For My Good!

26 05 2016

Author’s Note:  I didn’t mean to take a break from the Fruits of the Spirit series….this topic just could not get off of my heart and I learned so much from writing this post and I hope you do the same!

It’s a different experience to hear the news secondhand than it is to experience it.  Everyday, thousands of newscasters report on the events of the world, but I rarely think that those who experienced the event firsthand, rely on these newscasts to inform them of what happened.  But, once the event happens, there’s no way for us to go back in time for us to move from being a second-hand observer who learned about something on the news, to becoming a first-hand participant.  The man who served in a war, can never move to being a second-hand observer.  He felt the heat of battle, the sting of death, the brush of bullets and bombs.  The person who hears about a riot cannot experience the riot itself personally.

I used to think that the disciples, they really had it made.  They were first-hand observers of Jesus.  They walked with him, smelled his body odor and they ate with him.  They were shocked by him, cried with him and slept near him.  What an experience that must have been!  I used to get jealous, because I thought that if I only walked with Jesus and saw the miracles, then surely, my faith would be like a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds that produces the largest of results!  But then, I read some scripture that Jesus shared with them, John 16:7, which says “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”  Wow!  That verse is really powerful.  Jesus starts it out saying, “this is the truth” and then he drops the bomb on them  “It is for your good that I am going away.”  I would have disagreed with my friend, if I were a disciple.  I mean, sure I know that he’s the creator of the universe and all, but I would miss him.  My life was made complete by having him in my life and it was made better with him.  He made me wine out of water, fish and bread out of nothing, provided growth and love and companionship, where I didn’t feel it before.  I found acceptance, despite my lack of faith or ability to trust, despite my low social status, I found love.  And to think that this source of love and friendship was going to leave me, and I was going to be better off than when he left me?  That’s preposterous!  That would mean that I would be moving out of a relationship with Jesus and then back to life as normal!

A Second-hand Watcher
This type of person is a benchwarmer, so to speak.  A benchwarmer is a part of a team, but they often miss out on the real action of the game.  They may be substituted in and step up once in a while, but they are not a consistently actively involved person.  If I, as a disciple, would’ve went back to my life as usual, then I would be considered a second-hand watcher.  I am someone that knows the expectation, because it was clearly explained and outlined to me by Jesus, but instead of living up to the expectation, I simply expect it to happen to me!  When the day is over, I’ve neither contributed to the game as a whole nor detracted from it.  I have simply floated along and have nothing to show for my time with Jesus.  Instead, I have evidence of my existence, but not much beyond that.

To me, this sounds very similar to that of the experience in the Christian church.  Honestly, if we want to criticize the world and our society for being “godless” and going against the call of God, we have to first look at ourselves.  Matthew 7:3-5 says “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite!  First, take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Although it seems that Jesus is talking about the companionship from believer to believer.  I think it can expand beyond that.  I don’t think that he means that the way we relate to each other is not applicable to the way we relate to other people in the world.  We must give respect and love to the people who are around us, regardless of the shared faith or lack of shared faith.  I honestly think that Jesus means for us to treat our Christian brothers and sisters with the same regard as we give to those who believe different from us.  And vice versa.  Think about that.  And vice versa.  It’s harder to make us look at ourselves than it is to criticize the world.  Before we even think about criticizing others, we need to take a long hard look at ourselves, and how we have failed to be anything more than a benchwarmer.  Jesus tells us that it is shameful for us to criticize our brother, when we are guilty of having issues that keep us from growing.  WE cannot criticize the world and its policies without first critically examining ourselves.  And honestly, if we had been doing so all along, we would not be the secondhand observers that the world knows us as.  Shortly speaking, it is the church’s fault that our society has felt the diminishing impact of the church upon that society.  We stopped doing the things that make us active participants, and started warming the pews, and being content with Sunday being the only day reserved for God.  Instead of remembering 1 Corinthians 13:1, we gave Christianity a bad name by clanging out our objections without love.  And we were not growing spiritually.  We were not making disciples of Christ.  WE were simply living our lives and going to church on Sunday, and somehow, we thought it would be enough.

