God: Do you believe your world will fall apart if you express your true thoughts and opinions? You can make all the noise in the world and I will never be angry or annoyed with you. –Sheila Walsh
You can read some of her message here in an interview she did for Christianity Today with a family friend of mine, Dick Staub.
Sheila Walsh talks often about her childhood relationship with her father, (he developed a brain condition which changed his personality to being volatile and aggressive, and his death was also traumatic). His behavior was verbally abusive, so she learned to be quietly overcompensate and serve.
I’ve been told my presence is too “big” at times, intimidating and too candid. It makes my aunts laugh, who remember me as an overly compliant child. I grew up in a crazy household, seeing and hearing and believing about myself a lot of things I shouldn’t have. Part of learning to speak my own voice has included mistakes of over-speaking. Learning to use and sometimes harness my voice has. To accept our personal power and the ways our words can damage others, yet also be free to be our raw, gutsy, brave selves is a process.
It’s sometimes hard for us to fathom God receiving us with anything when those entrusted to care for our souls did not. It is a treasure when our human relationships provide opportunities to be received as we are. “Come as you are?…No really, I mean seriously, come as I am today…without bringing anything?” And let’s be honest women, when our friends call us to hang out and we look kind of scrubby, don’t we usually preface that conversation with that small fact?
I think as women, we are often lonely and we often feel we never measure up. So we try to overcompensate forgetting to realize we are Savior to no one. I used to (okay sometimes still do) subconsciously believe that I took up too much space in the world (ironic, being that I’m a little person), so I would try to overcompensate. I can remember my people pleasing childhood, trying to “make things better” for my parents. Their marriage was falling apart and somehow I thought if I’d just cleaned the house again, I would be less of a nuisance and things would work out.
(Follow up to Message to Myself series, started here)