I’m usually ruminating on things I’ve learned while driving. It seems like a good use of time. Plus it keeps me from being frustrated from other drivers.
I realised last night behind the wheel that insecurities that I pump in my heart through my veins don’t just keep me from achieving more, they’re also damaging to the relationships around me, especially in the long run. Ah, the journey of life…
When my insecurities manifest to actions that don’t identify with who I truly am, it’s to protect myself, but in doing so, there’s a good chance I’m being manipulative.
Say my neighbor offers to cook me dinner because I lost my job and she’s feeling sorry for me. I could turn it down for a number of reasons: 1) it’s too much trouble for her and I don’t want to be a bother (false humility) 2) I don’t want to feel pitied (pride) or 3) I’m not worth her time and effort (self-hatred). These aren’t the only possible reasons one might turn a kind gesture down, but we’ll stick with these for now. The three reasons (and others) listed aren’t the facets that hurt my neighbor however. If I say no, and then put on a facade of optimism about employment in my response and I’m expecting her to leave me alone. I know how she will react and I am inducing her response by creating an persona that I don’t actually have.
While my enthusiastic no-thanks-I’m-doing-great-see? response will probably not physically or emotionally hurt my neighbor, it’s still an act of falsehood in an attempt to trigger an expected outcome from someone else. That, friends, is a form of control, no matter how sweet it looks in its straight-cut bangs, bow-tie flats, and peter-pan collar.
Not convinced? New scenario: I’m the president of the photography club in my college and a new person arrives. I flip on the PR-personality: no matter how crappy my day was or exhausted I am, I am fun-loving, inquisitive about everything in this newbie’s life (OMG, you do yoga too? I LOVE yoga!), and I am ready to party. "We should, like, hang out or something." In reality: I have no idea who this person is, they’ve never seen me before and we have no investment in each other. Plus, I hate yoga. I just want to get another member in the club, because… being in the club will make them happy, right? And it’ll make me look good because I think I need external approval to be happy, my drug a la insecurite. Or maybe I can just be me, let them be them*, welcome them and let them decide if they want to come back next week.
My behaviors that rise because of my insecurities (extreme politeness, brash sarcasm, silence, over-bubbliness, super-extraversion, the list goes on!) are methods of control, especially if I can guess how others will react to my behavior. If this is true, acting out insecurity is no different from manipulation, except the insecure one is usually fooled into thinking that he/she is only affecting himself/herself.
No, it’s not a cardinal sin—in fact, people do this all the time! Have you ever told someone you bumped in to “Hey we should catch up some time!” when you have no intentions to follow through or initiate? Maybe you’ve shrugged off your own needs to hide some hurt or avoid healing. And we all lie to the telemarketer when we want them to stop selling us their new organic soap. I know it’s not the worst thing I could do to another person, but I think when I’m working with relationships, control is not a good asset to have in my inventory. We can get away with these subtle manipulations and live happy, healthy, yoga-doing lives (I don’t actually hate yoga), but it makes it harder when important situations arise and you need to be honest, vulnerable, and genuine. Honesty and trust are the most important currency in your relationships. Don’t be poor.
*Quote of the day: "How about you let me be me, and I let you be you?" –Jason Westerfield
Depression is usually caused by a state of hopelessness that says that the circumstances around you are greater than the person in you. It’s generally a heart issue that says you have no control and are powerless over your situation.
"What’s Next?" Both of my brothers recently had kids that more than likely complete their families. They’re both older than me, so it makes sense they’re at a different stage. They met and married their wives, they bought dogs and they had kids, all in a nice little sequence. I love watching them build their&
Someday I am going to have to have the conversation with my son. No, not the conversation all parents dread giving and all kids are mortified having. I enjoy making people uncomfortable so that conversation should be fun. No, I’m talking about another conversation. The one that happens after I catch his eye doing what&
“Don’t bother too much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them; when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behaviour.”—
Love—platonic and romantic—is messy. There’s no escaping it. You might as well roll up your sleeves and dive right in.
We can keep our walls up all we want, protecting our emotions and pride. Ultimately love, the real love that means anything, REQUIRES risk. It’s a beautiful and selfless thing, to pour out what you have for someone and expect nothing back. Even more so, you lie on a cold, stainless steel operating table, with your chest naked, skin pinned back, heart exposed. The scalpels and knives are laid out on a tray—anything could happen. A few of the other test mice have been lucky, scoring close to 100%, but most of us have to learn in ways that involve a bit of cutting.