 

Active Participant
Who wins the games?  Who handles the trophy?  Who goes down in the sports halls of fame?  It’s not those that keep the bench from floating off the game floor, it’s the people who are the active players and do whatever it takes to be successful.  It is the ones who intend to accomplish something, who are intentional about what they do.  Active players don’t just wait around for skills and special abilities to happen to them, they are the ones that continuously strive to become better and the ones that desire very greatly to be better players.  Players don’t wait for life to happen, they don’t wait for accomplishments to just be handed to them or spontaneously occur.  Instead, they devote afternoons, hours to improvement.  Each practice, they show up, regardless of how they emotionally feel about getting out to practice, and they practice, knowing each practice makes them better, stronger.  Excuses don’t matter, because if it is important to you, you make time for it, no matter what.

The more and more I study Jesus and the more and more I read the gospels, the clearer it becomes to me that he expects me to realize that belief doesn’t matter all that much, unless its an active thing.  Until we believe it so much that we live it, we will never learn more than mere drops of grace and small fractions of love.  We will not learn how to love people a smidgen of the way that we are supposed to, the way that Jesus loves us.  Unless we get off of the bench and get in the game, the Bible will be mere words of fiction, Jesus is a mythical character and love is a construction paper cut-out heart.  Matthew 7:3-5 says “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite!  First, take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  When we are not active participants, yet we are pulling out planks out of others’ eyes and criticizing others and not critically looking at ourselves, we fail to embody the call of Christianity.  We fail to be the lovers of people that we are called to be.  We fail.  That’s it.  Until we get off the bench and are actively growing, we have no idea what our faith really calls us to do and be for others.

Well, that’s all well and good-but how do we get off the bench?  From what I understand, spiritual growth has several components:

  • You must spend time in the Word with God.  It’s not enough to just read the Bible, we must also understand the meaning behind those special words.
  • Pray and ask God that he will help you find understanding, and apply that understanding of the scripture into your life and into the interactions you have with other people. He will teach you how to interact with others in love.
  • Seek to serve God through the church and on an individual level. Use your natural talents to help you figure out how to serve God and others.
  • When given the opportunity to share your faith, do it! Your story is an experience that they can’t take away from you.  What God has done in you, they can’t contest.
  • Remain faithful to your growing relationship with God. It’s easy to let the emotional fire die, but remember that there are some things work committing to doing despite how you feel.

Don’t let the excuses get in your way.  We can make anything an excuse.  Don’t.   If this is truly important to you, and if you believe that your faith makes a difference, you will see the fatality in  being a bystander.  If it is worth it, you will make the time.  If it is meaningful, you will choose to remain faithful and committed, despite the feelings or excuses.  Be warned though, the excuses are overbearing.  The task is difficult because it involves a departure from your selfish way of things.  It may ask you to sacrifice, it may hurt you a little bit, but you will grow.

Take encouragement though.  Jesus said once says “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”  The thing that makes it different for us than it does for the disciples, is that we have never experienced the human Jesus.  We have the Holy Spirit inside us, instead!  How cool is that!  See, Jesus isn’t interested in us depending on him for physical or depending on his physical presence for us to gain his assurance and peace in his presence.  Instead, he wants to reside in us!  How cool is that!?  Our assurance and security does not rest in the physical presence of Jesus, but in the unending presence of the Holy Spirit.  And this is for our benefit!  How cool!  This is for my good!  It is for my good that I am an active participant and not a benchwarmer.  It is for my good that I am growing!

And let it be for your benefit as well!

 

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1. Fruit of Spirit Series: Love

23 04 2016

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  –Galatians 5: 22-23

Topic #1 of the Fruits of the Spirit deals with love.  Honestly, I feel like the word Love is used in so many different contexts.  I’m not going to make a comment on the over-use of the word love, but I will try to clearly be specific on the context that I am talking about.  The kind of love that I am talking about today is love that we share between and for people, not the kind of love we have for a cheeseburger, or video games.  But the kind of love that we have for others that we share our lives with, and that we run into each day.

One of the themes in scripture that I have studied the most in discipleship training deals with how the disciple of Jesus is identified through.  I notice several things from scripture and I’d like to share some characteristics of that love:

Characteristics of the Love of God

  1.  God demonstrated love first.   

1 John 4:9-10 says:  “This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  God loved us first.  Before anything else, before anyone else, he loved us first.  That’s it.  There’s no ifs ands or buts about it.  The thing is, we’ve done nothing to merit or earn God’s love.  At all.  Period.  We have nothing to brag about, as being special or unique, and so God loves us.  He loves us because of who he is.  It’s not in his nature to hate anyone, because he is all love.

