Reflection and Introspection.
They are siblings. Both coming from the matriarch of Melancholy.
They are my siblings.
I was talking, dialoguing, discussing the character, persona, perspective that is me. I find myself fighting against the core of who I believe myself to be in order to be like... that. Like... them. Like... her. I see myself falling in love with an idea that is not me. A life that is not mine.
We all do it.
There are seasons in my life where I do it a lot. Zac was commenting on my nature and my presence. How I see others and how they see me. Marriage is a mirror. You are forced to see things you have no desire to or maybe the thought of hearing them out loud is what intrinsically is damning. That to me is always damning. Just don't tell me, I don't want to see it.
There is a fine line between personality and potential growth. I can be seen as cold, disheartening and judgmental. All cousins of Melancholy. At times I can be seen as these things as they are apart of my family. I am Introspective and Reflective. It is my core. It is my place of rest and recovery. I find myself unable to relax in most situations as my mind is plagued with a million thoughts. I tell Zac often, I wish I could turn off my mind for one day.
Modernist writer Virgina Woolf felt the same. She states: "My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery - always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What's this passion for?"
What's this passion for? Why do I grieve harder? Why do I see the details of a disaster so clearly in my mind? Why does grief plague me so deeply? What do I do with all of this knowledge and insight?
I rebuke my Melancholy matriarch most of the time. I do not embrace who she is in my life. I do not desire her around. People see me as cold, I have been told, people see me as unfriendly. Often times when we resist the ones who formed us, we are left feeling wanting. I desire to come to terms with who I am and who I have been called to be.
Why then do I fight it? Why do I fight my Melancholy? What's this passion for?
The world does not encourage personalities like mine. It shuns it for not being: happy-enough, joyful-enough, sweet-enough, encouraging-enough...
Even worse, Melancholics are often shunned by people of faith. Jesus is your joy! Just be happy more! Life is the best thing ever! Stop being so pessimistic! Smile more! Be more! Extend yourself more!
How does Jesus work with someone like me? Someone who is prone toward depression and anxiety. Who is intutive enough to go home exhausted each day, desiring to carry the weight of the world. How does he fix someone who would rather be alone than be with others? Am I sick? Is something wrong with me?
What's this passion for?
For I know and I believe that: Jesus is humility. Jesus is hope. Jesus is grace. More than that though, Jesus sees me.
I am who I am. Period. I can not change the DNA that encompasses my body.
But I have hope and this is my hope:
I do not know the ins and outs of who I am but He does. I do not understand the vastness of my gifts and abilities but He does.
My need to figure myself out is a longing to figure myself OUT of how I am feeling. Jesus was quiet. Jesus was introspective. Jesus understands my frustrations and desires to see life at times in a different light.
Clinging to him is my only option. He is my patriarch. He understands my matriarch-Melancholy. He designed the unconscious depths of who I am.
This passion is known by the one who formed me. He alone provides the answer.
By Grace Mackenzie