Monday, May 31, 2010
Life after Cursing
My last blog featured the first written curse word I've ever used. I have yet to cross the oral threshold, but I can imagine it now. Until yesterday I've used substitutes. Words that are essentially as crass but marginally acceptable in Christian subculture.
Using an actual swear word unnerved me. I worried for hours before and after posting that blog. My clean mouth has been an arbitrary point of pride and legalism for me. I might do a thousand evil deeds, but I'm holy because I've never cussed. My pride told me I was more intelligent because I could communicate without swearing. My legalism told me that God liked me more because I NEVER said THOSE words.
Lies. My mouth was as filthy as a drainpipe. An art form of crude euphemisms and brazen hypocrisy. The innuendo and imagery you can create with a K-LOVE approved vocabulary is astounding.
But it doesn't change the fact that there's still a barrier there for me. I'm convinced that with one word I could lose the approval of everyone I esteem. Chalk it up to the irrational mind of a guy who never figured himself out, but merely chased the mirage of acceptance based on achievement. A blunt friend of mine said, "You're an empty person, not even a person, but a mere collection of other people's wishes for you". It hurt at the time, but upon further reflection he's exactly right.
My primary goal in life has forever been the approval of others. Conveniently the path to approval in my life has always been a spiritual path. Had I grown up on the streets of New York City I have no doubt that I'd be entrenched in gang violence with the singular goal of being esteemed by my respective community. It leads me to wonder if I even have a relationship with God, or if it too is a false edifice built only while people are watching.
That's why blogging is becoming remarkably therapeutic for me. I'm letting the ugliness of my heart out and forcing myself not to fret about other people's reactions. It's hard work for me not to obsess about what people are thinking when they read these entries. I consistently have to remind myself that my current writing is for my own healing and growth. It's teaching me to appreciate people's feedback without craving it. It's liberating me to be offensive. To say the wrong thing so that eventually, if and when I decide to say the right thing it will be because I am connecting with God, not chasing men.