2.  God’s love does not change based on my emotions. 

This is a theme throughout scripture.  Before we even talk about Jesus and who Jesus is and the person of Jesus, we have to look at the overarching themes and stories of love.

One of my favorite stories in all of scripture is the story found in Hosea.  If you want to look at a love story, look at Hosea.  It’s a little overwhelming, particularly when you examine it in the light of God’s love for us, which it, from my understanding, is a very accurate reflection of God’s love for us, and was intended to be an allegory.  Very shortly and briefly, the story of Hosea is this:  Hosea is called to be a prophet, and he is instructed, by God, to marry a prostitute.  He is obedient and marries Hagar.  They’ve been together for a bit, and she runs back to her old life, and becomes pregnant.  She does that several times, and each time, Hosea goes back and takes her back.

If I am honest, my commitment to God isn’t as steady as it could be.  But instead, it rocks and rolls similarly to the ocean tides.  Sometimes, it’s really rocky and windy due to a storm, and other times, it’s just cycling over and over again.  But you know what?  God’s commitment to me does not waver, it does not increase or decrease based on my response to God’s love.  It’s not about how committed I am to God, because really, I don’t have a choice.  God has already committed himself to me, and he shows this in Hosea 2:19:  “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”

This is regardless of my response.  Regardless of when I run or how I run.  It’s regardless of how I feel.  From that, I have determined that my love for others, it must be regardless of how I feel.  It must be regardless of whether my feelings are hurt or not, it must be regardless of anything.  My ultimate goal has to be to love people regardless of their response.  Sometimes, people can’t accept love, because of all of the ways they’ve been hurt in the past or how they preconceive that love is….but the thing is, I must love on God’s definition.  And God’s definition is not like humanly definition.  God’s definition is already about commitment, regardless of what I do.  I’ve done nothing to deserve or earn it, but it is my joy to enjoy it, as a free gift.  And that should also be our task, to show others that same type of love, regardless of who they are, their response or what they have done to us.

 

Therefore…..

  1.  If God is love, then we are to love others too.

It’s easier to hate people.  It honestly is.  It’s easy for me to write someone off instead of getting to know them.  It’s easier for me to arbitrarily just decide that I don’t like someone or that I don’t want to share my life with someone, simply because of some random thing that I have decided makes a person unworthy of love.  If I am honest, humanly honest, I have written off people in the past, because I decided that one aspect of them didn’t appeal to me.  I decided that they were not good enough or something.  Thankfully, I have learned the errors of my ways, and am maturing enough to finally realize that everyone has value and is worthy of being loved.  But it takes something for you to be able to recognize that it’s not up to us to decide who gets to be loved.  It’s not up to us to decide who is worthy, because all people are loved.  And therefore, all people are worthy of being loved.  Here’s some convicting words:  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  -1 John 4:7-8.

That thought always sobers me.  When we refuse to love someone, or we decide that someone is not worthy of being loved, we are not of God, and we are not a believer.  That means, in previous moments where I have decided that I don’t want to love others, it means that I haven’t been of God.  And anytime that I used my own reasons to justify why I am not going to love others, then I am not being who I am supposed to be, and I am not loving like I am supposed to.  I am not being obedient like I am supposed to be, and I am not showing love like I am commanded to.

The fact is, the failure to love marks us as nothing but ignorant of the commandments and the person of God.  When I allow politics, my personal beliefs, preferences, or what have you, to discolor my viewpoint of a person, or to prevent me from loving a person, or prevent me from making a person feel like they are loved, then I am in the wrong.  I am in the entire wrong mind frame, and I am in the wrong.

It’s hard to accept that.  It’s hard to be honest with myself and it’s hard for me to call myself out on my wrongness, particularly when I think that I have a good enough of an excuse to justify my hatred or dis-love of others.  I think the reason that the writer of 1 John was so severe, was because he recognizes the weight of love, and the impact and power of love.  See, God endured Calvary for the weight of love.  And so, we should also reflect that weight.  We should also be mindful of the saving power of love, because it is love that allowed us to be redeemed and ransomed.

2.  God’s love makes us sincere in love.

It’s easy to say that we love someone, but it’s much harder to actually do it.  It’s easy to do when the people we love, love us back.  But when they don’t meet our “standards?”  When they don’t meet our expectations?  But what if they hurt us?  What if they upset us?  What if they do something wrong?

