Friday, April 01, 2005

Days run away like horses over the hills...

It's been a long day. I just got home from work about a half hour ago, and while I am feeling tired, the need to self-express overrides the need for rest.

I have gotten to where I hate sleeping, lately. I am not sure why, other than it seems like a colossal waste of 8 good hours. I am sure I will feel differently about this next week, when my efforts to stop "wasting my time" finally catch up to me.

I was thinking today about the cycle of shame that begins with the crisis of confidence, which I experienced a couple of days ago.

What begins as self-shame turns into shaming others, because they feel responsible for your crisis. They feel guilt for some offhand comment they may have made that inadvertantly threw you into a frenzied state of self-loathing, when in reality, it's not their fault at all. And shame is a very powerful thing. It can cause someone to withdrawl from the things and the people they love, afraid of the unseen force that drives to the forefront the insecurities that plague everyone, yet seem larger than life when shame has had its way.

I got to thinking today about what is "normal" insecurity, and what is insecurity gone too far. How much is too much?

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled on and off with feelings of just wanting to end it all. These feeling seem to surface most often after a particularly humiliating incident, such as if I did not wear the right shoes, or if I typed "is" when I meant to type "if"...you know, things of a critical nature (lol). I mean, everybody makes mistakes, right? Why is it that my mistakes are so horrible that I feel that I must die for them? THIS IS NOT NORMAL!

Over the years, I've learned to go a bit easier on myself. I mean, as bad as I am now (and I acknowledge that I am very bad about self-criticism), I used to be much, much worse. And in looking at this now, I wonder how much unnecessary pain my self-shaming has caused others who may have thought they were responsible for my being so messed up?

The older I get, the more inexperienced I feel, and I realize there is still so much I need to learn. Once upon a time, I thought I had things pretty well figured out for myself, and only recently have realized I AM A MESS!!! I am like a Rubik's Cube, and the more I try to put everything in my life where it needs to be, the worse the confusion becomes. So it seems.

I say this all with humor, because I realize that I am by no means the only person in the world who is a mess of a Rubik's Cube (a flawed analogy, I know, but go with it). The more I talk to people and listen to people, the more I realize that our experiences with pain and insecurity are rarely unique unto ourselves, and everyone walks around being haunted to some degree by things they just wish they could forget.

I think that is why God made us social creatures. I do not recall anywhere in His Word where we are advised to isolate ourselves from those we love. In fact, it seems quite the opposite is advised. In times of trouble, we are not told to go into our respective corners and sulk. No, we are told to bear one another's burdens. To bear a burden, someone first has to give you the burden. To do so, communication and fellowship is required.

Nature is such a great teacher. Predatory animals will often seek out the weakest animal in the flock or herd or what have you, and seperate that animal from the shelter of the rest of them, then proceed to prey on that animal. In the shelter of the herd, it would be much harder to attack and kill that animal. However, if it can be isolated, it becomes easy prey.

And so it is with us. And satan is aware of that. We become easy targets if we can be isolated from the body of Christ. We are easier to attack and take down if we do not have the shelter and support of our spiritual family and fellow warriors. If he can deceive us into believing we are not worthy to be part of the body of Christ, it is that much easier for him to deceive us further and further until he has us in his grip once again.

I am learning that we have to be very wise to the tactics the enemy uses...which are often the same tactic regurgitated in a different form. I heard once that the only true weapon the enemy has is deception, and all other maneuvers are simply an offshoot of that one weapon.

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