from Forgettable to UnForgotten

Posted on 16 May 2020 in Breathe | 0 comments

I’ve been feeling forgettable recently.
Like an afterthought.
I know that it’s just the insecurity gremlins that have been jumping out to remind this extrovert that when she doesn’t connect she doesn’t have inherent value. Mind you, in my mind I know that this is ridiculous. It’s not true.
Let’s be real.
It’s bullshit.

But knowing doesn’t change feelings. And we forget that feelings are actually some of our deepest wisdom. Because they bring to light those areas that need healing or attention. They let us know that something in our system isn’t in the appropriate balance. After millennia of life and evolving and adaptation, humans have just as many feelings – if not more – than our ancient ancestors. Somehow these *feelings* that we have are one of our most critical survival mechanisms.
And maybe, just maybe, our refusal to acknowledge and tend to these feelings is how we descend into barbarism.
Feelings are the absolute bedrock of empathy. Without feelings, it’s nearly impossible to recognize what another is experiencing. We have no framework, no reference point.
And these feelings of being forgettable go so deep down.
They go into the places of my darkest knowing, the places I don’t want to talk about.
They come from a place where as a child I was ignored by others and often even mocked. When as the new kid, I was teased mercilessly and left out of birthday invitations until eventually the parent found out and I was invited as an afterthought.
But later, those feelings were reinforced in even worse ways. Important dates forgotten, and the inevitable breakups. Forgettable made way for disposable.
Standing on a patio in the darkness, smoking a cigarette as the one who stole my innocence and broke my heart tells me he doesn’t love anyone, and it was just supposed to be a little fun.
Being told I wasn’t really their friend in the first place, they just included me out of pity.
Being left for the military, then left again and again.
Being told “people only spend time with you out of pity” or “you’re not worth it.”
Being left again and again.
Being slut-shamed and having to face my demons all on my own.
Being left again and again.
And wondering…
Do I matter? Did my presence make a difference? Is there even a ripple where I dropped into that reservoir of time?
Am I inherently forgettable?
It led me to make a number of deeply problematic decisions. After all, if one is not remembered for who one is, perhaps it’s best to make oneself unforgettable for the disasters that have been caused. And so I hurt others, hurt myself, and began to drown in a sea of now trying to forget the things I was doing to become unforgettable.
It’s a habit I still tend towards. If I sense people pulling back or walking away, I press in. Not always in beauty and love.
When I look at my own self with love and tenderness. With God’s eyes… I see a human being who is deeply rich with significance and meaning. Someone who loves passionately and deeply and aims for transformative presence and care of those around her. Some of us have begun calling that core being the Phoenix. The fire that devastates but leads to restoration and healing. Because I’m not necessarily an easy person to be around for long seasons. I’m intense, and passionate, and can be overwhelming.
I am filled with MUCHNESS.
And I can see how that creates a boundary that many are afraid to cross. Or if they do choose to come within the spans of my wings, and get too warm or feel threatened of being burned… they walk away.
I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes being unforgettable means that I am the villain in the story.
But being unforgettable is not the same as being UnForgotten.
Last year, author Stant Litore released a book called Lives of UnForgetting ( which transformed a core part of me. Because he interpreted the word which we have always seen translated as “truth” as “UnForgetting” – and it reframed the conversations in my heart around being forgotten and forgettable.
When I see myself as forgettable, I’m placing myself in someone else’s narrative. When I see myself as disposable, I’m giving someone else the power to choose me or not.
But working with Chris Dierkes the last few months, I’ve been learning that I get to give others freedom in their stories, but I have to choose my own. And so I look at that process of living into my own Truth – my own UnForgetting – and I have to re-learn who I am.
I have to be gracious to my Muchness. I have to be mindful of my burning wings that don’t always provide shelter, but often create a storm of devastation. I have to recognize that I do love deeply and swiftly and intimately, and that many people simply don’t have capacity for that. Many people don’t even comprehend how I can love more than one person that intimately at a time (but that’s a different blog post…).
When I think about becoming UnForgotten, I’m remembering the Truth of who I am – this Jesus-loving-following, Woo, goofy, snarky, intelligent, passionate, contemplative, fiery, funny, compassionate, deeply empathic, loving woman. I’m reclaiming the fact that I am not palatable. I am rediscovering that there are people who love to be around the kind of energy I bring.
For years I’ve kept myself in environments where I’ve needed to play small, be small, and to become forgettable in order to fit the narrative that had been given to me in my head. And it’s caused depression and anxiety and deep wounding. But the call of the Beloved is to arise and come away and be embraced in all my fullness. For years, I’ve been singing over myself a song I wrote that is literally just the lines from Song of Songs:
Arise, my beloved, and come away. Come away with me, my beloved. Come away.
And while I thought that meant I had to leave – which in some cases it does, it actually was more like a “Come Up Here” for my Spirit. To be held in the fullness of who I am, while elevating my Spirit and opening myself to choose myself and receive the fullness of the Love of the One who *is* love. Come away is more about me leaving behind the rulebook and broken tapes that try to keep me trapped in a mindset of being perpetually forgotten and discarded. Come away is about my stepping off the cliff and trusting that either the ground will rise to meet me, or I’ll find my wings to fly.
Becoming UnForgotten means refusing to let others be the author of my own narrative. It means I need to dig deep to find the golden thread of my own story and holding onto it for dear life. When it gets hard, and scary, and I’m terrified that the people I love the most are just about to walk away and forget me or discard me…
I am UnForgotten by the one who placed the stars in the sky and gives each one a name. I am UnForgotten by the one who knows the numbers of grains of sand and the hairs of my head.
And slowly, slowly…
I’m being held instead of left.
And I’m finding that I can choose to UnForget myself. That it is up to me to remind myself on the regular who I am and who I’ve been made to be.
UnForgotten. Phoenix. Beloved. Pure One. Lover. Katie.
I’m all of these and more, but I will never again be unforgettable.

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