Yesterday I had a counseling appointment. As I was growing up my mom had a really great way of making sure that normal stuff was not stigmatized and when I asked her if I was weird or had something wrong with me that I needed to talk it through with a counselor, she said without skipping a beat, “Oh no sweetie, the crazy ones are the ones that never go.” So there is value and grace for all of us who don’t know how to nail all the things at all the times and who seek wisdom from an outside professionally trained counselor. Anyway yesterday I got to check in with mine and I told her that I had struggled over the holidays and to put it succinctly my inner critic is a straight up B!
My counselor composed herself and took me step by step through the reality that you don’t want to befriend a straight up B for it will not in fact go well with you. I needed to combat the lies and not welcome them in and give them fresh sheets and a chocolate on the pillow. My first and most frequent counseling question for all of you playing at home is “HOW DO I DO THAT?” Her answer: hold the thought up to the truth and see it for what it was. I had to combat the lies with truth. I have shared before that in my head is a super woman, formed from all of the things that all of my friends do well, and each day I compare myself to this conglomeration of awesome. If I parent poorly then I think of the one who would’ve handled it with grace, a craft, and a life lesson that would set everyone in the room up for peaceful tranquil progression into maturity and deeper love for one another. If I totally bomb a dinner I think of the friend who always has peaceful meals wafting from her beautifully decorated home whilst her children all in matching outfits enjoy learning games with one another as they choose one another’s company over an assortment of available screens. But this “best of” person I have smushed together like play dough made out of everyone’s best traits does not exist.
One of my favorite parts of the Bible is when Moses goes up to grab the law and the party peeps below are like welp looks like we are abandoned let’s build us a golden calf and then Moses comes back and is like WHAT are you doing and the people of God say we are worshiping this God. This smushed conglomerate of our collective jewels is sure to see us through the tough times. I can just picture Moses being like urmmmm how do I begin to tell you that your melted earrings are not going to have what is needed to carry you through today, let alone tomorrow?! While it’s easy to shake my head at their foolishness, here I am repeating the pattern. I am smushing together the beautiful things I see and hoping that if I bow to this super woman and bend my will to be gifted in ways I never have been that it will be enough to carry me to some peace, hope, and life. This is not it.
The play dough lady of glory doesn’t have the power, the strength, the wisdom, the anything really to remind me of who I am and what I was made for. This golden calf account we find in Exodus 32 has so many crazy moments but the real doozy for me is verse 4, “He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” Putting something together with spare parts you have around and then attributing the hodgepodge conglomeration with the ability to have carried you through and made you who you are today is bonkers. Bowing to that playdough smush of lady glory and trusting it to transform you into who you hope to be tomorrow is equally cray cray.
“Hold my earrings” has a whole new meaning to me. For now I see that I need to disassemble the golden calf that I have made this “lady who nails all the things” and return to the truth. I have been uniquely made by a creator that loves deep. I am not alone and my worth does not come from nailing anything. I can rest as I wait for Moses to come down the mountain with my further instructions because I know I am made specifically to do certain things and not all the things. My worth comes from the one who made me and loves me deep, long, high and wide. And I am most strategically effective when I am mot satisfied in this. There is beauty and life-altering truth available and play dough and clip ons just can’t compete.