May 2, 2010

Letting Go

It is Sunday. It is beautiful here today, but the weather forecast for next week is high 90s! Oh, not summer yet?!! I actually don't mind the heat, once it gets here. It means we can go swimming at my parent's house, and enjoy sunshine activities. I tend to stay out of the sun as much as possible, but there is something nice about being in a really warm oven (without the humidity, that is!)

As I sit here to blog (before we head off to church), I am thinking about this past week. I have made a lot of discoveries, mostly about myself, my personality, and the way I think (and then do things). Some of it I already knew, but you know, sometimes you can hear the same thing over and over and over, and then finally it clicks. That is how this personality thing worked with me. I have always thought I was queer, in the sense of being really abnormal. I never met anyone who thought the way I did or behaved liked me. I was always being told that I was different from everyone else or in worst cases, strange, odd or just plain weird. I had come to accept this as being true (my son tells me the same thing -- he says, "it's OK, Mom. I know I am weird." That is just not right, no not right at all.)

I am not sure why we accept other people's valuation of ourselves. I don't know why we seek it in the first place. As a child, I don't ever recall really wanting to be liked. It wasn't that I really cared that much, and I don't recall doing anything about it. It was just not on my radar screen. I was myself, and if kids didn't like me, well, I typically didn't like them either. You know, it went both ways. I don't remember feeling bad about it, more like it was just the way it was.

As I matured, I remember only one time when I really wanted to be understood and liked for myself. I was in high school and struggling to fit into a new school. My old school was not an issue. Everyone knew me and accepted me. I never tried to be different. But, in my new school, I was a fish out of water, so to speak. I never fit in, and even when I dressed like they did, talked the way they did, I stuck out like a sore thumb. Yes, even when I conformed, I was a non-conformist.

I have always been a conforming non-conformist. By that I mean that I will conform when and where it suits me, typically when it is a must situation. For example, I didn't want to conform to a standard in my college program. I didn't like that I had to take a specific class, complained to my Department chairs about it (even gave them a very logical argument for why the class needed to be withdrawn from our program, and with which they both agreed). Yet, guess what? I still had to take it because it was the only class approved by the University for credit in that specific area. I hated it, I hated the class, I detested the teachers whom I thought were arrogant and uninformed. They were awful teachers, people who taught because they couldn't do anything else, and even at that, they were terrible educators. Despite all my detest, I took the class. It was a matter of conforming to a standard that I didn't agree with, but there was no other way to graduate, so I did it. That is how I conform -- when push comes to shove -- I will do it IF it is the last resort (no other options).

Of course, on Biblical grounds, well, that is another story. I won't cross that line no matter what (and pray for the Grace to stick to my guns -- please, please, please, Lord, help me to not compromise on the Word of God). This whole aspect of my personality has been known to me, but somehow over the last few years, I have forgotten it (or better neglected it). I stopped being a non-conformist in favor of conforming to things I just didn't believe in or agree. I simply stopped being myself, my ratty and difficult self, the self that is quick to say "wait just a minute -- let's review this one more time to make sure it is right (logical and rational)." I started to accept my situation as being a "last resort" one. In short, I looked at where I was and said "I must compromise/conform even if I think this is wrong because I have no other choice." That was faulty logic, and I made myself believe it.

All these years later, I am able to look back and see where my faulty logic got me off track. I can see where it led (right to where I am now). I looked at all the data, reviewed the facts of the case, and then determined the outcome. I am where I didn't intend, but do to my unwillingness to be true to myself and not conform to things that were not right -- I ended up in this spot. A not so very nice spot, to say the least. Yet, this is where I am, and it is the result of a series of actions taken so many years previously. This is why it is vitally important to always make decisions in two-ways: one, for the day (present situation); and two, for the future (5-10 years down the road). Consider how the decision will impact your life today, as WELL AS IN THE FUTURE. This simple action will help prevent you from making serious, life-altering decisions, that have unplanned and unwanted outcomes. Just my .02 cents.

So back to letting go. After reviewing my life (on quick rewind), I am at the point of letting it all go into storage, down into the archives of my being. It is where it belongs now, because once the case is settled, the evidence and trial excerpts are placed into cold storage. Yes, that is the letting go part of any process. Once you finish the project, you put the plans away. You take pride or pleasure in what you have accomplished, and you let it go. You move on to the next project or adventure. You don't keep looking back over the work (though admiring something you made is OK) because often you become very critical, spotting tiny flaws, and thinking you could have done it better. No, you just file it away, say "enough" and then move on.

In thinking of moving on, this one thing struck me. You can be ready to move on spiritually or mentally, but often your physical wellness and emotional being lag behind. I am not sure why this is the case, but it always seems to be that way. I think emotionally and physically we bear the brunt or burden of whatever THING we are working on at the time. The longer the process, the more emotional and physical damage (not always a bad thing, just reality -- long jobs are taxing to us). This is how I have felt the past couple months. I have been emotionally and physically drained of energy. Spiritually and mentally I have been fine, but the other aspects have been lagging behind me.

I think this is why the Lord has not allowed work to come across my path -- yet. I was not ready physically to take on a full-time position (and deal with all the upheaval that would bring). I am there now, ready to work, but a couple weeks ago -- I don't think so. Emotionally, I think I am ready as well. I have had to climb Mt. Everest as far as emotional highs go, but I am rock-solid, and very steady now. I have accepted, acknowledged, and dealt with the emotional aspects of my life, and I am ready to move on to something new.

All this to say that the letting go part is supposed to be joyful. I know that in some cases (like in death), it is a sorrowful joy (depending on the situation, of course). In my case, it is a sorrowful joy too. I am sad and happy at the same time. I see the end and the beginning, so in many ways it is not just one awful end. It is a bright future of unknown potential and possibilities. This is my view, anyway, and I think it stems from my deep faith in God. God is, after all, the God of all possibilities. If your faith is in Him, then He will show you possible outcomes you never expected or imagined. After all, all things are possible with God.

"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27

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