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Freedom is hard for me.

There’s so much openness and opportunity. It calls to my soul and I indulge, running after the things that feel and sound good.

My freedom sometimes (often) leads me to excess and overindulgence.

I haven’t figured out how to balance it. How to exercise the freedom in a way that honors and cares for my body, my family, and my community. It’s hard to find that chord. Harmony. Rhythm.

I started a cleanse on Monday. I feel a little silly that I can’t just cut back on the alcohol or the caffeine when I notice I’m consuming too much. If it’s there and I “can” have it, I will.

I do better within a framework. Abstaining completely for three weeks comes easier to me than cutting back. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know what about freedom and ableness (to do something) causes me to consume to a place that borders on unhealthy.

I can be disciplined. I mean, foregoing all things but fruit and veggies for ten days takes a lot of willpower. But it’s simple. This is in the “good” pile. This is in the “bad/avoid” pile. Viola. My brain and desires are taken out of the equation. I don’t have to cut through layers of emotions to figure out what’s motivating the behavior or desire. I don’t have to over-analyze any one thing.

Don’t get me wrong.

I think the cleanse is good and healthy and will lead to a rebalancing in the long run.

But I’m wondering where else this longing for parameters comes into play. Or rather, it’s highlighting how much I miss the parameters. Life was simpler when there was a good pile and a things to avoid pile. I mean, I was pretty isolated cause it’s hard to be in relationship when you’re silently, constantly judging people (a habit I have a hard time not falling back on when I’m in certain social circles.) Now, I allow for experience and story.

And yet I feel lost in the midst of my own story. I wonder about the experiences and the way I was shaped. And there seem to exist nothing but questions.

Nothing feels secure under my feet anymore.

It makes writing and processing hard. I have no answers. Nothing to offer—except that I miss the parameters. I miss the apologetics and the wrapped up, prettily delivered Jesus from my Sunday School days. I miss a faith that didn’t require…faith.

I am living. I am making mistakes. I’m learning that I wasn’t as grown-up as I thought I was. I’ve come so far and I still have a long way to go before I’m done. Some days that promise is full of hope. Some days it seems bleak and despairing. And some days it just is.

That is my today. I just am. Here. Present. Noticing.

Freedom is hard for me.

2 Comments on when I notice

  1. For as many times as you’ve salted my morning coffee, I’m just going to have to laugh instead of cry over this one because there isn’t any to be ruined anyway. Today was day 7 for me.

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