The problem with that assumption, is that we are assuming that love has something to do with us and our emotional state of being.  But that is a lie.  See, love should be shown regardless of what we feel or our personal state of being.

How can you do that?  Honestly, it’s very difficult.  But that’s part of sanctification (the process of growing closer with God), because the more that I am close to God, the more that I can and am able to become more like God.  And the more I become like God, the more that I can love people like God does.  Scripture says:  “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” -1 Peter 1:22

We can only love, like God does, when we have been growing, and when we know a thing or two about God’s love.  Then, we can obey the truth, and have sincere love for others.  Sincerity is something that is rare in our world today, because it’s hard to take people at anything other than face value, or to imagine that they don’t have ulterior motives.  The people who follow God and have a relationship with God, should love sincerely, without reserve.  When we fail to do so, then we don’t accurately reflect the love of God as it truly is and reflect the experience of God’s love for us.


But, the question remains:  What is sincere love?

This is a very stereotypical answer, but let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13.  “If I speak in the tongues  of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

To answer that, very quickly, I want to pull out three more additional points about love:

  • If I am spiritual at all, but I do not love, then my works are worth nothing, and I am not reflecting the grace and love that has ransomed me.
  • Love is a very tall order. It moves beyond my own mere human definition, and into something else, something motivated by more than just selfish desires.
  • As I grow, my love will mature and change. And if it doesn’t, then I don’t know love at all.

 

Conclusions

The first thing that I’ve realized through studying these passages, is that I have a lot of ways to grow in love.  But, thank God, how I have grown!  It’s always enlightening and encouraging to see where you have grown and matured!  It’s always a burst of gratitude when I see where God has moved and changed me, how he has changed me.

And if love of God changes me and allows me to mature, how also, could my love for others help to grow others?  If love from God helps me to grow, then it could also help others to grow, and how I could be a beacon of hope and love for others, especially those who need it.

I don’t get to decide and define who God loves, and I don’t get to decide and define who is worthy of my love, and I don’t get to limit love at all.

And the cool thing about love?  “Against such, there is no law.”





The Power of Words

22 02 2015

I love words.  I really do.  I love seeing them and reading them. Heck, I watch TV with the captions on the screen.  This is not just because I don’t hear well, but honestly, I love to see the words on the screen.  Unless you have really good writing, I honestly don’t find movies or TV or even news that interesting.  If it’s not got great writing, I don’t like it.  I suffered through Twilight, and that’s about all of the bad writing I can endure.

There’s no denying that words are powerful.  The word of someone can either completely uplift your soul or tear you to pieces.  I can be doing really well on a certain day, and just one person’s criticism can completely destroy my attitude.  On the other hand, there are oftentimes some well-placed and said encouragements that drop into my life at just the right time…that uplift my mood completely.  Words make an impact, and the very words you say…they have the potential to make or break lives completely.  Which is both awesome and completely terrifying.

I’ve been around many different people.  There’s people from all works of life, all roads of life, and I see how words have made an impact on their development and their mental perspective towards themselves.  The things that people repeatedly said about them truly becomes their fate sometimes.  I’ve experienced people who have had words of love and support, unconditional loyalty and pride that have been spoken to them all their life.  And these people find it easy to look at themselves with words of acceptance, and find it easy to accept other people for where they are, and see the good things in them.  They do not push away love and compliments, but they are able to accept them and believe them as truth.  There are other people that have been spoken words of condemnation and shame.  They’ve been told that they are unworthy or they’re not good enough.  These people have a hard time accepting praise as truth, because they’ve been told all of their life that they’re not good enough, and they are not worthy to receive such adulation.  When they consider other people, and interact with them, they interact with the world as if everyone is better than they are.  Consistently humble, they find it hard to accept love.  Now, not everyone is within these two extremes, some people find themselves somewhere in the middle.  That’s okay.  Many people hear mixed messages all their life.  And it depends on what that message is, as to whether they are able to receive it.  Like myself, for example:  when I was growing up, I had a half of a family that valued me.  I have friends who value me.  These two groups consistently affirm me.  They enjoy my humor, and they see how compassionate I am, and how deeply I care, and they praise me for these things.  I can accept compliments that say that I am funny and caring.  However, I have had some other half of the family who did not speak so kindly to me.  Elementary kids are cruel, and I still remember the sting of their rejection.  Because of these two forces, I still find it hard to hear that I am good enough, or that I am someone that people want to have around.  Because of that, I find it hard to trust people, because sometimes, the very people I should be able to trust, I have been unable to do that.

