This was not me
When I was growing up I was mostly left to myself, not because I was unloved; my mother had a lot going on trying to raise two boys mostly by herself and my brother had quite a few issues he was going through that needed direct attention. So I would find myself hiding in movies TV and books, looking for my identity through these mediums. I saw these strong confident people able to do anything they put there minds to surrounded by tight groups of people who would put their lives on the line for each other... I wanted that so badly...
I remember a time when I tried to fashion myself as a 'greaser' because I had read The Outsiders in school and marveled at how close the gang of teens were in the story. Needless to say I was marked as a weird kid, but I was happy for a time trying to shoe horn myself into that image. In high school, it was the metal head image I adopted, head banging my way into another peer group, hoping to find acceptance.
Seeing this pattern it is no surprise that in my 20s I then changed myself again, professing myself as both a bi-sexual and a wiccan. I was desperate for intimacy, for love, and if I could not get it from one gender then I would try to get it from the other. Not only this, but as I stepped into that world I found other fringe groups like wiccans, covens of people so completely tied together that they were like one poly-amorous being. To an emotional scarred young loner, this was as close to perfect as I felt I would ever find.
This is of course is all wonderfully clear in hind-sight. My motives seemed at the time less desperate grasping for somewhere to belong and more exploration and self discovery. A young man trying to find out 'who he really is'!
These are just a few examples of a long and clear history of me reinventing myself to fit into a group for self fulfillment, trying to fill a hole I see in my life. This does make me wonder though...
I am doing this now?
I do still copy this pattern of behavior, seeking the approval of others and alter my look to gain the acceptance of others. I used to wear a cowboy hat all of the time, I LOVED that hat! But some at work through it was weird and I knew they did not approve, so I stopped wearing it saying it was so the kids did not keep trying to grab it when I really just wanted to fit in. But unlike bi-sexuality, wicca, fictional gang affiliation or any of the multitude of other things I had shoe-horned into my life; there is something different about my faith. There is one thing my faith in Jesus Christ has that none of the other things have.
God, you are my father when none have been.
God, you are my love even when I do not love myself.
God, you are my hope when my world is crashing around my ears.
God, you are who I cling to when my mind shatters into splinters that threaten to tear me apart.
You are my Savior, my Redeemer and my Friend. Thank you God for walking me down this road and showing me I have nothing to fear in the shadows. Amen.