Saturday, October 20, 2012
Being Your Own Kind of Beautiful Excerpt: Choice
To quote a line from one of my books: “It is a fickle thing, this word choice. For upon this word sits all others. Upon this act sits every consequence. Upon it is the vast and unknown fate of all things decided.” When I tried to come up with a couple of sentences that would completely encompass the word, this was the inspiration I received. Because truthfully, every single thing we do in life hinges on that one word.
We can choose our actions, but not the consequences. Even when we are going through trials, we still have choices. Sometimes our choices are poor, and sometimes choices are inflicted upon us and are beyond our control, but as I said, how we let the trials affect us sometimes determines the value we place upon ourselves.
Here is an example for you:
My step-father sexually molested me from the age of six until eleven. Every time he entered my room and defiled me, he made me think I was only going to be good for one thing in this world, and that thing was the thing he was doing to me.
Now, picture a new white canvas, completely pristine and ready for the painter's first brush stroke. Each time I was abused, a stroke of dark color was painted on the canvas. Each time he subjected me to pornography to make me believe what I saw before me was what I was supposed to willingly do, another dark stroke appeared. Soon the picture began to take on a gruesome image–the image my abuser wanted me to see–that I was worthless and created for that life.
As I got older, I made choices that added different dark hues to the canvas. I got married at sixteen to someone I didn't love, just to escape home. I became a widow at eighteen when he drowned while swimming, and with the insurance money came the start of my drug and alcohol addiction, as well as my complete loss of self-respect–marrying again without love, and then binging, sleeping around, waking up next to strangers and not even remembering how I got there. How do you think my canvas looked by then? What kind of picture did it show? It showed exactly what my step-father wanted it to show. I was good for one thing . . . but I allowed myself to be painted that way. Remember Joe's words to Mia? “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well, guess what? I consented. I wasn't strong enough to fight it, because I did not know who I was.
When a painter finishes one picture, what does he do? Does he stop painting? Does he say, “That's it, I'm done?” No. He pulls out a clean canvas and creates a new one. As my choices began to change, a new painting was started, with brighter, bolder colors. Each stroke of these new colors contributed to the beautiful painting emerging. I was finally beginning to learn who I was– who I have always been.
Each of us is still a work in progress, and some paintings are further along than others, but as long as we let God wield the brush, we are guaranteed to be a beautifully-finished product.
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