The fact that we can’t be sure of the outcome will never go away because love requires trust and faith. We can’t be sure if someone will love us back the same amount or even in the same way. We can be sure though, that no matter what, we will grow every day and learn to love better and better as long as that is our choice. With every friendship or relationship that doesn’t go as we planned, and even the ones that blossom, we build our “heart muscles” to love the next people that come along. We don’t expect to not get hurt anymore, but we can expect to love more fully and deeply with each day. And how beautiful would it be to look back and say we gave it everything we had?
“If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.”—Charles Bukowski (via spiritual-mess)
“1. Fruit is not meant to remain on the branch, it is meant to be given away and consumed.
2. When I say yes to one thing, I say no to everything else.
3. The Father has a love that only gives everything.
4. Let it be said of me that the last few days with Him have been the very best.
5. Let’s begin to explore the repercussions of replacing these three words: prayer, intimacy and worship, with these words: talking to God.
6. Anyone who gets up here [the pulpit] on a Sunday morning as if they have arrived is probably lying.”—
It might seem odd that on this, our one-year anniversary, I am beginning a post with the declaration that my husband is not my soul mate. But he isnât. I wouldnât want to imagine life without James…
This was the first thing I saw on my Facebook feed this morning from Chris Cron… And I think it’s true:
"I think the founding fathers made a mistake in the language of the constitution. In the phrase "life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness", the word "pursuit" is wildly unnecessary and extremely dangerous. It is the driving force behind every kind of evil this nation has seen or been a part of: the pursuit leads us towards our own desires and selfishness. It gives no heed to anyone else.
"In my whole life, I have discovered that my excursions into looking for happiness have led me in the opposite direction. I become obsessive, and focused on myself. None of the things I’ve pursued have made me happy. It is only when I stop chasing and surrender that I discover what happiness is. It’s in the realization of the beauty of the world around us; the design of the creator. It’s in just being. It’s in what is already right in front of you. Pursue it and you will never find it. Sit quietly still and it will reveal itself to you. Happiness is just being that child of God that you are.
Today marks another pivotal moment in my walk with Jesus.
Whether it because I’m in the middle of nowhere or I’m still in the middle of processing post-grad emotions or I still haven’t started processing it—mostly because I’m avoiding it—I’ve been essentially looking for closure. A closure to…
I wish my folks would do this… I’m taking this as a prophetic sign of #breakthrough
“You know, the Bible doesn’t teach us to be defensive in relationships. It doesn’t tell us to protect your heart and be extra cautious ‘cause you don’t know who’s going to betray you, who’s going to leave you, no it doesn’t say anything like that, it just says love. And it says love always trusts. And it always tells us to forgive; forgive means they’re going to wrong you first and then you’re gonna forgive. And then go back up and trust again. That’s what the Bible says about our relationships. It never says, ‘No, close your heart ‘cause you’re going to get hurt. Be protective. Protect your own heart.’ No, it never says that. It says, ’Get hurt, I will heal you, I’ll restore things, reconciliation is for you, and then get back up and love again. Trust again. Go belong to that group again.’ That’s how the word of God teaches us.”—Myunghwa Choi, ”Loneliness Unmasked (via hammereddrunkwithfaith)
I’ve been spending a lot of my time thinking about how much of an idealist I’ve been. I always treasured it, it’s always allowed me to think and dream big. I also felt like it correlated with childlike faith— to not compromise on God’s promise over your life, to refuse to settle for anything…
Oh boy, this summarizes my current season SO much…
We are now into the 9th week of our 10 week quarter. One would think that things would be winding down as the school year ends, but on the contrary, things are starting to accelerate. That’s just kind of how it’s always been at Origins, I guess. I’d like to share what I’ve been up to and also some…
Sometimes All You Need to Do Is Give Yourself A Little Push
This particular encounter with God was something that I was going to keep to myself, a little gem to cuddle, one to go in the personal mental scrapbook that no one else is allowed to read. But as I was chatting with a best friend of mine, I realised that this testimony might help others have confidence to step out in faith. It probably would have helped me if I’d heard it before.
I was at a church meeting on a Wednesday night, not sure what to expect. This church was trying to break through into the supernatural and pursue the Holy Spirit. I was invited to come to the meetings to help pray for the sick and prophesy over people. The fact that this all was happening was so encouraging, but I did not expect what was about to happen as I walked up to share about an encounter I had two days before.
Being relatively shy, it took me two awkward long pauses as the pastor asked and waited for anyone to volunteer a God-story. “Anyone have any cool testimonies since last week?” The first time should have been enough to get me out of my seat. What would these nice, conservative church-going people think of my crazy encounter? How would they receive the fact that God is tangible today? Or that this nobody can hear his voice? Long pause. As if the pastor knew someone was holding back. Another girl raised her hand and shared, and I thought surely I’d missed my chance—slightly relieved, but also kicking myself. “Anyone else?” That was my cue.
