Sunday, February 19, 2012
The monster on the other side of the door...
They keep things in; they keep things out. Doors, gates, and walls--they are a recurring theme in literature, fairy tales in particular. The heroine locked in the tower, the secret in the forbidden room, the monster on the other side of the door. These are powerful images that stay with us from our childhood and often resonate in the images and stories we are drawn to later.
I think we all have a monster on the other side of the door; it is something different to each of us. Sometimes the danger is emotional or psychological, and intensely personal. Other times it is physical, inescapably present, and in your face. Sometimes the monster comes from within, and sometimes it comes from without.
The monsters out there can feed our own inner monsters, telling us we're not good enough, smart enough, loved enough. They can prompt us to put on a big show that proves we're fine, our defiance raised like an impenetrable shield; or they can intimidate us into drawing too far inward, an isolation that can preempt the possibility of rejection. But what are we left with then?
Fear is running us; running us ragged, and running us from ourselves. Maybe we are afraid that if we stop running we'll find out that we are not enough. Enough to be loved and valued for who we are. Do we truly believe there is enough worth in us right now, just as we are, to make us enough? Or do we define our worth by the job we have or don't have, by the stuff we have or don't have, by the relationships we have or don't have. At the end of the day, strip it all away and what truly matters is the fact of you; you exist. You were born. Your undeniable value was set from that day forward and nothing can add to or take away from that. Wouldn't it be wonderful to truly feel that, to truly believe that? Think what you could do if you really took that truth to heart. No monster at the door could ever stand against that truth! You could kick that monster in the teeth and never look back.
Today I'm kicking my own monster in the teeth. I've spent much of my life attempting to be as small and unnoticeable as possible; attention makes me uncomfortable because it provides the opportunity for embarrassment. Oh yes, that's my monster's name... Embarrassment. I'd rather endure a week's worth of physical pain than be laughed at. Isn't that silly? The idea that someone else's laughter could somehow diminish my intrinsic worth, that laughter could change who I am inside. But only I can change who I am. So today I'm doing something about it. I'm calling attention to myself and if Embarrassment shows up I'm going to see how well it can bite me after I kick it's teeth out.
And what, you might ask, am I calling attention to myself with? What am I so afraid people might laugh at me for? I want to raise some money for charity. Not much really, just $15 000. Peanuts, right? Yes, I thought you'd agree. Actually, with a donation of $5 it would only take three thousand people to reach that goal; I read blogs that easily get that many hits in a week. It's kind of staggering when you think about how little it actually takes to make a difference when lots of people help. But for that to happen you have to step out and get people's attention! So I'm taking my shot. I'm facing down my own monster at the door and asking you to help face another, very real and much scarier monster at someone else's door.
There is an orphanage in Honduras that needs a wall. A $65 000 security wall that will keep children who were rescued out of lives of unimaginable poverty, neglect and abuse from being stolen in the night and dragged right back into that abuse for the profit of others.
These children have value and it is not what someone else can charge for a half hour's use of their bodies. These children are priceless; we are all priceless. But the wall that can keep their monster out has a price tag. The children can't afford it, but if we all work together, we can. Together we can kick their monster in the teeth and maybe, in doing so, we can render our own little monsters toothless.
Visit Go Fund Me to help...
Image from Eugenio Recuenco