ripping up the list

I don't know the rest of the story, but I know who is writing it and he loves me. -unknown

I bang head to wall in frustration. Frustration over the list I have clung to so tightly for the past nineteen years. Frustration at the lack of checks I have on the list, the lack of accomplishments I can show, the lack of a job well done ringing true in my heart.

And it has taken a decade to realize that the list must be burned, ripped up, ruined. That this list is the reason for the years I have spent locked away from the world because I thought it shined so brightly, that I was dull in comparison. This list that dominated my life and seemed to be endless. Because one check wasn't good enough. There was always more improvement left in my life.

The list was full of good things. Overcome my insecurity, was one, and likely the one in the biggest letters and boldest outline. Live a life without fear was a near second, and it had sub-categories waiting to be checked off: stop having panic attacks, don't let anxiety ruin me from having a good time, pray instead of worry. The list went on: get married, be myself, have lots of friends, eat healthy, exercise regularly, stop cussing so damn much (oops), learn to go with the flow, love others more sacrificially, have people over more often, listen more, don't let myself become so full of self-pity.

And the list was not full of bad things. And people said that my list was beautiful because I was wanting to become a better person. But the one thing that list never let me do was be myself. Because it is hard to be yourself in the constraints of all that you should be, but aren't.

And I hope to one day say that many of those things on the list were conquered by Maker, but what about until then? Is there grace? Is there forgiveness? Does his grace abound even more than my flesh? And what's more, am I letting it?

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