Months go by fast these days. I feel like I’m writing consistently again, and then I look down at the date and realize it’s been almost four weeks since I took the time to create something and take it from inside my mind to outside of it.
Things fill my time, without me even realizing it. Work, recreation, reading, relationships, all good things, but all things that take seconds, minutes and hours. Something else that takes up my time? Social media. And today, I saw something on it that, quite frankly, sparked a fire deep in the pit of my stomach.
I’ve noticed that it’s become a common theme amongst my generation to (pardon my verbiage) shit on how our parents, families and role models raised us, particularly in the Christian demographic, which I am part of and quite accustomed to. I do this myself, often. I take all the negative things that happened to me as a young person growing up in a Bible-Belt, Christian culture, and I demonize the entire experience. I pick it apart, filleting negative memory after negative memory, until I create a cynical soul inside my being toward everything and everyone that tried only to love me.
Here’s the thing:
people are not perfect. Parents are not perfect. Pastors are not perfect.
People hurt. Parents wound. Pastors are human.
And guess what? The people who raised us - their people, parents and pastors were not perfect either, and people still hurt people, parents wounded their children, and despite popular belief, the Saints were humans too.
I’m really tired of my personal droning and others’ droning on and on about how messed up we are and how messed up our world is because of those who raised us. This is not a specific generation’s fault. This is the human experience: we are raised, we grow, we are wounded, we learn, we teach, we wound, we die, only to leave more wounds, while trying to mend where we were wounded once ourselves.
As a human, it is our only hope that we leave the world a better place for those coming after us than it was for ourselves, and while we do that, we are bound to do a lot of damage. Just as our parents, grandparents and others have done.
I remember all of the rules I grew up around in a Conservative, Christian culture: “Don’t read Harry Potter; it’s full of witchcraft.” “Don’t watch Rugrats; Angelica is rude and has no manners.” “Don’t dance, drink, swear or smoke; you’ll rot in Hell.” The list goes on. And now, I am beginning to see why it does.
These rules, while looking back, seem silly, savage and detrimental to being ‘Saved,’ but I am starting to understand not why they were rules, but more of why those raising me felt like they should be. They were trying to protect me, love me and help me grow up in a world better than the one they knew, and I cannot hate them for that.
I have been hurt. I have been wounded, and I am part of the human experience, which guarantees me of one thing: I will hurt, I will would and I am going to impact others around me with these traits. I only hope there is grace. . . and that they somehow don’t hate me for it.
Cliff’s Note: Process this piece. Take it as a rough draft - not as a finished thought. As a wounded, try to understand the wounder.