Distract Me From My Fears
FEBRUARY 7, 2023
I want to be distracted. From the uncertainty of it all. From everyone’s opinions presented as the whole truth. From my own unrelenting thoughts.
Give me ten episodes to binge-watch of the latest show or giggle through hours of my favorite cartoon. I want music and books, movies and games, all to divert the yammering in my brain. Put all my focus onto the unreality of some fictional characters pain and triumphs.
I’ll even take lies.
Hiding from Myself
Often I’ll fight so hard against my own thoughts that I’m left sputtering on fumes. I’ll help you out long before I’ll help me. I’m no saint, I’d just rather face your junk than my own. I’d rather help you keep your head above water than consider the fact that I’m not going to have energy enough to make it back to shore once I can let go of you.
I don’t know how to take care of myself. That’s not true. I do know, I just don’t. Distraction is easier.
Jesus said something about loving others like we do ourselves. We generally emphasize the former rather than the latter because, I mean, we’re no slobs when it comes to loving ourselves more than generously. And I do. I can be a selfish wad. I love myself to the point of keeping the truth from me. I love myself so darn much, I won’t let myself face facts. Which, of course, means I’m actually pretty crappy at loving myself. But I’m darn good at distracting myself.
My Fingers Firmly in My Ears
But here’s the thing: I’m not going to outrun my pain. It’s not going to get tired of berating myself at any point and go find someone else to bother. It’s just going to fester and grow in the warm comfort of not being confronted as I walk along with my fingers firmly in my ears and my eyes screwed shut.
Even though I know I’m only hurting myself; even though I’m well aware of the consequences of shoving another dust ball of grief, pain or shame under the proverbial rug—9 out of 10 times, I’ll choose the distraction over the truth.
Love is a Light
What I don’t generally realize at the time is that to keep myself from the truth, from the pain of who I currently am in some dark way, is to keep myself from the possibility of knowing love. Because, if I can’t admit to the truth about me, I’ll never realize that I’m loved in spite of it. And I sometimes even fear that kind of love.
I get why you might be scared too. Love is a light, and lights are scary when you’ve made a home of the darkness. The idea of someone loving you, fully exposed, seems wrong. You want another distraction, not to face the full-on acceptance of God as you drip with lies and anger and lust, and gluttony for more. But that’s what you get when you go to him. You get loved.
You lose all rights to punish yourself for anything you’ve done or ever will do again. You lose the right to your shame, and the only purpose for guilt, ever again, is to bring you running back to Him for more love. And, I think you’ll find, that God’s love, too, is a distraction. A distraction from the things you ran to for comfort before. The things that destroyed you and shamed your soul. Those things slowly but surely fade from your desires.