Repackage Your Heart

First World Problems have once more raised their ugly head at chez Black this last week or so. Having struggled through various sicknesses and other crises during the month of January we thought we were due a turn of fortunes. A reprieve from the trials and tribulations of modern life. But oh no for much, much worse was to befall us. The final nail in the coffin. The coup de grace to end all coup de graces. Whatever that means. It sounds a bit like cut the grass but I think I might be wrong on that one.

Yes the unthinkable happened. The village shop ran out of Diet Coke! Yes you read that right. The village shop ran out of Diet Coke. Well alright I’m exaggerating slightly when I say that. Blame it on my withdrawal symptoms. The shop didn’t exactly run out of Diet Coke, rather it ran out of the 1.75 litre twin packs (£2:50 = bargain) which I largely survive on in lieu of healthier drinks such as say lighter fluid or cod liver oil.

I drove to the next shop. They had none either. And then the next. Not a drop. I drove back home to break the sad news to Fionnuala. She took it reasonably well but I think she was just putting on a brave face for me. I’m pretty certain I saw her lower lip trembling at one point. As the Alpha Male and hunter/gatherer of the household I felt I was left with no option but to venture out again in search of sustenance. I returned to the scene of the original crime determined to use my finely tuned investigative skills to find an answer.

Alan the shopkeeper listened patiently to my impassioned pleas as I gesticulated frantically at the empty shelves where the elixir of life used to reside in plentiful supply. He nodded and smiled as the grown man in front of him whimpered and whined at the injustice of it all. He was empathetic and his active listening skills and positive body language were beyond reproach. I’m sure he has been on a ‘Challenging Customers’ course although I’m not sure there was a module on ‘Hysterical Aspartame Addicts’. If there had been he would have passed with flying colours no doubt.

‘Coca Cola have recalled the product’ he explained calmly when afforded the opportunity to respond to my tiresome tirade. ‘The packaging is being redesigned. It should be back in the shops soon enough.’ And with that he was off down the canned food aisle leaving me with a sliver of hope. We could tough this out. It wasn’t the end of the world. The United Nations would not be required to send a peace keeping force in and Donald Trump would not be tweeting about it in the morning.

We would survive and life would go on. I clutched at the lifeline that was 18 tins for £5 (even though Fionnuala complains it doesn’t taste the same) and trudged out of the shop; muttering about Coca Cola and their amateur marketing strategies. Redesigning the packaging indeed. What nonsense. The packaging wasn’t the reason I bought it in bulk. It was what was inside the bottle that mattered. That taste, that kick, the fizzy bubbles exploding on my fuzzy tongue. How vain and shallow these faceless marketing clowns were.

The second the above thought settled on my mind I was also bowled over by the hypocrisy of my thinking. For years I was obsessed with my appearance. At school I was the tubby, spotty kid. I was bullied and as for girls?! Well I don’t think I spoke to one until I was nineteen. Thankfully Fionnuala took pity on me and turned a walking, talking social pariah into an almost functioning member of the human race. Otherwise I’d still be a single Pringle failing abysmally to impress the opposite sex.

To combat this I have always sought to repackage my geeky, awkward inner psyche with all manner of disguises. Diets, gyms, tattoos (three and counting), personal trainers, Twitter wannabe z-lister, Instagram embarrassment, designer clothes, church youth leader, marathon running, terrible Taekwondo student, and now fledgling author and blogger. The list is endless. Everything aimed at covering up the fraud and failure I have always, rightly or wrongly, regarded myself as.

I was a chaotic chameleon for many years. Living a lie beneath various disguises and personas. But deep down I knew it was all a facade. You cannot repackage your heart. No matter how desperately we try we are still the same person beneath the various layers of deception we clothe ourselves in. I am still the same shy, insecure boy I was all those years ago. Clever with written words but a gibbering wreck when asked to socially interact in a room full of strangers.

