So maybe I'm the only Mormon girl getting revelation through Indigo Girls lyrics, I don't know. But here's what's happened to me last night and this morning.
I think it's because I'm over 30 now and not so brashly confident about myself as I used to be, but the last couple of years for me have involved a lot of increased awareness of my own shortcomings. I don't just mean mistakes and little problems, I mean ways in which my self falls short, in which I am not enough. I'm not a great time manager, I have no self control when it comes to food, I'm kind of lazy, I'm an impulsive word-thrower, I'm a nitpicker, I anger easily, I hold grudges, I fail to follow through, I'm selfish ... I could go on and on.
Most recently this has affected my relationship with my wonderful husband. I slip and let one of these things show, or realize that he has seen one of them clearly, and then I spiral downward. How on earth could he love me, knowing all I am? And then I am worse, I behave worse, I pick fights and it's a big fat mess. Every time he opens his mouth to speak to me I half expect it to be my final indictment. I press him to say more, not knowing whether I want him to reassure me that he loves me anyway or admit that he knows he made a humongous mistake, choosing me. And he will say neither. He's not a guy to be pressed.
Over the weekend we watched Hidalgo, which was overall a pretty stupid movie but worth watching for the sake of seeing Viggo Mortensen all dusty and ... hmmm, yeah. Anyway in the movie the Arabic princess, the very chaste love interest, removes her veil and asks the Viggo character simply to see her, and that's really the climactic moment of the romance.
Mostly that's exactly what I have been trying to avoid. Easier to pass in the night, focus on the kids, hurry through meals together, read or crochet or go online in the evenings instead of talking. Above all, I've not wanted to be seen.
So last night Glenny was over at the church helping set up for tonight's ward dinner, and I stayed home with the sleeping kids and did an exercise video and then put on Indigo Girls while I took a shower, and here's what I heard:
...my big mistake,
a bad choice, a [something] voice sounding like an ache
In my day, not too bad, but too real to go away ...
And I don't know how you show such gentle disregard
For the ugly in me that now I see for so long I took so hard
But I truly believe you see the best in me
I'm enough for your love, and the thought sets me free in you
Got no worries on my mind and I know just what to do
That's to treat you right and love you kind
Thank you ever on my mind
Love is just like breathing when it's true ...
Okay, aside from the possible irony that a couple of lesbians sing the truest and most telling love songs I've ever heard (my other favorite is the older, "Power of Two") ... why did I not see this before, that the main problem is my own lack of trust? That my warped neediness for both love and hatred has been preventing me from giving anything of value to my husband? Why haven't I been able to believe that he could see me, see everything about me and love me anyway?
I should be able to believe that, because I think I see him pretty clearly, good, bad and ugly, and adore him all the same, even more than I adored him when he was a spiky-haired punk rock high school senior in 1989, when I was 15. So maybe what I need to do is treat him right and love him kind, instead of all this crap that's been going on.
And you might think this is the end, but it's not ...
Because this also applies to someone else, another person who can gently disregard the ugly in me, and that of course is Jesus Christ. It's one of those things I know but forget, that I'm enough for His love. And if I'm enough for Him, I ought to be able to trust that I can be enough for my husband, my kids and myself.
Don't know how Emily Saliers would feel about her words being turned for straight love and Jesus, but that's how I do things ...