What I am learning.

It is always hard for me to begin the flow of what I think needs to be said I mean really who cares anyway right? But, for me I have to care to care about me and my life and the lives of the people whose lives intersect mine. I think I have always had this thought in the back of mind that different means wrong and that because I am a Christian I have a right to be judgmental. I mean aren’t there absolute rights and wrongs? Certain things set in stone that make me right and everyone else wrong or just misled, right? And certainly chaos will ensue if these thoughts and beliefs are not voiced and brought to light in a way that all will understand how very wrong they are and everyone will fall over grateful for the insight and do exactly what I think is right, or do what God would want them to do. Hmmm, let me think to wield that much power seems a lot like how do I want to say it sacrilegious, prideful, arrogant and just plain old sinful.

I know this is certainly an over blown scenario and unrealistic. But, I think my point comes across very clearly. I have no right to be that judgmental and frankly am in no position to even think that I am living the kind of life that would have to be exemplified to carry such weight. The only one who gets to do that is Christ.

Here is what I am learning, life is hard, my preconceived notions and judgments haven’t gotten me far and living a life full of such things is extremely un-fulfilling. And I was and am extremely judgmental. I am especially, extemely judgmental in regards to myself. I am as some may know a full-time college student, single mom and part-time employee, as well as a daughter, girlfriend, sister, granddaughter and friend. And this year has been really GOOD and really BAD. I am currently just about to finish my third semester in a college I thought I would never attend. And this semester I have been DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION!!!!! It is not a 100% my fault but it is 99%. I have terrible boundaries, time management and sometimes very little motivation. But, there is a silver lining…I am learning. I am learning to be an advocate for myself and others, to accept failure gracefully, to realize that I can get out of bed and start new today. I have strengths that were hidden to me in the past. Did anyone know I could say no?? I didn’t I was faced with a situation the other day and everything in me was willing to just go into default mode and do the wrong thing but, I pulled my head together and said NO!!! Holy Shit I did it. I even had the beginnings of a hard conversation I have been needing to have with my Heavenly Father. I yelled at Him told Him my heart and said I was just plain unhappy. How absolutely wrong of me right? NO I am communicating I am starting the conversation that deals with my disappointment and frustration in how all of this (ugg) life has turned out. I am facing reality that no one is gonna be what I NEED them to be. For they too are unfinished products. I have held so tightly to the idea that if I just got everyone to see me how I wanted them to that magically they would see the “REAL” me and all the hurt and pain and mistakes of the past would magically slip into the abyss to never be seen again. Strange how things like that are not realistic. The one I needed to see the real me was ME. Many hours, days, years of tears have been shed in my life. For losses I have suffered for pain that has been inflicted on me and by me, for lost time and forgotten moments.  I am trying to face all my faults to be realistic about them and to work on overcoming those I can. I am very hard on people and have very high expectations, but feel that no one should have the same expectations of me. What kind of friend, sister, mother, daughter, girlfriend does that make me? A selfish one. I am in my first Social Work class and through it I have been learning to shed my own predisposed notions and look through the eyes of persons I laid heavy judgment on in the past and to see them in a way I have never thought was possible. I hold very strong opinions about drug abusers, homosexuality and at risk populations such as homeless persons or persons who battle poverty. Wow, I am looking in the mirror and seeing myself in the addict, the poverty-stricken and the homosexual person that feels displaced misunderstood and lost. I can’t see a doctor because I have no money to do so, I even wonder sometimes where toilet paper will come from,  I am a very serious food addict and like a homosexual person have always felt ostracized by the community at large for being different. Praise God for perspective for an independent mind and heart. My liberal heart is beginning to bleed through and it feels good. Ah which reminds me of one of my other strong opinions politics. How dare a Christian such as myself hold liberal beliefs and be ok with it. Well, lets clarify I hold conservative values in the sense that I believe in modesty, honesty, forgiveness and all that aligns with the faith that I hold so dear, and also that the Bible is the written word of God. God inspired teaching that is meant to shape us into who and what He has destined for us to be. I also believe that we are meant to love our neighbor as ourselves and that no sin is great than another. A homosexual person is no more a sinner than someone who commits adultery or is a pathological liar. Sin is a human condition. Though I have absolute right to my opinion I do not have the right to beat someone over the head with it or the right to try to cram it down their throats. Life is about opportunities, creating relationships with people who are different from ourselves to learn from them and hopefully, maybe to let them learn from us. Even if what they learn is what not to do. I am gonna keep my heart and mind open and try to shed the judgment that has plagued my life, love liberally, give as much as I can and try to forgive like Christ has forgiven me. And continue to try to see others how God sees them as His children that deserve all the same forgiveness, understanding and love that He gives me.

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