this is hard to write about. i kind of need to though.
some months ago i went through a very freeing spiritual experience. also, the recent theft of my music equipment and subsequent donations of music gear that i received had also brought up some issues for me. on top of all this, i’m currently going through a book writing discussion questions in preparation to start leading a small group for guys that grew up like me. this ended up being kind of the perfect storm of introspection. honestly, i know this is good for me in the long run, but this really sucks right now.
up til now, it was definitely a subconscious thing. i know what made me confront it though. of all things, it was the intense generosity of my friends and family. after all my music gear got stolen, people were coming up to me left and right offering their sympathies, money, and pieces of equipment. i couldn’t believe it. it was overwhelming generosity and made me feel so loved on. people truly cared about me and were willing to show it.
and i felt like absolute crap.
nothing added up. i couldn’t figure out why people going out of their way to be a blessing to me made me feel so guilty. in total, i was given over $1600 and a few hundred dollars worth of equipment, and as absurd as it sounds i felt like i was that exact dollar amount of a burden on the people who gave it. and my poor wife; she was so on board with just emptying our savings to buy some stuff back and instead of appreciating her heart i just lashed out with how irresponsible that was, especially considering how little money i’ve been making playing music the past year. i knew how irrational these feelings were, but at the same time it felt so strangely in line with how i live life. i had to think a lot about this and then talk to my wife to figure out what the discrepancy was. i didn’t really like what i found, but at least know i know what it is.
my entire life i have felt like a burden to everyone around me, and guilty that my life would so weigh them down. i know such blanket statements tend to be exaggerations typically, but every word of that statement is true. i think i figured it out when i was a very small child. i remember the day when i learned that my mom and father were never married. i also remember the day when i put together that we didn’t really have money. then i put two and two together and realized that my mom would be so much wealthier if there wasn’t some other mouth to feed, that she would be so much happier if she could go out on a date and not have to worry about abandoning some little kid to do it, and that her life would just be that much easier if some little kid hadn’t forced his way into the universe. no one told me this lie, but i believed it. i had believed it so much that it had become true to me. now i know what it means when people talk about God setting them free. after this recognition of the lie, i had one of the most powerful feelings i’ve ever experienced. i can honestly say it changed me and sort of scared me. i literally said to my wife, “i wonder what it’s going to be like to be loved and not feel like i’m a burden,” and then caught the smallest glimpse of what that really meant. it’s the kind of love that God wants us to feel, and the kind of burden he took on himself so that we could be free.