What I have noticed, however, is that the words that I remember people thinking of me and saying about me often are not the words from the first group of people, but the second group of people, the people who cut me down.  And that brings me to the powerful question:  Why are the negative words we hear, more difficult to shake off, than the positive?  This is such a compelling question.  The words of negativity that I say to someone have the more long-term impact on their life, than do the positive things.  That is powerfully compelling.  People spend their lifetimes trying to shake off the damages that misuse of words can have upon their development.  Instead of focusing on the positive things people say about us, it’s the damaging and negative things that keep us up at night, induce panic attacks, and wreck havoc on our peace of mind.

What does this mean?  So what?

Watch the ways that you use your words.





Inspiration

25 01 2014

I don’t know if you know this or not.  I am in the slow process of writing a novel.  I’ve never written one, and I have just passed my 10,000 word mark, which qualifies it as a short story, but I’m not finished yet.  I started writing it in August, and then I let it sit over the holidays because I had so much to do, a busy schedule, and some healing to do.  But now, it’s been just over a month later, and I’ve started to write again, and I’m really rather excited about it because I so very deeply miss writing, and I need a creative outlet.  Right now, art and painting are not coming quite as naturally, and those creativity juices aren’t flowing as they normally are.  But in the written word?  I am flourishing.  I’m very grateful that I have been given the story I have the opportunity of telling and I’m so grateful that I have the support of all my friends and family in this process. 

My inspiration lately has come from the talents that those around me have shown me.  I’ve been looking at and examining the various talented people in my life and have been immersing myself in those talents.  Over the past year, I’ve been allowing myself the opportunity to participate in different things with my friends and loved ones, that allows me to experience the blessings of their talents. Life has a funny way of bringing people in my life who are awesome at some things or another.  I’ve been blessed to live my life with such incredible cooks, and I’m learning more and more about cooking and all things culinary all the time.  My family is soo very musically blessed, and I’m so grateful to be able to share in their musical talents.  From instruments, to singing, and even some writing of songs.  It’s so awe-inspiring for me to see people that are sharing their talents and not harboring it away from everyone.  I’ve seen people overcome some very significant struggles, and I’ve seen such a growth in the lives of those that I live with.  I’ve seen people change their lives, be in the process of changing their lives, and having to push themselves constantly to continue to change their lives.  I’ve seen people become great parents out of cruddy situations, and I’ve seen people laugh when the trashbag breaks.  I’ve seen joy despite sickness, and love despite struggles.  I’ve seen the gift of friendship be extended to me, even when I don’t deserve it, and care and concern given to me, in the darkest days of my life.  I’ve seen death.  I’ve seen life.  Through it all, I’ve seen a people continue to give and give to me, despite everything.  That is a talent!  I’ve seen poetry, heard the spoken word, even got the opportunity to hear an encouraging talk shared by Nev! 

We tend to focus on the fact that our lives are sooo hard and they are soo difficult.  We focus on the fact that our relationships are so difficult, and we focus on the hard harshness of life, but the powerful endurance of the human spirit is so very inspiring.  I’m so blessed to be able to spend my life with such a high caliber of people.  There’s inspiration to be found everywhere, if we just know how to look for it, and look at it.

Be someone’s inspiration!





Repost from LS: You can do it!!!

17 01 2014

I am so pumped today.  I found out yesterday the results of this test that I hadn’t been taught for in a normal classroom.  No, I taught myself and studied myself, and added a new certification to my degree and can now teach in more areas.  This doesn’t seem like a big deal to many people, but as I was driving to work, I realized a very simple truth:  I can do anything that I decide to do. 

Now this may not be a big thing, but let’s dig deep into my past for a moment, k?  I remember when I was younger, and they found out that I had a hearing impairment.  All of a sudden, sometimes people would find that out about me, and then look at me like I was a poor charity case.  Like they didn’t think I would amount to much.  They would sympathize for me, and tell me that they hoped I made it, and then they’d go on with their lives.  This happened in school.  It happened in the real world.  And sometimes, it even happens on job interviews.  You’ve never heard of a deaf teacher, have you?  Because there are few.  On the flip side of that, I was coached and encouraged by several wonderful support staff at my school, and then continued to be encouraged by them.  It wasn’t until high school that I found people who loved me WITH my hearing loss, not DESPITE that drawback.  Along the way to high school, yes, I definately had a few people that looked at me and loved me with my disability, but they did not become permanent fixtures in my life.  They accepted me into their lives, and began to accommodate for me, which was amazing.  Even then, the other voices rang in the back of my head, and sometimes, they’ve held me back or caused me to be scared.  They fueled my anxiety, and crippled my hope. 

