"I wanted rules, rules and more rules about rules. I thought I would explode without them. I'd be vacuous. Untamable. Wild. I needed rules about eating. Rules about dating. Rules in the church. Rules in the classroom. My life was timid. It wasn't the kind of life you pass on, only unless you want to get the message across that this whole thing is really about making yourself tiny enough to almost disappear and tame enough to never make people think that one day you'd speak." -Hannah Brencher

I slip into plain black shirt and pull up the jeans, lacing up converses as I try hard to breathe. You can do this, I whisper to myself.

I would much prefer taking off plain black shirt, stripping down of the jeans and untying the bunny ears on the converses but the day must be lived and the checklist must be completed by the end of it so I whisper You can do this just once more and walk out of door.

These are the days when insecurity screams louder in the ear than peace does. These are the days when fear of rejection, pain, even myself are shouting in my ear far above the voice calling me beloved.

Rules have always been a close friend of mine. Rules tell me what to do when I lack direction (which, let's be honest, is often) and give me some sense of protection. If I don't break the rules, no one will get hurt. Right?

And my heart comes with it's own set of rules because insecurity's biggest fear is vulnerability so a big X is put on open conversations, putting oneself out there, taking a risk.

And the rules may allow me to never get hurt by another from sharing too much, or never get rejected by a friend because I put myself out there, or letting a dream crash and burn because I risked it all but, in the end, do the rules let me live?

Insecurity and fear lead to a need to control---or so I have been told. And I can back up this statement because it is ever so true in my life. The need to control is my cocaine, my addiction, my choice of drug. Because when I am controlling it all and placing myself, and everyone else, in a set of rules it is harder for my insecurity to be revealed, it is difficult for the wounds to grow deeper from people's hurtful words and life's painful trials.

And without rules what would I do? So I walk out the door in the laced up converses and lace up my heart with the rules of control, ready to defend against any rebel that might try to break them.

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