Saturday, February 4, 2012

Reflections and Tolkien

Currently Reading: Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherford

Although I am going to put a poem in here, the past few days have been a bit rough and I can't really keep it out of my blog. Besides, writing is the most effective form of therapy there is, in my opinion. So bear with me.

I admire children. They will wear their clothes inside out, throw themselves into any project they set their mind to regardless of so-called talent, have temper tantrums in the middle of the grocery store, and blurt out the first thing that pops into their head. It may drive the adults in their life crazy, but the part I admire is that they do this because they are still young enough not to worry about what others think of them. They are entirely confident in themselves, not concerned with what the wider world says or believes. Ask a child what he wants to be when he grows up. None of them realistically envision part-time, dead-end jobs, or even worse, unemployment. None say, "Well, I hope I will get into the college program I want," or "I doubt I'll get that promotion." No, they immediately dream big, fully confident that their goals are not only possible, but inevitable. Goals like being a princess, the president, an astronaut, or a movie star. The Bible applauds a child-like faith.... but I think Jesus must have also wanted us to emulate a child's attitude to the world. Loving unconditionally. Laughing for no reason at all. Ignoring the bad and embracing the good. Fighting the bad guys... and winning. Finding happiness in the smallest things. Loving yourself.

When does that change for us? When does the world and all its negativity engulf our child-like souls? I have felt so heavy lately with a weight that seems like it will never come off. I have prayed that it will be taken away, but the problem is that it is entirely of my own making. I am the one who judges myself, who takes negative and critical comments way too far, who has lost my confidence, who dislikes myself, who has taken the world in and cannot get it out. And I am ashamed of this- ashamed of my weakness, my vulnerability. One of the forgiveness prayers in church states "I have not loved others as I have loved myself." But in my heart of hearts lately, it feels more like "I have not loved myself as I should." To "love yourself" sounds quite egotistical or selfish, but I don't mean it in that way. Instead, I view it in terms of an airplane emergency. Before the flight takes off, the flight attendant instructs us in how to use an oxygen mask. Number one rule: always put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. Analogy translation: you have to take care of yourself and feel good about yourself before you can be of any use to anyone else. I am learning slowly how to reclaim my child-like confidence and find the self-esteem I once possessed. It's not easy. But I'll get there.

But in the meantime, a poem to comfort, from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. With any trial in life, literature is the Neosporin to my open cut. It soothes, it strengthens, and sometimes it stings. But overall, it helps heal.

All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter
by J.R.R. Tolkien

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Have a glorious weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Keep On Reading...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...