There are two lessons to be learned here:

  1. Your negative words have far more power than all of the positive words in the world.  Look at my life.  Look at how I had anxiety over my senior year in college, because my hearing will hold me back from being a good teacher.  Look at how I’ve had to fight and claw my way to not believing these words.  I’ve been with hearing loss since the age of 5, and I am just now starting to believe that those voices may be wrong at the age of 25.  How powerful!  My negative words, your negative words are far different to shake off.  You truly never do know the impact that negative words have upon each other.  Choose your words carefully.
  2. Those voices….guess what?  They’re wrong.  Believe me.  They don’t know what you’re talking about.  They don’t understand.  If they fathomed the amazing person that you are, they would not disrespect you with their words.  You can truly do anything that you want to.  Do not allow yourself to be boggled down by the naysayers of the world, because I am telling you, plain and simple, that they’re wrong.  They are so wrong.  No one ever could be any more wrong about you.  You can do it.  I believe in you.  But more importantly, you gotta believe that those voices are wrong, that all of those people are wrong, and you have the power within you to do anything that you set your mind on.  You can do it!  You are not chained and held back, shackled by the things of your past, or the situations in your past, you are not held back by what you did yesterday.  You’re not the person you were in the past, you’ve changed and grown and lived.  Therefore, the voices of the past, you cannot listen to anymore.

You can totally do it.  I have faith in you.





Words

25 10 2013

There are times when I am not proud of myself and am not proud of the person I have become.  Sometimes, I misuse my words.  Instead of using my words to built up, I take any occasion to have the ability to use my words for the purposes of tearing down or insulting people.  I am not proud of this.  I realized this just a few weeks ago, when I talked very roughly to someone whom I care very much for, and I thought to myself, “MB, what are you doing?”  “Why are you doing this?”  And I thought to moments where people have used words to tear me down, to insult me.  The age-old saying that I heard as a kid is that those who bully are often more insecure about themselves, than the people they insult.  I thought back to moments where people have used their words harshly towards me, when they have hurt me, and disregarded me, when they have beaten me down. 

I look at these people, and I look at their lives and the choices they have made since or made while they were intent on destroying me, and it is rather easy for me to point at these people and claim their insecurities, to expose the lies and expose the attempts to deflect blame.  It is rather easy for me to see the obvious insecurities and the anger behind the rage, but only when it’s someone else.  I’ve been working through some very difficult realizations that I’ve come through, as of late.  These realizations, I have come to understand, cannot be fixed or solved by me.  These conclusions may quite possibly, have someone in the world who is forever going to be against me.  And that just sucks.  It sucks that such a thing won’t be fixed, and it sucks that I cannot do anything about it.  But I suppose that is in the letting go.

As easy as it is for me to see the flaws in someone else’s character, it is much harder to see the fault of my own person.  It is.  You would think it would be easy, as I spend the most time with myself, and know myself very good….but it’s not so easy.  Until I am forced to deal with myself alone, I can distract myself with the flaws of someone else.  But when I’m alone, my flaws come up, and I see things that I have said or done, that truly are not in the right frame of mind.  My chosen weapon?  It’s not hurting someone physically, or creating drama (anymore!)….but the way I use my words.  I have a way with words, of this I am certain.  But I tend to use my words for tearing down rather than building up.  It is extremely disgusting that I have done this.  I listen to the things that come out of my mouth sometimes, and I wonder “who is this person?”  I so severely dislike this person. 

But I don’t do it all the time, and I have found that I don’t do it to all the people in my life.  Some, I have distinctly chosen to never use my words to destroy them. 

And that’s where the good is.  The fact is, I can make a choice over whether or not I use my words to destroy someone.  I do.  I have that choice.  I can make that choice to avoid using my words for destruction. 

So here’s a flaw in my character, the ability to use my words to destroy people.  I don’t like this ability.  I am claiming this flaw in my character as mine, in the efforts of changing them. 

But if the old saying is true about what they say about bullies, then I’ve got work to do.