Sunday, May 2, 2010

selfish you, or selfish me

i have absolutely no idea how this is gonna come out. i'm just chewing on stuff and i'm gonna spit it out and hope it looks better in person than on the inside.

i have been on the receiving side of some selfish behavior lately. it has taught me a lot, and not, shockingly, that the owner of the said behavior is a moron. grin. because they are not. this person actually is quite a lovely human being, with a very generous spirit, who just happens to turn inward a little too often for my liking. i will say, the majority of this person's actions have been minimally thought-out, and have occurred at seemingly (by the tone of their voice) frustrating times in their day (at least i pray so for my sanity). nevertheless, the world does not revolve around their comfort and happiness, and it is not my job to ensure that it does. (ps i love the word nevertheless. it's like somebody just got bored and decided to mash 3 words together, crossed their fingers, and somehow it worked.)

before i cause you to become disinterested with my negative and complaining self, i'll enlighten you to my current thoughts on the topic, which are slightly less woe-is-me, and slightly more productive.

recently, i had a new friend enter my life. we'll call her loretta. (grin.) loretta is the most generous, non-judgmental, warm-hearted, and welcoming person i have met in a long, long time. i'm not sure i've ever met someone whom i loved and adored every detail of while, in the same instance, learned her face and name for the first time. she entered my life completely unannounced, and has rendered me speechless on many occasions with her talent, encouragement, and vigor for all things honest. i was dumping a dose of negativity and frustration on her one day, and she said something to me that has been so profound since then in my attempts to find peaceful ground during my unbridled moments of irritation and annoyance:

"....you know you're not actually frustrated at [selfish acting person] right? you're frustrated at yourself because you are not where you want to be, and in some ways you've chosen to allow yourself to stay there. [person's] behavior hasn't changed as long as you've known [person], so if it didn't bother you before, why would it bother you now? maybe it's good that you're frustrated because you know it means it is time to move on."

dern. loretta got my toes. and my heart. are any of us entitled to act in a way that is demeaning or attempts to be hierarchical over another human being? no. does it happen? yes. this particular person has no idea that i have been offended in any way by things said or done pointing in my general direction. mainly because i'm too chicken to say so. but loretta is on to something. why is it, if this person has always been who they are for the amount of time i've known them, would it just now be bothering me years later? the mere musing of their behavior brings a stirring in my heart over it. and not just an "i'm annoyed" stirring. it's an unsettling feeling. that something isn't right.....inside of ME.

God is calling me to move forward on some things that scare me. things that thrill me, but things that scare me. and that affects every other thought that passes through my heart. i am in an uncomfortable place. but we can be blessed by uncomfortable (wink) if we will allow God to have some space. aka: stepping outside of MY own selfishness, and being concerned with MY wants and perceived needs. my reacting selfishly (whether only done secretly in my thought-life or through gossiping to others about it) does nothing but make me seem hypocritical for being upset about the very behavior that kidnapped my emotions to begin with. are we called to be doormats? no. but we are called to be servants. maybe if i was less concerned with my feelings of how inconvenienced i feel by being treated poorly, and more concerned with keeping the eyes of my heart focused on where God was calling me, i would stop feeling entitled to be angry about their behavior. it's not about figuring out who or what is right in a fleeting moment of poorly weaved emotions. we are all on our own path, and it's what we allow God to do through us while on it that matters.

comic relief: for instance, like the fact that i am trying to be upset that our internet isn't working, when in fact, we cancelled our cable and internet months ago, and just so happen to be close enough to the neighbors to pick up their signal. it's not my fault they gave us the password and permission to use it. it is my fault that i act FIVE about it when it doesn't work.

my mind is tiring.....am i excusing every selfish act done or word spoken by another person towards you or i? no. sometimes people act like morons and you just call a spade a spade. but what i am saying, as is with most things, it is your reaction that determines the effectual product that will be seen in your life because of it.

i've been mulling over lots of things recently...two of them being hypocrisy and pride-what causes them, and how they affect us. so i'll leave you with the last thoughts i had about them today as i was brainstorming and writing in the rain.
i love ya'll..nashville is a mess. hope you're staying dry.



