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“Think left and think right, and think low and think high. Oh the things you can think up if only you try!”
~ Dr. Seuss

“God doesn’t want us to be shy with [her] gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.”
2 Timothy 1: 7, The Message

Over the years I imprisoned my thoughts. The Mama Taboo served as correction officer.

photo credit: ilmungo via photopin cc

photo credit: ilmungo via photopin cc

As byproducts of my emotions that I took care to bury one at a time, my thoughts are a force of their own. Empowered by shame, pain, anger, and confusion they curse something fierce. They regularly inform me of the truth of the matter, lest I forget.

This is why I had to control them, or at least try. Internal conversations anchored me in the pit of my own despair.

Me: What child has the audacity to think, much less say, that her mother is unloving?

Mama Taboo: A bad and ungrateful one.

Me: How could I possibly want more when my mother burnt her work-candle at both ends, and even moonlighted, so that I could have, rather than have not? And yet, I did. Stuff wasn’t enough. I wanted Mom’s soul, I wanted a connection.

Mama Taboo: You’re asking way, way too much. Selfish girl. Don’t you know how much your mother sacrificed for you?

Me: Will I ever be able to tell my mother that my upbringing left me wanting? That she failed to nourish me? That I didn’t, never have, and still don’t feel her love? That I feel like she really doesn’t see or know me?

Mama Taboo: Don’t you dare. These are the most disloyal things a child could say to her mother. You could really hurt her by saying these things; and if you do, I wouldn’t blame her if she abandoned you for good. And then what will you have to say for yourself as you complete your life all alone?

I deemed it easier to endure this mental oscillation than take the steps necessary to break free. I didn’t know the steps, anyway; so why not just stick to what I know, as whacked as it may be.

Irony at its finest. Fear at its most gripping.

Good thing that God isn’t into allowing me to plot my own (self-destructive) course, as She (God, that is) says in Jeremiah 29: 11-13 (The Message).

I know what I’m doing, [my daughter]. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.

I could do nothing but lift up a defeated prayer on that fateful day. I had no idea that God chose that day for my prison break.

photo credit: DeeAshley via photopin cc

photo credit: DeeAshley via photopin cc

Blasted were the barred walls and doors I’d placed my thoughts within. Busted open and infused with light was the dungeon in which I’d laid my painful emotions. Interrupted and banished was the voice of the Mama Taboo that had kept me still and silent for way too long.

But what does a person do after the explosion? With rubble all around, in what direction does a person go? Where does a person begin to pick up the pieces? With one’s long-time, yet inadequate shelter dismantled, where does a person repose? Stripped of shabby-yet-familiar clothing that had barely covered few body parts, where does a newly-freed and naked person find warmth and covering?

“Come to me,” says the Savior. “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11: 28-29, The Message).

So, I did.

We began with my thoughts.

“Free your mind, and the rest will follow,” God whispered. “And when words bubble up and strike terror in your soul, fear not, for I am with you.”

Questions for y’all:

  • How is the Mama Taboo preventing you from acknowledging what may be painful memories of your childhood with your mother?
  • How do you imprison your own thoughts and feelings?
  • What will it take for you to be free, and begin healing?

“Blogging my book idea” is series of posts. Only God knows how long it will last, and how the posts that emerge will relate to one another. I invite you to engage with me, and walk the path to publishing with me. My guess is that the book, whose ultimate purpose is to serve God’s plan by touching readers, will be that much stronger because of your input. Click on the dates below to read previous posts in the series.

April 11    April 18     April 25      May 2     May 9     May 16     May 23     May 30

June 6