I’m slowly learning to consistently be myself and live comfortably in my own skin. I want people to like me for who I am not who I think they want me to be. This has cost me a lot of friendships over the last year or so but it has also brought me closer to the people who matter. It has bolstered my flagging faith and brought me nearer to God. He knows me inside out and upside down; he created me and you like this for a reason, warts and all. We don’t need to be recalled from the shelves. No amount of redesigning ourselves can take away from who we really are.

We are spiritual beings. Our souls are ethereal and eternal. They are our very essence and when we break it down no amount of earthly transition can change that. We are who we are. There’s no need to change for anyone no matter how tempting that might be. Don’t repackage yourself for anyone or anything. For it is what’s inside that counts. Look beyond the packaged lies. Believe in who you are. You can never be taken off the shelves of life for that.

Have you repackaged your heart in the past?

How do you intend to live a life consistent with the real you?

22 thoughts on “Repackage Your Heart

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  1. My intent is through honesty. This began as my goal with the new year and seems to be going well… lol (Said on the 1st day of the second month). I have packaged and repacked to the point I no longer noticed myself, in turn leading me to where I am today, on a journey of self discovery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amen-Amein Brother in Christ Jesus-Yeshua!! God Bless you Brother in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Family members and Friends!!

    May our ONE TRUE GOD THE FATHER who art in Heaven Above Bless all my Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and my Messianic Jewish Sisters and Brothers in Christ Jesus-Yeshua and Your Families and Friends!!

    I Love you all Everyone through Jesus-Yeshua Christ, because HE LOVED 💜💕 EVERYONE FIRST!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Again the honesty of your blog is wonderful. I have always been the family ‘please excuse us family error’ person, then I married a man who left me for a better model after fifteen months of marriage. I have had one relationship since then and when I got sick of him using me as his punching bag I left. I am still trying to work out if it is me, or I just need to learn how to behave better.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my – repackaging Diet Coke? I’ll put a dime to a nickel that there will be a little less i the new package, and it will cost the same ore more, And the tins – yes, they do taste different. Repackaging ourselves is a tradition so old it seems standard.

    Who am I really? That is the question I have to ask. A I the same inside and out, or am I just putting up a front? I sure hope I am who I say that I am, and that people see the me that lurks deep down inside.

    After all, God sees that person! His word transforms me, and He wants us to grow and learn and become wiser, so repackaging s a Godly things to to – if for the right reasons.

    Loved this post, as I love all your words. You tell a story in a wonderful way, and always make me think. Thanks and Be blessed!


  5. I am very grateful for the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, as they helped me to take an honest look at myself and discover who I really am, not who I wanted to be or who others expected me to be. Prior to taking the steps, I, too, was a chameleon, seeking to fit-in and be a part of of all social situations and interactions. I was never comfortable in my own skin.

    Today I know and understand that –no matter the circumstances– I am not a misfit. I am a child of the Most High; redeemed, restored, and remade into the person Our Father in heaven originally created me to be. I am no longer in bondage to the world, for the Son of the Most High has set me free!

    Isn’t it grand to be free? \o/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, yes, I know what it is to be the square peg never fitting snugly into the round hole; always wanting to ‘fit in,’ but knowing deep down I couldn’t and that those perfect round ones didn’t want me anyway. You mentioned what I believe the key to getting past this, being comfortable in my own skin. I completely agree! As I continue to get more comfortable in mine, the realization of why is becoming clearer: It is MY skin to be comfortable in. Scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) When I consider why it is, and for Whom, I have been made, I realize I already have the perfectly designed fit!
    PS: I agree with Fionniala, it doesn’t taste the same in the can (tin)!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am trying to repackage now actually…
    by the way WP is messing up.., I can’t see you in my list of followed blogs anymore… I needed to look for a old “like” to get back to your blog…


  8. The tins do taste different!
    I’m an autistic diamond shaped peg that has learned to fit into both round and square holes to the detriment of my true self. I’ve stopped trying to fit now.


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