[It’s the height of hypocrisy
This mountain where our sorrow sleeps
Awakened by the mourning of our own mediocrity
We come crashing to the valley on our weakened knees
Searching for pieces of regret among our selfish debris
Grace reassembles gently, our muddled sense of hope
As we all travel on the narrow road home]

11 comments:

Cortney said...

Wow...that was a lot to chew on. Haha...but I can relate really well to this. Loretta is an awesome person. I love what she said to you. I think I needed to hear that as well. So thank your for sharing this post. I will read it over later when I'm not so tired. Why I'm still awake at two thirty in the morning is beyond me. So sorry if this makes little sense. Haha. But anyways I'm rambling. And yes, nevertheless is a very good word. I like to use it too. (:

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

How blessed you are to have loretta in your life....a person who will speak truth, even when it is hard. We all need a loretta or two in our lives. Mine is named Greg.

You are walking beautifully on this journey and the beautiful part of it is that you are walking beside God, holding tightly to Him.

Love ya,

Leah

ADVERSE! said...

what a wonderful post, i never for one moment thought it was negative ect, you hav a lovly way of writing to put your thoughts across. i kinda write how i speak, doest often go down to well either lol. also faith is a good to have n you also have some. growing n moving forwards aint always easy....blessings ty fo a thought proving post... not raining in uk its just dull lol

Dedra said...

WOW girl... throw it down! I just love that about you. Make me think.. and so beautifully and with such precious humor. He delights in you.. and I dig you.

Lisa @ The Preacher's Wife said...

Sister, you preached it. Luke always says, "You can tell if you are truly a servant by how you react when someone treats you like one." Dang. Get's me every time because it seems I don't like being patronized or even thought less of.

I've experienced this restlessness of which you speak and it is typically always right before God does something amazing. Hold on to your pretty head, sweetheart.

Melinda said...

Loretta, Loretta...I need to meet her one day.

This blew me away...

"maybe if i was less concerned with my feelings of how inconvenienced i feel by being treated poorly, and more concerned with keeping the eyes of my heart focused on where God was calling me, i would stop feeling entitled to be angry about their behavior. it's not about figuring out who or what is right in a fleeting moment of poorly weaved emotions. we are all on our own path, and it's what we allow God to do through us while on it that matters."

And this finished the job:

[It’s the height of hypocrisy
This mountain where our sorrow sleeps
Awakened by the mourning of our own mediocrity
We come crashing to the valley on our weakened knees
Searching for pieces of regret among our selfish debris
Grace reassembles gently, our muddled sense of hope
As we all travel on the narrow road home]

I love your heart and find the beauty there breathtaking.

Oh. And you'd better heed Ms. Lisa's advise!

connorcolesmom said...

Ouch well you definitely touched on something in my life as well
Found myself complaining about someone lately and now realize that I need to do some self evaluation :)
Much love

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Well, I am just going to throw it out there woman...because I could have easily taken up space on LPM blog in reply to you, but I decided not to:)...anyway, I am right where you are right now...and I wish I could tell you that I am at total peace, but I am just going to say that God brought peace to Paul in everytime He moved him to another place on the journey, so I am going to say that that I'm going to believe I am at peace, even though I may not feel it. I am excited to hear what God has planned for you:)Just remember He has this, and He brought to my heart last night as I wrote my post, that our faith is his footprints...like wow God.
We'll chat soon okay:) -ang

Fran said...

I love Loretta. And, I love you. And, I love your heart and wisdom and honesty.

Always praying over you!!! So glad God brought our lives together!

Big, big hugs,
Fran

Anonymous said...

Crackerjacks...Your wonderful, honest post reminds me of Crackerjacks and a Bible study. In Matt 22 where Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment, His answer is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind...And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself" Later on Jesus tells the religious leaders that all of the Law and the Prophets hang on those two commands. For some reason that made me think of Crackerjacks... I remember opening a box as a child and being so excited about the prize inside. But instead of a "diamond ring" what I got was a goofy Super Spy decoder and a secret message. The decoder was a film of red celaphane and when you held the message under the celaphane and looked through the red, you could read the secret. You could only get the message by looking at it through that red film. Your wonderful post reminded me that God's love is like that decoder. I have to look through it to see the real message people are sending sometimes... Thanks for the reminder..and have some Crackerjacks! :)

Lindsey said...

that Loretta...she's a wise lady. Thanks so much for sharing her wisdom with us. love it!