My daughter, in addition to the normal toddler “blankie”, must have two things in bed with her when she goes to sleep. Always the same two things, and they are a must.
1. A Lego Figure/keychain/flashlight that has the most blinding light I have ever seen. I’m pretty sure it’s powered by the sun itself.
I have no idea why she needs to have them, but I do know they are important enough to send a perfectly sensible woman thundering down the stairs in search of that stupid Lego man, because there will be no peace without it.
It got me thinking.
Babies attach themselves to weird stuff. But adults do, too. Sometimes it’s material. Old records (I guess. I was born in 1987. I’m not really sure what a cassette is anymore.), photographs, books (that last one is totally NOT from experience…). Sometimes it’s feelings. Love, anger, jealousy. Humans are clingers. It’s the way we are.
I think we feel like we need something to define us. We need the memories, or the relationship, or the hurt, or whatever it is, because we really aren’t sure who we are without it. It doesn’t even have to be pleasant. I hid behind my anxiety for years, not because I enjoyed it, but because it gave me a feeling of self…and I was scared to let it go.
I’m not saying, necessarily, that we don’t need something to define us. Maybe we do. But maybe we should be more careful what we allow to define us. Let those things, the things we cling to, be vital things. For me, it is my faith, my relationship with my Creator, and, to a lesser degree, my family, and my role as a wife and mother. Those are the things I cling to, because at the end of the day, I can allow other things to define me, but those things don’t last. If I define myself in anything but the permanent, attach myself to anything less than perfectly solid, I’m just a little girl clinging to a pez dispenser.