Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is Wrong With Me?

When you shut yourself off from deep emotion, things get messy.  For years I have been locking up my feelings.  Feelings about situations, experiences, people, and life.  I always felt more safe inside of myself, behind the walls.  Sure there was an occasional person who made it inside a layer or two, but I have become an expert at driving people away.

Here's the problem...I want to be a person that draws others in.  More so than that, I NEED to be a person that draws others in.  So why do I always find a way to mess up relationships and run away?  I'm sick of being afraid to get close.  The only thing is that I don't know how to fix the problem. 

It's interesting to see how so many tiny things connect to make one big thing.  Let me try to explain this better.  In order to draw people in, you have to love people.  In order to love people, you have to be ok with and love yourself.  In order to love yourself, you have to know yourself.  In order to know yourself, you have to face all the issues that make you, you.  Is this an easy process?  I'm gonna have to say...HELL NO!  As much as I want to love and draw people in, I also want to run away from who I am. 

Knowing myself terrifies me.  It means seeing all of the bad.  It means accepting my flaws.  It means experiencing pain, rejection, and failure.  Knowing me encompasses all of my fears.  My biggest obstacle right now is learning to be ok with who I am.  Not just who I am, but who God created me to be.  If I can't be ok with that person, then I can't be ok with the God who made me this way. If I can't be ok with God, then I can't be ok with anything.  I have nothing if I can't be ok with God. a part of this healing experience, I am going to list some of the things that I have learned about myself this past year that I may or may not like.
  • Afraid of rejection
  • Afraid of commitment
  • Afraid of failure
  • Indecisive
  • Fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants (never a planner)
  • Over protective of my friends
  • Annoyed by routine
  • OCD tendencies
  • Strong willed (aka stubborn)
  • Poor vocal communicator (storytelling...not so good)
The list could surely be longer, but I think you get the idea.  I have a long road of learning, growth, and personal acceptance ahead of myself, but I want to travel that road if it means that I become a better person.  It's not going to be easy, but I know that, with God's help, I will come through this tunnel.  On the other side is going to be a life of love. 

So if you have ever felt this way, you are not alone.  It's not bad to find yourself in this place.  It just means that you need to work through some personal issues and strive to grow through them.  Self-loathing is not a healthy lifestyle.  Neither is pride and arrogance.  There is a healthy balance called acceptance (love). 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Glorious Tattoo

I recently went and added permanent art to my wrist...aka...a tattoo.  I have been dreaming about getting a tattoo for several years and had a pretty good concept of what I wanted.  Finally, the time was right for me to take the plunge and go for it.  I had my own design and with the support of several friends, I headed to the tattoo shop for my first voluntary pain experience. 
I am well aware of the controversy involved in getting a tattoo.  There are many Christians who think that it is wrong, and obviously I am not one that agrees.  Sure I think there are some things that you shouldn't tattoo on your body, but the art itself is not necessarily wrong.  Anyway, that argument is not my purpose of writing today. 

My tattoo says Glory with a treble clef as the 'G.'  Most of the inspiration for this comes from First Corinthians 10:31-33.

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

The previous verses discuss the freedom of choice.  "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial or constructive."  We can choose how to live our lives, yet God wants us to live in a way that benefits those around us.  As Christians, we should not cause another to stumble.  We should have a clear conscience as well as make sure that we do not cause someone else to have an unclear conscience.  We have the freedom to choose, but we are called to make choices that bring God glory. 

My tattoo is a reminder that I do not live for my fame or glory.  I live to bring praise to God's name alone.  Every day I can see that I need to give God the glory and live in a way that does so.  I am so very excited about this new stage of tattooed life.