My chest almost feels like there is a warm throw blanket being wrapped around my soul. To recall the music, smells, and flavors in their newness and original impact on my senses makes me wander to a place that can only be described as myself within myself. It’s who I truly get to be if even just for a moment of a flash of an ethereal scene in my own head. Innocence. A version of life that is simple, optimistic, and just plain beautiful.
I remember watching movies or playing games as a child and imagining myself enduring the hardships or having some type of special ability that no one else had that would make life easier. Super-strength, the ability to fly, the ability to heal myself and others were some of my favorite adventures within my own head. In fact, I wanted that so badly that I refused to think like anyone else even though that decision came with a price. I wanted the best out of life. Still do. My imagination has been a tremendous tool as well as a heavy burden at times. I can picture within myself the perfect scene of beauty and warmth, but the reemergence from that place of beauty into real life again is a traumatic experience.
Before my wife and I had children, my mind would drift off to scenes in a home with a roaring fire, a warm glow from a candle and rustic furnishings scattered around the room. The scene would then come to switch from the interior to the exterior of the cabin-like home. Snow is freshly fallen and a bright moon shines down giving the woods and small yard a cold blue shine. As the scene pans up, I come into view through the panes of glass. The contrast between the blue shine of the moon and the warm, yellow glow pouring from the window meet one another in a gorgeous contrast. Peering inside, I see myself holding a baby while my wife comes up from behind me with her arm on my shoulder and she kisses the little one on the head. His little eyes are open as if he is calming down from a crying spell. His little hand is gently resting on his chin while his head is resting on my chest. I walk back and forth gently swaying back and forth shushing him. As if it was a movie soundtrack, quiet and gentle music wafts into the scene and brings a feeling of peace. I pass out of the window frame and the daydream ends.
I remember telling my wife of that scene when we were newly married and I remember her response to the beautiful portrait I had painted in my head.
“You’re so romantic,” she said with a smile on her face.
I had never considered myself romantic because that term had come to mean something else in my mind. I always thought of romance as the deliberate effort to show affection and make someone feel special. An indulgence of the warm emotions regarding a man and a woman, if you will. I never considered that I was a romantic until I really began seeing my thoughts my imaginings with the question of romance in mind. I wonder even now why I can come up with such beautiful scenes but refuse to make them a reality for another person, namely my wife.
Am I withering because I refuse to allow myself to be beautiful? I am not what most people would call a jovial person. I have a dark persona because I do not allow myself too much joy or happiness. I am trying to protect the beauty within myself from being placed in contrast to the ugliness of the world. So while I intentionally attempt to protect that place of beauty in my mind and in my heart, I eventually shut myself off from seeing or experiencing anything beautiful in the world. I hide my light under a basket rather than letting it shine.
I don’t remember a single event that drastically changed my attitude toward looking with my heart but I did learn over my youth that I was not safe to do so. I learned so much about many dark subjects this year and I began to see how much I had allowed my reaction of disappointment and disillusionment to affect my approach to the world. When the imaginations of my heart and mind are things of such beauty and then I fear bringing that beauty into an environment that I felt would kill it, I not only put the light out for myself but also the world dark world.
Now I have no delusions of grandeur that would tell me that what I am hiding from the world is going to cause a global paradigm shift away from cruelty and into a new age of beauty and peace. However, I do not know what the Father in Heaven will do with what I produce. My beauty is a part of me and burying the talent does not produce light and beauty. In essence, I am hiding His light from myself most of all.
My biggest issue within myself is not my darkness. It’s my relationship with my light and beauty. I don’t know what caused me to hide behind shame and bury the gifts of the Father beneath self-loathing, but I can tell you that I miss being beautiful. I miss being light. I miss my innocence. I want them back and I want the world to see them. I miss expecting good things to happen when I go outside. I miss being able to play without a drop of concern whether it was the best use of my time. I miss undiluted joy.
Heavenly Father, you created me for your purpose. You created me to love you and to love my brother and sister humans as we are all your children. I repent that I allowed my light to be shadowed by fear. I repent that I allowed the awfulness of this world to mar what you made in me. I chose to focus on the world rather than you. May the Enemy be kept from me in my vulnerability right now as I taste of your goodness. Fill me with your light and your Presence. I can’t go another day dwelling in darkness while you stand willingly ready to offer your deliverance and beauty. I receive it, Lord Yeshua.
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