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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

That place of radical transformation.

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” -Howard Thurman

I’ve made the decision to leave my role as my mother’s caregiver and move on with my life. The decision was long in coming, but once I committed to going out on my own, it all began to come together. My resolve to regain my independence is unwavering.

My brother manages my mother’s finances and her care, so in a sense, I’ve worked for him this last 4 ½ years. Our relationship has always been contentious. I strive inwardly not to hate him, but my resentment towards him is so big that it hinders my personal and spiritual growth. It’s been especially important for me not to react to his verbal condemnations, because when I do, I always pay a very significant price. And I’ve really let loose upon occasion. I am the first to acknowledge I have most certainly contributed to the massive rift that lies between us. But in this caregiver role, I’ve learned it’s a matter of self-preservation not to spit back the words of anger and hate always right there, just there under the surface, waiting to spew forth. The price I pay from his retaliation is simply too great. At times, I literally put my hand over my mouth to prevent myself saying anything.

God has really been working this truth into my heart the last while, well probably all along, but I’ve only really been able to receive this truth the last while. And that truth is it doesn’t matter what others think of me or do to me if I am seeking a healthy whole relationship with God. And yet, being in right relationship with God does not cause everything to magically fall into place. My mother and my brother will continue to condemn me and attempt to undermine my sense of self, that is a given. I’m making progress, I’m better than I was even a month ago, I see that clearly. But I’ve a long way to go before the pain of the rejection and condemnation I’ve experienced at the hands of my family dissipates, until I can recall those episodes and not be crushed with the memories.

I must continue to move into the fullness of what I know to be the truth of who I am. It is only at that place where no outside force can shake my sense of self. Only in moving towards that end do I find the peace of mind I have so desperately sought my entire life. It matters not whether I achieve perfect peace and security, it only matters that I’m making steady progress towards that end. I am. Once I understood and clearly saw that God intended me to be exactly this person who I am right this moment, that there is nothing about me that she does not see and wholly love, that is when I got my first taste of freedom. Once I see something, once I get hold of a truth, I can never unsee it. There is no going back.

How exactly that ties back to Thurman’s message would take a lot more words to express. And yet, it may be far simpler than I assume. Thurman recalled a story his grandmother told him as a boy, when a preacher concluded his message with the benediction:

“You aren’t n — -! You aren’t slaves! You aren’t chattel! You are the children of God! You are somebody!”

There is an inherent dignity in having been called into creation by God. Once you get hold of the truth of who you are, that is the place of radical transformation. That is where freedom begins. And there is no going back.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash



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