I nearly ran up to the front of the sanctuary—terrified to let another opportunity, like so many others, to share what my Daddy God had done slip me by—and bashfully introduced myself. The church was an old church of mine, but most of the congregation probably did not recognise me. The pastor affirmed my history at the church, which I felt gave me a little credibility and launched me into the telling of my encounter with the Lord in my car as I drove to work on Monday (the Fear of the Lord met me in my car as I peeled away from the curb and long story short, it was hard to drive 30 minutes with so much glory happening in my little coupe).
At the end of my 3 min schpiel, I asked everyone to find the courage to seek an encounter with the presence of the living God, handed the mic back to the pastor, and made my way back to my seat next to my mother. I was jittery with what I thought was adrenaline from speaking to a crowd of strangers, but I quickly realized it was much more… my body went from jittery to trembling, as if a thousand volts of electricity were surging through my body, from the top of my head to my toes. Immense peace, power, and joy was channeling through my veins. I set my hand on my mom’s shoulder to see if she could feel it and she asked me if I was alright. That was enough to confirm to me that this was a physical manifestation and not just one felt in the spirit. My Energizer-bunny encounter lasted till the meeting broke and people rose to go home. As I was leaving, a good handful of people thanked me for my courage to share and told me they were very encouraged by the testimony.
This type of encounter/manifestation does not typically happen to me, but I wanted to share that the only thing I felt like I needed to do was elect to use my free will. I chose to fight the fear and take one step towards the front of the sanctuary in front of 30 or so people. The rest, including the other 15 steps, receiving the mic, introducing myself, sharing my testimony, and getting hit by a bolt of Holy Spirit just sort of… happened. I didn’t have to try. I didn’t get nervous. It was if God was in total control. All I had to do was give my weak yes and yield.
God realizes and understands that unbelief holds us back sometimes. But when we choose faith over fear and take that tiny, mustard-seed-sized step, he will back us up to the ends of the earth.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”—Martha Graham (via lindseyey)
“Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important. Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them. Make sure they are somebody who lets you cry, too. Despair will come. Find someone that you want to be there with you through those times. Most importantly, marry the one that makes passion, love, and madness combine and course through you. A love that will never dilute - even when the waters get deep, and dark.”—N’tima (via lindseyey)
"All the unpaid internships and volunteering that I did in the past got me actual [paid] jobs."
This was something I told a friend recently who is starting to lose hope in her plans for employment. If you’re a newly graduated student, or just an adult searching for a job opening, interview, or even direction, you understand how tough it can be to find anything to do at the moment, let alone get paid to do this “anything.” I’ll be straight: it wasn’t the internships or the volunteer work itself that got me hired, but the stories I gleaned from these experiences. Once you realise that our life revolves around stories, life gets a little easier to navigate…
Reading the book “Intern Nation” sure did scare the crap out of me as a senior in college, but it made me appreciate the good experiences I have had and helped me identify job postings that equalled slave labor (this is NOT an exaggeration—unpaid & uncompensated work is illegal in most countries). In the pursuit for purpose (and a means to support myself and build a savings), I lamented over the pages of volunteer work and internships in my resume that seemed to all lead nowhere. Countless hours. Networking for naught. Was my degree even worth anything? (My university still hasn’t sent me my diploma a year after I walked. Lame.)
As easy as it is to be a downer about any situation (greener grass, anyone?), let’s jump to what I’m saying: all the time I put into leadership meetings, filling out Excel spreadsheets, filing records, stuffing envelopes, bagging t-shirts for Dan Radcliffe or designer clogs for Miley, and tweeting/blogging new medical inventions translates into minutes of good stories. Tell the stories you most enjoy frequently and start to find out why you enjoy them and reflect on that. Then start telling these stories at interviews. If you tell the story well, you will share what you knew, what you know now, and how you’d like to apply that wisdom to the job you want.
Don’t have interesting stories? You’ll have to go live some then! You’re still at the exciting beginning stages and I am stoked for you! Explore internships, volunteer work, or collaborative efforts and get creative with your talents. You want a job you love and the first step to getting that is to find out what you love. This might involve flipping burgers on the side and taking night sculpting classes afterwards, but do it! You never know what you may learn on the way, who you might meet, or what stories will be created!
I’ll leave you with something my dad just told me recently: “Looking back, all the experience from every job or class I’ve ever had or taken has been put to use in some part of my life.” Notice: this isn’t luck, this is perspective and attitude. It’s a choice.