Once upon a time, I believed in fairy tales and bogey bears. .
I was a rambunctious.free spirited child and.at the end of the day, I would climb into bed and talk about everything I could possibly come up with so I wouldn’t have to go to sleep.
My Mema had to come up with something to settle me down and so she would lay beside me, sneak her hand beneath the pillow and tap my headboard.
“You better be quiet and still,Jeanna’,…you better go to sleep..the bogey bear is coming….hush,hush,hush”
I would giggle and squirm because I knew it was her,but there was a part of me that believed if I was very,very quiet and still,the bogey bear would never find me.
“Quiet and still” was almost impossible for me back then,and,to this day.it’s hard for me to sit still and be quiet when I want to get up and dance,or walk away,to speak my mind or write my words.
But, I’ve grown up-just enough-to realize that being “quiet and still” is sometimes the very best thing we can do.
You see, the bogey bear is real. He comes sneaking in to steal our joy,to fill us with doubts and fear, and he plays on our insecurities,making us feel inferior. He wears many different disguises,and sometimes we don’t even realize it’s a bogey bear until we feel the tight grip crushing our spirit.
The bogey bear uses words like powerful weapons; “You’re too much!”
“You’re not enough!”
“You can’t do this!”
“You don’t matter!”
“You don’t belong!”
Those words are uttered by classmates, by so-called friends,by family members and co-workers …..but the real sting is when we say those words to ourselves,becoming our own worst enemy,our personal bogey bear.
That’s when we need to become quiet and still, to take the time to reflect on who we really are and what matters to us.
I discovered Paulo Coelho’s book “The Alchemist” during a critical time in my life when my heart was breaking and my body didn’t feel like it belonged to me anymore.
His well written words were a balm for my spirit,giving me courage and strength to begin banishing the bogey bears in my life.
I began making changes-cutting off my long hair,hiring a personal trainer and taking care of my body.
Then,as I read and reflected,I realized that I needed to use my hearing loss to my best advantage, becoming very selective about who I listened to and who I shared my words with.
I had to step away from some relationships and cultivate others that really “got me”.
The last year that I stayed in the place that wasn’t meant for me, I would guard my heart closely, staying only when needed, staring out the windows while working,knowing that I wouldn’t feel free until I was on my own.
I shared my dream with just a few people and those people became my fairy tale heroes.
“You can do this!”
“You have what it takes!”
“You are the best!”
“I believe in you!”
Those words begin to sink in,to fill me up and to give me back my power,my faith,and my resolve to be exactly the woman that I’ve always knew God intended me to be.
I’m not meant to fit in, or be like anyone else. I am blessed with a hearing impairment which means I can only understand those that come close enough so that I can read their lips.
That means they are also close enough for me to reach out and touch,which is what I’ve always been called to do.
I’m the “touchy feely” person-I hug too tight, plant kisses on cheeks,and curl up next to people and,you know what?
I’ve finally realized that’s okay, and if anyone isn’t comfortable with my touch,they can always step away.
I’m “too much”. I really am…I love too much,forgive too much,wear too much red lipstick, and too high heels.
I say exactly what I feel and I dance whenever the mood strikes my fancy and sometimes that’s “too much” for others, but that’s okay,too.
I’m “not enough”,too . I’m not weak enough to be pushed aside and I don’t get scared enough,I don’t over analyze enough,or figure out every single detail before I make decisions. I don’t always have enough money to cushion my falls, but I always have “just enough”to get through.
I don’t care enough about social media,or peer pressure,or what others think about me anymore.
I know that some people will disagree but I think God gives us exactly who and what we need when we need it. That’s why I’ve learned that sometimes what we think is a bogey bear can turn out to be a blessing,what we might first see as a trap,may actually be a springboard, and the words that may have been meant to destroy you,actually restored you instead.
I guess,truth be told, I still believe in bogey bears and fairy tales because I’m living proof that both exist right now- filled with “too much”and “not enough” and “just right” -it’s absolutely imperfectly perfect and it’s just the way I love things to be- unexpected,blissful-messy,chaotic,colorful,beautiful,fulfilling….maybe for someone else,it’s not enough,but for me-
Feel with both hands, Jeanna’