Letting Go…

…of who we thought we would become.

In the 1990s, Andre Agassi was synonymous with the claim that “image is everything.”  And, in a matter of speaking, there is a great deal of truth to that—especially when the image in question is the image that you have of yourself.  What plan did you have for your life?  Did you imagine yourself doing something profound on a global scale?  Starting your own business? Perhaps you saw yourself as the perfect parent?  Were you going to have the largest house on the block with all of the latest toys? Or, like a superhero brought to life, would you be the one person who always made the just and moral choice?

Self-Image is a very powerful thing.  It impacts both our output and our intake.  A positive one can produce feats of courage and daring, lead to innovation and self-improvement, and encourage those around you.  At the same time it interprets our life and daily interactions in a manner that builds us up and strengthens for the days, months, and years ahead.  But….and this is a big Butt…a negative self-image can be devastating.  Our output becomes lethal and our intake polluted.   This self-image can be a poison that leaches into those closest around you, it can cloud your perception of life, and it can leave you in a rut that gets harder and harder to escape.

And, if you are anything like me, the greatest cause of self-generated negativity is your inability to let go of who you thought you would be.  Such a powerful force this can be.  Just like the comics where the villains always have the stronger powers, negative perceptions (powers of destruction) are the nukes of life.  If you are a Christian wanderer like me then you undoubtedly have found yourself in a place somewhat similar to what I have described.  Things have not turned out at all as you anticipated.  You were going to be a minister, missionary, or professor of Christian thought—at the least, a regular part of a church.  Instead you find yourself in a spiritual limbo, a place devoid of ultimate direction, without a center, a place you never saw coming.

So the question begs, what do we do if we find ourselves in this place of negativity, this limbo, this ceneterlessness (to coin a phrase)?  Is this the necessary outcome of becoming a Christian Wanderer or a Doubting Thomas?  I say the answer lies in letting go.  Take that image that you had of yourself as a child, young man or woman, and let it go.  Embrace your past.  Own up to it.  In so doing you will take away some of its power over you and you can begin the process of laying it down.

Until you do you risk hurting yourself and those around you, and wasting what remains of this precious thing called life.  Reconcile yourself to who you are and take joy in whatever you can.  Find others with similar life stories and find solace in camaraderie.  I cannot guarantee that doing so will restore any former glory, make you a better parent, give you that big break you have been waiting for, or make you that moral superhero you always envisioned.  But I can say with a great deal of conviction that failing to let go of who you thought you would/should be will increase the odds of you being a bad parent, a bad friend, a drain on those around you, and increase exponentially the odds of you wasting your life.

Image can be everything, so imagine yourself laying down the chains of your past and embrace your now.  Find joy in today.  Find excitement in the struggle.  See things anew.  I finally am.


4 thoughts on “Letting Go…

  1. I’m an action oriented guy. I would fast. Scripture is loaded with struggling and doubting saints who fast to seek God. I would tithe. Tithing is one of the few times in scripture where God literally says, “Test Me In This.” I would keep a prayer journal and list and I would take a walk each day with that list. Jesus speaks of the woman in Luke 18 who wears out the Judge, but says you can not wear out God. I would buy the bible on cd and play it to and fro on your way to work. Rms 10:17 Faith comes by hearing. I would seek solace in what the scriptures says of the Saints before us. Joshua for 13 years endured prison unjustly before redemption. How long has your funk persisted? I would fight. I would create an action step plan. I would Seek the Lord in all I do and lean not to my own understanding but in all my ways acknowledge Him and trust He will direct my path. I would rid myself of the RED PILL and swallow the BLUE PILL. And then look to the cross.
    That’s just what I would do. Funks are hard to get out of but worthy fighting to get out of.
    Just rambling while at work. Nice Blog. I’m looking at my calendar and Wednesday might be best if you’d like to get together. P.S. correct me if I’m misconstruing what you’re saying.

    • First, I appreciate any and all Matrix references. Glad those things have worked for you and hope they continue to do so. However, I would never encourage the “blue pill”. That is the path of willingly choosing ignorance, of believing the lie, for the sake of avoiding the troubling truth. If what you believe is the truth then you should never be afraid of knowledge.

      While I encourage interaction, I definitely do not want to meet with anyone face-to-face. Sorry if you misunderstood. Thanks for the reply Craig.

      • I was speaking metaphorically. I don’t know what Red stands for nor what Blue stands for. And, I don’t encourage ignorance that’s why I quoted scriptures that are empirically testable i.e. fasting, prayer journal and tithing.

  2. Powerful. Rewriting your narrative takes courage — scraping and clawing yourself into a place where you can start over. And I love that you’ve chosen Thomas for this blog. For someone who gets a bad wrap — I think we fail to see that Jesus embraced Thomas’ doubt when he asked “is it really you . . . are you real?”

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