God, why have You abandoned me? Oh, wait. Maybe I'm asking the wrong person...

photoPeople are going to do what they want. There is nothing I can say or do to change that.

The only control I have is over my own actions. And as my current weight can attest, even that is minimal.

Still, I'm often convinced that my problems lie outside myself and therefore, so do the solutions.

But this is not true. I can no sooner change others or get them to do what I want than I can change the color of the sky. And besides, other people do not exist merely to provide solutions for me and my life.

 So, why do I try?

Because I'm angry. And underneath the anger I am hurt. And underneath the hurt I have an unmet need. And that need has been crying out since childhood.

It's understandable why, in the face of my urgent, unmet need, I assume The Answer lies outside of me. As a helpless baby, the solution to my needs DID lie outside myself. I was totally dependent on others to meet my needs. And when my need wasn't met, it grew bigger and bigger--eventually becoming the permanent baggage I carried with me into adolescence and then adulthood.

I was always looking for Somewhere Else/Someone Else to fill that need. And similarly, always scanning the horizon for People Who Would Hurt Me More. So, I was always either fighting people who were supposedly "out to get me" or fleeing to somewhere else/someone else who would finally make it all OK. I thought this was my only choice in life.

What other choice did I have? Just living with these unbearable feelings? No way. Trying to SIT with all those horrific, unmet, needy feelings was out of the question. No way. I'd rather distract myself, find a new hobby, a new church, a new friend, have a baby, take up crocheting, get addicted to substances or people---anything other than sitting with my unmet needs.

But the more I sought, the emptier I felt.

Sometimes I would say: "God, why have you abandoned me?"

God didn't answer me.

At least, not until I sat down and was still. God didn't answer me until I stopped trying to Fix Everything. Probably God was talking to me all the time but I was too busy staying busy to hear anything.

The truth was that God never abandoned me. I abandoned myself because I believed I was inherently unlovable, unworthy, wicked and broken. I didn't believe I deserved to have my needs met.  All I deserved was the leftover crumbs tossed to me by someone else.

I'm changing that, now.

I now truly believe I am lovable, loved and loving. I deserve to be treated with kindness and gentleness. But I'm not waiting for Someone Else to give that to me. I'm learning to take care of myself. I'm learning to give myself the care I need.

And as I began caring for myself, tending to my needs and yes, learning to love and appreciate myself--well, that's when I found God was right here all along.