounds like Rabia. As in “rabid.” As in Cujo. You see what I’m dealing with here.
He fought at the Alamo, surrendered after the Battle of San Jacinto, and was miraculously converted to a full-blooded Texas loyalist. He then married a crazy Irish woman with a wandering eye (and I don’t mean exotropia), fathered a beautifully creative son, and was later shot and killed by his brother-in-law. Talk about your family drama.
Therein lies my rich, creative, hot-headed blood.
My family has a serious case of you-don’t-know-how-good-you-have-its. Which, I suppose, is good news because each generation removed from the Ravias is slightly less crazy than the one before. We screw up our children not quite as badly as our parents screwed us up. But still. There is a lot of screwing up going on. Michael and I remind ourselves that we have a college fund, and we have a therapy fund. At this point, I’m not sure which will cost us more.
Especially after I spend a lovely afternoon on my back patio, studying the book of James – specifically “be slow to speak, quick to listen, slow to anger” – walked inside, and screamed at my ten year old for not doing what I told him to do.
Like I said, I suck.
But do I stop there? Oh, no. Later that evening, I continue my rant because two of my three darlings don’t like salmon, I prepared salmon, they protested the salmon, and no one seems to care that I bust my tail every day to keep them alive and healthy.
Suck. Sucky, sucky, sucky, suck.
And this whole writing gig? I stare at my computer, and NOTHING. I’ve got nothing. No inspiration, no words of encouragement and humor and light. Nothing. I’m wondering if I buried the treasure for too long and the land owner is demanding its return.
Maybe I could take up knitting.
I’m just frustrated. I’m wallowing in a pit of self-loathing. I hate to wallow. I hate the pit.
I hate myself.
This is so not cool.
In an effort to hate myself a little less, I apologized to my children for being mean and disrespectful – the same qualities I try to hammer into them on a daily basis. I vow to give myself time-outs. I will shut my mouth. I will pray and search and beg for light and goodness and compassion. And words. I will beg for words to write. And I will show up and write.
We’re more successful when we live as who God says we are rather than trying to prove what we are not. I will only be who I want to be when I believe and act like who God says I am – not who I’m trying to prove myself to not be. God says I am treasured and loved and redeemable. He says I’m worth it. Instead of fixing my mind on those positive facts, I’m guilty of wasting energy trying to prove that I am not my father – and in focusing only on who I don’t want to be, I become exactly that. Which is seriously annoying.
I’m guessing maybe I’m not the only one who has bathed in a muddy pit of self-loathing. Maybe I’m not alone in hating the person who, on occasion, bursts out of my skin and reveals the ugliness lying beneath the surface.
Let’s step out of the pit, my sister, and hose each other off. Let’s wash off the muck with a loofah and sweet-scented shower gel. Let’s clothe ourselves with big, fluffy bathrobes. White. Let’s remind each other of the truth – we are loved, we are valuable, we are good. We make mistakes, but our mistakes are reparable. We can start over. God may roll His holy eyes, but He’s still crazy about us. About you. About me. We still bring Him joy. He’s still proud of us. He still wants to breathe life into our fragile flesh and create something new, something good, something with purpose. Let’s fix our eyes on that – who we want to be, not the mess from which we’re running.
It’s time to not remember The Alamo.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade.