Did I Do The Right Thing?

I wanted to call this “Guilt, Shame, Duty, and Responsibility” but I was thinking about a personal conundrum and not the entire spectrum of the guilt and responsibility of the human race! Although I wonder if we don’t look at such questions in the broad terms rather than the specific circumstances of life? Usually, looking at the broad terms tends to tempt us to dismiss our own responsibilities. I know I follow that route, at times.

I felt like writing about the specific story of events that I struggle with, but in retrospect could foresee how quickly we would all jump to our own conclusions and presumptions. I didn’t want people telling me to not feel guilty or offer their comforting words. I appreciate the kindness of people, but this was something I wanted to consider in its larger setting. I couldn’t figure out how to escape that call for comfort, so let’s see how we do in the thinking process by just looking at the common question.

I have so many of these times of asking this of myself, and I know not all of us do… many begin, but the painfulness of looking at the possibility of a “no” answer and all the guilt that would let loose is simply too much. Thus a quick exit into “safe” canopies of constructed answers that serve to displace the question. But I want to really consider the right and the wrong of a specific scale of whether I loved someone enough, whether I did the right thing towards them in that aspect. Whether I did what was in my power to help them, reach out to them, support them “enough” .

Already, there is a consideration of where we obtain our resources to love. In our own experiences we have a varied measure. Some of us are strong, well loved, sound in our foundations of life. Some of us not so much. But if I would look at this from the perspective of what I could expect to draw upon as a Christian, does this apply anymore? Or do I enter a different set of variables altogether?

I think I do. My questions of guiltiness are different. My expectations of resourcefulness and power are different. Whether I can hope to do differently has whole new import of meaning based upon this foundation: Christian. All very different from the basis of what I might think or expect based upon my own ability and inner resources.

In a specific circumstance or two that I am privately considering I see how far short I had fallen. I see no good in self flagellation, and much harm in wallowing in personal guilt. But the facts remain that if I do not see what caused me to love less than I could have, or should have … how will I desire to love more?

I heard a sermon recently which answered this from a different perspective. Basically it was the idea that I expose myself to the full rays of God’s love for me, to deeply understand that, and then I will have such a fullness of resource, being filled with the Love of God for me, that it will spill over and be enough for giving to others needs. I will love because I was first loved, just as in the Bible verse.

This makes sense, and it correlates somewhat with what we know naturally. It is the loved, stable, secure personality that has the most resource to love others properly and in a healthy way. The difference of course being that God makes up the the lack that we might have had when we come to the table.

I do know that much of what constrained me from loving properly in the past situations had much to do with self-preserving fears. We think that we won’t survive other’s demands on us and withdraw. That their requirements for our love and help will drain and destroy us.

I can’t change the past events of what I did or did not do rightly. I can seek to place myself in the outpouring flow of love of others, and try to be more receptive to it. I can seek to become closer to God, the source of all love, and open my heart for what that can accomplish, in me and through me.

Then, I hope my future answer to the question, “Did I do the right thing?” may have a more affirmative answer. Because to love the way Christ loves is always the the right thing.

Another True Confession Time

Here I am, waiting on God. I do that quite a bit. Once, I found it a virtuous thing; at the moment I find it the only alternative.

What I really want to do, it seems, is give up. Just give up. I am tired of trying to fight the good fight and even when, or maybe especially when, I seem to make progress in seeing light…especially light for and within my family…. all the light seems to go out.

Writing it down opens me up for the outside to world to say all the things I say to myself. Maybe it is me, maybe it is a case of there actually being impossible circumstances, along with all the usual spoken encouragements and the unspoken accusations. And sometimes I hate that aspect of myself that I seem so proud of at other times: I can’t seem to give up. I want to throw the towel in, but there is some sort of stubborn risk taking or cramp in my hand, I don’t know; just can’t let it go.

I am a Christian, and the obvious correlation to that statement is that I’m supposed to have the joy of knowing I’m going to heaven, or more accurately the joy of salvation. Although there are even times when I wonder about that. Not really, but the temptation to doubt it is there. Depends on where I look. If I look at God’s faithfulness, I can dismiss the discouraged thought, but looking at me and what those around me message me so efficiently forms real moments of doubt.

Sometimes I get depressed, like now, and sometimes that takes me to the brink of hell. But as soon as I feel the lick of the flames on my face, it has the inexplicable effect of galvanizing me. It is like, “into the flames I go….” to rush to the enemy and my fate. Whatever that fate may be.

But sometimes just to languish, turning inward to the torment for awhile, until it passes.
Like some methane brimstone stink of mistakes and regret.

I hate when I do this before Christmas.
You probably do, too.

Returning to True Confessional

I used to use my personal blog for a lot of true confessions back in the day. The day when I was one of the few to have a “blog”, not many I met even knew what blogging was. I was also anonymous. Although always using my real first name, I doubt that anyone who knew me read anything I wrote… and I liked that. I ‘ve never allowed certain information to be published when I thought it might hurt someone to have it public… but I had quite a bit of my own heart exposed at times.

Little of that is in my writing now. I’ve intersected the public and the personal and that can make for a real risk when you speak of things that might change, but if written are given a certain permanency. In real life I am extremely edited. Probably no one who knows me thinks so, but it is true from my interior perspective. Part of that “over responsible” trait that I’ve been trying to be free of in the past five years or so… ever since beginning to see it and understand how unhealthy it is.

Well, I’m going to try to move across that trapeze wire of being publicly private.
Continue reading Returning to True Confessional

Confession: I’ve Always Been A Little Stupid

It is true. And now that I am at the last few chapters of life, I am purposely so.

Let me explain.

I’ve always been a little stupid about people, about their motivations and intentions, and I tend to trust people. So as life went along with the hard knocks that such trust invites, I developed an overall policy of general caution, a tendency to say “no” “hands off”, to protect from the inevitable exploitation that such trust will be vulnerable to… but I kept that openness which gives people the benefit of the doubt. Even when it gets taken advantage of.

I share myself in ways that makes me look stupid. I know that, but I purposely do it anyway. I refuse to harden that part of me, no matter what others want to think of it. Because I chose to be that person, and refuse to allow that part to get trampled into oblivion.

You have to do that if you are not to lose yourself. I think that this is part of what God does with us: help us to not lose ourselves, and if we do lose ourselves to find our true selves in him.

If I want to love someone who has plainly rejected me- that is my business. If it makes me stupid, so be it.

I embrace my stupidity because it is my way of embracing others despite their faults.

It might not be the smartest way to go about this…but as I started out this confession: I’ve always been a little stupid; that way.

Resolutions Update

Why Your Plans Fail – lifehack.org
People are notoriously bad at planning. The worst part is, we don’t even know it. One psychological study conducted asked students to predict when they expected to complete an assignment, almost none gave enough time. Other looks into financial analysts show that few can consistently beat the market.

The real problem is that these planning failures aren’t recognized. People make wildly overconfident projections but fail to notice their abysmal track record in predicting. The question is, what can you do about this?

After reading that, and thinking lately about how journaling actually helped me maintain and assess how committed I was to the New Year’s resolutions, I thought I would update. After all, we are only a few months from the next round.

I think the part I had the most success with has been using the Curves membership for regular exercise. It has had the added bonus of exposing me regularly to upbeat interactions with other women. I’ve gone almost every week for the suggested three times… and got the t-shirt to show for it 🙂 This was a win

More time with the children. Automatically, since the family of origin drain on my emotional resources was closed off, I was a bit better, but that was offset by the fact that I have been very slow to heal from those blows to deep and important inner parts of me. I was not spontaneous, I chauffeured them more places, but did not have more family outingsThis was a neutral

Art. What art? I set up the area- which was procrastinated to a shameful degree. Stocked with supplies- which wasn’t hard because that is the part I have done for years. But nada. Maybe I am afraid – of failure, of facing who I am or the work that is involved or the change in my lifestyle schedule? ( art takes lots of time to produce -for me anyway) This was a total …ok almost total loss

I gardened more at the beginning of the season, but waned as the summer went on. I did accomplish improvement in my garden. This was a mild win

reread ‘Boundaries’ by Cloud and Townsend. Did this in spades, and shared it with others, I think due to Bonnie of Intellectuelle helping me along who was so kind and supportive ( blog friends can be just as valuable in human terms as RL friends – it is just a long distance relationship, but relationship nonetheless)
This was a strong win for me

I put it into win/lose terms because that is how I think of it: overcoming. Gaining the victories of life over negative situations and forces ( within and without).

It is good to see so much green on the accountability sheet, and the year is not done yet, I can still work on those areas that I neglected to make progress. I thank God for His guidance through all this year, His great mercies and continued love. Underneath the wins are the wings.

Backsliding Into My Vice

Small to you, maybe, but a big stumbler for me…given how much grief it causes me: putting off the small byte for the big picture extravaganza. I haven’t been blogging much because I don’t have time for the big, involved, and complicated posts I have in mind. And so, all the things that could be done remain undone, with interesting little tidbits being denied so that I can, will, might, ah-forget it, dedicate myself to the big event. I have always scammed myself this way. Little off the cuff thank you note? No, I have to have an epic 5 page communication that goes into detail about how thankful I am and how are you and what has been happening here, catch you up on the last year of my life … beautiful written and on fine stationary sort of keepsake letter. Whew! You can imagine how many actually got posted. Though, in times past, there were some and they brought words of appreciation and praise… but did not nearly offset the grumblings about those that never made it to fruition.

And now I do it with blogging. I must learn the lesson and develop the virtue of doing what one can when one can and in the necessarily small increments and entertaining diversions that life often affords. I will post today on Beauty and the Geek show- which is far more entertaining than I thought possible… and resume thoughts on developing and appreciating our gifts when I can.

And here is the moral of this story: don’t wait for the final perfect moment- just do it now.

…and voila! a post

Insane Drummers: more on giftedness

This is a bit of my story on why the topic of adult giftedness so hooked me.

The title is borrowed from Laura Young, who put it so succinctly:
“What happened to them once they hit adulthood?

Well, it turns out, a lot of them have felt a bit out of step with their peers and have been fluctuating between trying to force themselves to be normal by shutting themselves down and berating themselves(“But everyone else seems so happy. What’s wrong with me?”) and not giving a rip (“Screw it. I’m the smartest one here. Too bad I’m not smart enough to hide it. Fire me, go ahead, this place is whacked anyway.”) In short, that leaves a lot of people (Jacobsen estimates between 5-10% of the population) feeling lonely, confused, wracked with self-doubt, irritable, questioning, stalled, inconsistent, frustrated and wondering if the drummer they have been desperately trying to march to is, well, insane.”

What really has complicated all this is that as a Christian I should have made faster, greater progress on this. At least that is what I have been telling myself for years.
Continue reading Insane Drummers: more on giftedness

I am afraid of eBay

True confession. Really, I am afraid of trying something new, and worried about failure. My usual way of coping with that is to research like a crazy woman…. reading, thinking, preparing, doing everything in my power to control the unknown. The unknown of eBay…segue in haunting music…. umm the X-files theme….

How silly is that? But I need desperately to de-clutter and to learn how to use my eBay account, which I’ve had, but never used for a number of years now. I don’t want to say how many….

Anyway, two things have helped move me closer to the goal of actually just jumping in and getting my feet wet. I read some advice on Vegan Mama that made me more comfortable and confident and I read a little piece of wisdom on Common Craft that I have posted in the sidebar.
Vegan Mama recounted this in her post,”Packrats & BreastPumps
” I put a breast pump up for sale which sold five minutes after I listed it. Although my price was higher than several of that were selling the exact same thing.

I marketed it well I talked about the pump, it’s benefits, and included bulleted items of what was included along with numbered items of the freebies I tossed in.

I gave away some excellent freebies. I included Pumping Breastmilk Successfully by Susan Stafford and Medications and Mothers Milk by Thomas W. Hale.”

And Lee Lefever of Common Craft encourages with “Solve Problems When They Need To Be Solved“.( I know I’ve given a plethora of link love to thei blog today, but they helped me so much in the masterful way they get simple things across to the big Duh’s of the world ( me))

I think I am moving past the fear now. Such a silly thing to fear, but tied to that big kahuna of fears: fear of failure which is tied to fear of success in its own perverse way.

I keep telling myself ” I have not received the spirit of fear… I have not received the spirit of fear” and I haven’t, but sometimes live like I have. So kudos to those who give me some tools with which to extricate myself from those pernicious ways I hold myself down….

Love, power, sound mind…. I’m coming to ya’.
and eventually will get going on eBay;)

True (grit) Confessions

[this is all abstract theorizing and playing around with thoughts- I am not looking at scripture and trying to make theological statements with this….]

I am writing on gender once again over at Intellectuelle. It needs to be a topic to pursue, but even though I am strongly egalitarian in some many ways, I have to confess to you that I am generally appalled by women ministers. So much so, and this based upon their character, theology, and effects, that I am tempted to simply think there ought not be women in senior leadership. That is what I have to confess to you. While at the same time I believe that we have to unleash women from bonds of suppression so they may fulfill their callings and potentials. There is a powerful tension, there, I admit.

Women, when they advocate something, don’t have the dispassion that men are capable of… and I think this is directly attributable to the nurturing and protecting way women think and operate. We always want to embrace attributes that place us in a favorable light, but those things often have a dark side.

Women have a tendency to fiercely protect anything that in under their particular jurisdiction. It is the picture of the enraged Mama Bear or lion when something threatens her cubs. For some of us, our pet projects are our cubs, or “our ministry” …. and any threat to those things become a threat to our very survival. That is why I think it is difficult for many women to cooperate with each other in a high competition environment. You may think what you want, but I’ve seen women get cut-throat mean over very insignificant things. I attribute this to the mothering instinct that comes into play in a womans rule over her environment. Does this enter into ministry matters? I am not really sure… sometimes I have seen it do so.

Recently, not long after the infamous Anne Holmes Redding apostasy, I started reading about Aimee Semple McPherson. I read a great deal on her … and am at something of a loss to encompass the facts. Although I pretty much chalk it up with others of more recent times such as Leroy Jenkins.

I could say alot more, but this is enough for now.

Interesting to listen to the actual preaching of Aimee.