Tuesday, August 17, 2010

O, Freedom

Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom over me
And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

No more mourning, no more mourning, no more mourning over me
And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

No more crying, no more crying, no more crying over me
And before I'd be a slave I'll be buried in a my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free

 Those spirituals are something, huh? They really preach when you need to hear the truth, even when the truth heralds one of the hardest things you've ever had to do. They strengthen you for the task.

Lately, I've been laid low. I'm facing some devastating personal crises. Without being specific enough to hurt someone I love dearly, I've said in the best way I know how that I see the error of my ways. I'm also open to being made aware of grievous faults that I may not be so clear about. But here's the thing. No one should have to express themselves while simultaneously verbally abusing the person they are supposed to be expressing themselves to.

I'm good at being abused. That's the horrible truth. I've failed in soooo many ways to protect myself, and it hurts me to say, to protect my children. I took too much for too long, and God help us all. But I came back from New Orleans changed, and part of that change was to not being a victim, or "slave", as the spirituals acknowledge. O Freedom is about transformation. It's about detachment from your awful circumstances, and it's also about tenacious dignity. Dignity is challenging me right now. It's saying, "Are you going to stand up for who you are, and Whose you are, or are you going to let someone treat you like crap again?"

I chose dignity, but my choice isn't as strong and powerful as I wish it were. The truth is, I'm flexing muscles I'd forgotten I have, but there are questions buffeting me like, can I just ignore it? Let it blow over? Is verbal abuse ever okay? And what exactly is verbal abuse? Because maybe I was abused so much, I see it everywhere. Or maybe, just maybe, I'm verbally abusive myself. Oh, I may not drop a lot of f-bombs, or say things in a combative way. I'm a woman of many words. I know how to use them defensively. I'm trying to be kind, yet I get swept up in the sea of anger some people around me are drowning in. This has to change.

It has to.

I want to be free. I'm going to be free. I'm choosing to live with dignity and self-respect, expecting people around me to respect me, too. But it ain't easy, y'all. Please, please pray for me, and if you have any wisdom to offer, I'd appreciate it.

And before I'll be a slave, I'll be buried in my grave

and go home to my Lord, and be free.


~Leslie said...

praying for you!!!

Bella Scarlett said...

Nothing profound, but remember that relationships are like dancing. If one partner moves in a different or new pattern, the other must adjust or the dance ends. Not everyone wants to make that adjustment.

Live your life with dignity. Let the others around you learn the new dance steps or be left on the sidelines.

Jesus' rich blessings upon you.