love letter to my brain

if you were my brain, you would be screaming right now.

you would feel so tired from imagining and re-imagining so many possibilities this month, drawing them out to their natural conclusions, then, at my whim, uprooting them and starting completely over, rethinking every particular and related implication of that change, all the while wondering, ultimately, what serves a woman's heart best and most tenderly, and wondering, too, if i have the strength to pursue what my heart tells me is the answer to that question instead of what my greed and pride tell me would make a bigger splash and seemingly impress more people and seemingly validate my own worth.

you would feel exhausted and frustrated by the constant self-doubt i inflict upon myself, by the ways i do not believe in my own heart through this process, by the manifold ways that has begun to tax you, my brain, beyond your tipping point because of my constant demands to play and re-play new and tentative scenarios in my mind, of the way that forces you to demolish what were once firm and trusted foundations stored away in there, demolishing them with a twenty-five-foot crane because you have learned enough by now of your own limits, because you know you cannot hold multiple sprawling concepts in tension inside of you at one and the exact same time.

you would have learned by now you cannot trust the peace i seem to make with myself at night about which direction i'll decisively go, which decisions i'll finally settle upon, knowing even better than i do that this peace becomes nothing but a vapor in the morning and that the decision in question has once again transformed into its exact opposite while you and i slipped into a hard-fought rest.

and while you would be letting out a huge breath and beginning to relax into what seems to be, finally, a real decision today on that cornerstone foundation on which everything else must build, that breath you are letting out vents through thinly pursed lips and that relaxing slouch is actually you on tenterhooks, while your eyes dart side to side every few moments and your neck gets a crick from bracing yourself against me and my proclivity to changing you, my mind.

and besides, even if i really have settled into this decision today, this decision that chooses the hearts of women over financial gain, that aligns with the nature of true growth and not the pressure of a fast-moving world, that finds me listening to and choosing what my heart has quietly been trying to tell me for many days, even if this winds up sticking as the reality you and i will work together to assemble, you, as my brain, would be angry and scared because it means starting completely over one last time, rethinking every single aspect, reconsidering every single angle, rewriting every single section, and reworking every single number, none of which you believe you have the capacity or strength to do after all you have expended on behalf of this project already.

if you were my brain, you would be screaming and about to drop to the floor in a delirium of shock right now. and i would find myself, in repentance, writing you a love letter that goes something like this . . .

dear brain,

i am so sorry.

you have in me a broken person, and that means you get a crap deal from me so much of the time.

it is my brokenness that makes me push you beyond your limits. in my brokenness, i quake with terror at the prospect of being called out, unprepared and vulnerable to ridicule from anyone on the outside of us. in my brokenness, i believe other people's view of us is always right and that our opinions and decisions are never right if they conflict with someone else's.

and so, in my brokenness, i cannot handle one single ounce of imperfection. somehow, in my brokenness, i believe this will be what saves us. it is what promotes my incessant demands that you imagine and re-imagine entire contingent realities, as if it were possible for you to do this perfectly or maintain this demand indefinitely, as if it were even my right to ask this of you.

i am sorry, brain, for asking more of you than i have a right to ask. i am sorry for pushing you to the point of craziness this month. i am sorry for disrespecting your boundaries and treating you like an object that i have the right to control to the point of cruelty. i am sorry for hurting you.

i don't want to be broken, brain. i don't like that i cause you such pain because of it.

i wonder if you feel angry that i seem to have abandoned all the notions of grace and gentleness and acceptance you and i have learned to receive and to share over the past several years together, after several more years spent learning how and why this pattern existed in me in the first place. after such a hard-won victory over those uncompromising and tyrannous forces, we discovered life and joy and freedom. we learned to love each other well, to coexist in at least a semblance of the way we must have been intended to, and even to love others and offer them this same hope of rest and peace.

yet here we are, struggling with those same forces, you getting blunted and beaten down by my own tyrannous edge. and for that, i am so sorry, brain.

the truth is, i will always be broken. we will always face the possibility of this fallback into the old, broken attempts to survive. i will sometimes be slow to see this pattern has emerged, that the old forces are at work in us again.

but know this, brain. we have grown far enough along for me to know that other path to perfection and invulnerability is a mirage. it may take a while for me to see that i've been seduced yet again by these pressures, but in my deepest core, i am not in favor of going after them again. what we have learned these past years together is real. it is my choice for us. but i will not always choose it perfectly . . . and that's because, as you and i have learned, perfection is impossible and not even the point.

please forgive me, brain, for taxing you so hard this month. please forgive me for doubting who we are and the strength that exists inside of us. now that i'm even more aware of this and how much pain i have been bringing you, i seek to honor you with gentleness and a slow and deliberate pace. i love you and am thankful we've been joined together in this life.

in renewed grace,