I have a beast living inside me, as I suspect we all do. The thing is, no one talks about the beast, their beast and I think everyone tries to quell it’s ugliness. But when one person says ‘I have this part of me that I hate.’ then others can sigh with relief and think better of their own beastliness and suddenly, one person’s beast releases the chains on another.
My beast rises from the ugly part of me that I’ve worked so hard to move away from. I shudder when I recall how my life used to be, with rage and selfishness and ghastly behaviors. I ached when I remember how lonely and empty it was, that the beast chased away the light and goodness and anyone resembling a friend or companion. I didn’t know how to be a good friend (and I worry that I still don’t….) and I grabbed a tight hold with beastly claws on to anyone who came too close because I was so desperate for someone to say ‘Hey, you’re not that bad.’ when I didn’t even believe it myself.
Or worse, when someone came in to my beastly world, I’d hide the ugly down so deep that I’d be afraid of it, afraid of what it would do if I let it out and that fear would push me far, far away from any good, any light that tried to pierce the shield around me. And I’d hide, retreat and stay quiet, pulling away so as not to awaken the fury. The only result of that, once again, was empty rooms, and heart.
We know so little how to remodel ourselves when young and inexperienced. We think a few hastily made decisions are good, then we pass a few years in our new self-house and suddenly realize how barren it is, how the echo of ourselves fills the hollow rooms and we realize we had no idea how to make it beautiful. But after so many misaligned decisions, too many chances taken that never pan out, it can become a staggering weight to bear that feels far too heavy and we think we’ll never see light through the boarded up windows. And the air in our self-house grows stagnant and old, we sink to the floor, eyeing the door, afraid.
And I’m so thankful to the years of transformation, to the patience of my own heart to look deep within and say ‘This just isn’t right.’ and for the strength to raise a hammer and begin to tear down all the ugly walls and bad paint and poor renovations, to uncover the windows so the light can shine in, and the breeze blow, to remove all that was done in haste and indecision over the years, messes made to try and cover other messes and ugliness. We all work so hard to architect our lives before we even know what we’re doing, and some of us spend years learning over and again of how little we actually knew. It never works to paint over our broken souls.
Still, part of that past beast remains, a hair trigger inside that rages and bites hard and hurts, clawing the closest person near me, desperate for what it wants or needs. I’m often startled at my own rage when it pours from me, pouncing on anyone within arm’s range with it’s ire, surprise and hurt filling their eyes. I’m a five year old again, selfish and ugly and screaming to be heard. I’m shocked and saddened at myself, again, because when I look around at my current self-house, I see more beauty than I ever thought I’d own. I see what my hands have done to the walls, the floors and the decor, how lovingly they’ve restored all that was old and dysfunctional. And I think I’ve chased the beast away permanently.
But apparently, I haven’t. The beast still pounces, unannounced, unexpected; lurking in a dark corner or under the floorboards, it’s still there in spite of my renovations, leaving me to wonder if I can ever do enough to tame it for good.
Please stop by for a visit, and to explore the links posted.