One Strong Belief by Buster Benson
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance. The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it? (Author: Buster Benson)
Each person has a story to tell. Trauma and heartbreak reside in every human life. I believe that as we examine our stories, we find healing. In my family of origin we often wear masks, become sitcom caricatures, two-dimensional expressions, barely alive in a masquerade of suffocation. My mask is good girl perfectionist first born conformist. My truer self is at once a rebel and an escapist. I lash out rebelliously stepping in to speak for those I see as ostracized or judged. Left alone I escape to stories, the solitude and comfort of books. I am confidently defiant. I lack self-confidence. I believe these are not a contradiction, but an indication that God has a path for my life. I am stumbling blindly, trying to find it. Like a middle school student struggling with her first locker combination, I am trying one set of numbers, then another, and another – seeking, learning, changing, growing. As I complete each turn of the tumblers and try the lock, shame and embarrassment wait just around the corner. I sometimes hold my breath. Failures gather in great numbers. Success is rare. Not a tangible success measured in cars, clothes and money, but a succulent expansion of life measured in human contact, compassion and love. I am examining my own story and treasuring the stories of others. I am jumping into today, actively choosing change. I am failing miserably and learning how to let go of failure. I am inviting others to join me and releasing those who turn away. I am celebrating the rare sweetness of outwitting embarrassment and shame. I am throwing off the satanic shhh don’t tell of my middle-class, midwestern Christian childhood. I am embracing the radiant light of God. In the darkness behind the mask I once shriveled. In the light, slowly and deliberately, I am choosing to bloom and grow, a creation unfolding with every change.