Earlier I mentioned my particular affinity for Florence + the Machine's song "Shake it Out" because the lyrics are perfectly suited to where I have found myself in my life of late. One bit says:
I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around....
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
Since I maintain friendships with both extremely conservative, right-wing Christians and extremely liberal, left-wing whatevers, I'm pretty constantly reminded both of where I've been and where I could go. Right now I think I do a pretty good tight-rope act between the two extremes and, to be fair, I have realized that more of my friends and hanging out in shades of gray than having chosen a black or white side, which has been a great realization. The only sad part is that none of us were able to really admit our "non-Christian" anti-conformity to one another out of fear. Which makes me really sad, because even though I never wanted to be seen as a person who would judge or stand against another human, even if I didn't agree with them, I'm sure that I gave that impression many, many times. My love was conditional and while my willingness to try to embrace and understand people that were different than me never really died, I just couldn't understand those people enough to do anything other than make them feel bad about their "sins" and like they might not be good enough for me.
I see it so clearly now, but in my younger years I was a fool and I've been blind. And I've realized I can't really leave the past behind, it's always in my mind. When my current friends who were not raised in the Christian world ask me in completely baffled tones why a Christian would do X, Y or Z the first thing that comes into my mind is that was me. And even though there are somethings that I regret, I don't really want to forget or leave that Sara behind because I need to remember her so I don't regress. It would be so easy to slip behind that facade and not keep pushing and seeking, trying to understand God, trying to see things from every perspective, trying to become "all things to all men" in the effort to show the true Love that I believe is God.
So I'm not going to be able to leave my past behind. And, really, this is just growing up. In 10 more years maybe I'll look at myself now and think, "Wow, what a blind fool I was!" There's no way to tell. So I'll just keep trying to live and learn and love. But, I can bury that damn horse in the ground because those mistakes are not me and they do not own me. I won't live in regret and beat my dead horse self up. I will be the best I can be and I hope that is enough.