“Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful, magical person that you are.” – Mandy Hale
So there I was sitting in pre-marital counseling last Tuesday morning with my fiancée (Monique) and counselor Elizabeth. (Yes I’m getting married, but I’ll save that topic for a future post). Elizabeth knows us both well, since we have seen her off and on for the last several years. But after about a one year break we walked into her office with hopes for, let’s say a tune up. Nothing out the ordinary, but during our say, forty minutes of recapping the last year, Elizabeth said something that stopped me in my tracks. It was like for a moment she pierced into my soul and revealed something deep inside of me with her words.
I knew that I always liked her style of counseling. She is a caring, intuitive, personable, non-judgmental and has a knack for asking poignant questions. However this time it was not one of her sharp questions that struck me. It was a statement that she made, which I will never forget. As we were sharing some of the recent past events in our lives, where most people unfortunately begin to judge me, she said, with her hands clasped and intently looking at me, “Henry is a very complicated man.” Although many would agree and probably have a few choice words to add, to my satisfaction, she did not simply stop there. Elizabeth went on to say, “Henry has many layers and does not think like most people. The decisions he makes are not just black and white or based on obvious points of view. He goes deep and beyond the surface to resolve issues, or come to terms with what he is facing.”
I must agree, this has been my life. In most cases it has been helpful, although at times it has allowed me to become my own worst enemy. I would over think everything and often paralyze my own ability to make progress. Whether I found myself feeling guilty about a decision I had made or became stifled due to indecisiveness from fear of the unknown, I could easily become stuck, essentially trapped in my own thoughts. However, there were and are times when I feel this disposition is/was helpful.
Just the fact that I chose to start a blog is based on the deep thinking I use to say, “Haunts me.” Now I see it as a gift. A way for me to work through my own issues and come to decisions based on my own thoughtful consideration. If that defines me as a complicated man, then I’ll own that title everyday of the week, because I am also a better man for it.
I must admit as I am writing this, I already feel the pressure of these words coming across as an attempt to self-promote or to say, “Hey look at me and how good or deep I am.” This could be nothing further from the truth. Actually what it is, is my attempt to share a moment in my life where I felt like, yes she gets me, and being complicated does not necessarily have to be a negative thing like I use to associate it with. Although I am far from perfect, my decisions are rarely based on the obvious or even the present, but I’m thinking past what I see and pondering on what I believe by faith or in my heart.
My ex use to say I was the octagon and she was the circle. In other words, I always seemed to over think, over analyze or yes, complicate things. Now perhaps I did, and maybe even the majority of the time I went down this path, but unlike it was it was first insinuated, I was not being difficult just to be difficult. It’s just my nature to ask questions and discover the real reasons behind things. I’m not a surface kind of man. I want to know to “why” and I have found there is always more to the story being told, and when most people walk away satisfied, I walk away with questions like, “there has to be more.”
And of course there is a balance to how much and how far I choose to take this. Too much would be defined as over-complicated I suppose, and I hope I am no longer that guy, if I ever was.
So although we are created equal, thankfully we are not the same.
It is when we make the choice to live within the parameters of our own God-given purposes, is when we can truly live free without limits and barriers. Whether we’re complicated, deep, thoughtful, intuitive or emotionally intelligent, let’s be grateful for what and who we are, and allow no one to hinder the journey we are on.
I am a complicated man. I will dig deep to find the answers. I will ponder, think deeply, feel deeply and stretch my imagination and quite possibly yours as well. I am okay that many will not “get me” initially, if ever, but the ones that need to, do and will.
So where do you lie on the spectrum? Are you comfortable in your skin yet, or are you still finding yourself and your voice? Either answer is truly okay, because we are all at different stages of our journey. The key is not to allow what you know is true about you to die or become overshadowed with someone else’s opinion or thought. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made” – Psalms 139:14. Live in that moment! Allow it resonate in your heart, mind and spirit until it propels you to be the authentic you. Someone is waiting…