Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Guilt Of Being Happy

Am I the only one that sometimes feels guilty for having an awesome life? If you read my blog any sort of regular amount or know me in real life, you know that I don't live in a world full of rainbows and butterflies. There are hard days and dry seasons and sometimes life really stinks.
But overall, my life rocks. I've been so abundantly blessed by my God that I can't even really thank Him properly. My parents are wonderful, and though we don't always get along and they argue basically every day, I wouldn't trade them for anyone at all. For the mushy gushy sentimental stuff about how much I love them, please see "Dear Dad". My siblings are also amazing and I would never trade them either, though I often wanted to when I was a kid. The majority of my friends are people that inspire, motivate, and challenge me daily. They encourage me, stand by me, and don't give up on me or abandon me for lame reasons (or really any reason at all). They love me in my mess and make my life more vibrant and thrilling. I go to a wonderful college that's full of a lot of people who a similar to me, and a lot of people who are different from me. I love the variety and kindred spirits I find in both categories. I have a mind that loves learning, which I can thank my homeschooling days for, and I'm a pretty intelligent person (I'm no Einstein, but I love deep conversations and can learn to converse about pretty much anything academic or philosophical). I have something within me that makes music continuously, which makes the music major life a lot more hearty and a lot easier. I am quite healthy, if you disregard the amount of soda and Taco Bell I consume and the number of pounds the world says I should lose to be "fit". I'm not on any medication, I have great eyesight and hearing (though the hearing is sure to leave soon if I continue blast 'You Make My Dreams' as loud as I do...). I'm not a big fan of my looks, but I figure if that's the worst thing that's wrong with me, aside from the things God is concerned with, then I'm doing ok.
I do have a sin problem. It's a big part of my life and something I give up every day and fail at most days. But God is so very faithful to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9), which He does for me A LOT.
Once you consider all this, please tell me I'm not the only one that thinks my life rocks.
Because I certainly believe it does.
As I've begun realizing THAT this summer (it's taken a year for me to find life to be beautiful again, so please forgive me if this realization seems a little late in life), I've also been hanging out with and talking to a lot of friends/acquaintances becoming friends that are in a quite different boat.
They don't have good, supportive families and friends. They have a lot of things in their life that they regret doing. They have a lot of things in their life that are kind of dismal and hope-draining.
And here I sit trying to encourage them and become a part of their lives, I begin to sound like that annoying Christian radio station that's always talking about how *awesome* God is and how ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GIVE IT UP TO HIM and all those other cliché Christianese words and phrases.
As much as I never want to be that person that's so happy about life all the time that you just want to kill a puppy in front of them, I feel like I've become that person. And I feel guilty for it! I feel judged, and like I deserve the judgment, and like it makes sense for people to hate me a little bit and never want to talk to me about their life issues. I think I feel this way because I am so very familiar with the Slough of Despondency and the Depths of Despair {if you understand both of those literary allusions, please be my best friend!}. I remember quite vividly the pain and numbness and listlessness of life that has occurred before, and what little desire I had to have anything to do with overly happy people. Or people who "understood" or people who wanted to encourage me. I just wanted to sit in my mud puddle and pout and cry and be miserable. And if you wanted to jump in, well, the more the miserable-er.
I guess once I get down to it, I have no idea why any of this matters. I know not why anyone should care to read about why I feel guilty about my awesome, God-blessed life. The ponderings just happen and I can't really stop them so most of them just end up here, I suppose.
The questions I close with:
Why do we all stink at being happy for others?
What stops me from being able to relate to those whose lives aren't as sunny as mine currently?
What can I do to change that?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

loves and fears and mores and enoughs.

I have no idea where this blog post is going or what may come out of it, so please bear with me. There's a lot welling up in my heart and weighing on my mind lately, so this is my feeble attempt at sorting it out. Summer school has been keeping me busy lately, and especially busy writing. When I write for school, I usually approach it as I would a blog post: a hopeful preliminary attempt at sorting out my thoughts, be they thoughts on research or opinions or just emotions. And, luckily, it turns out pretty good in most cases. Well, for this psych class I've been attempting to approaching my writing as a blog post, and it's been wonderful... but it's made me despise even the idea of blogging because I feel like I've already blogged about 33 pages of information on children with exceptionalities.
However, I feel like there are some big things rumbling around in me (and I'm still unsure of their correctness level, so feel free to judge and add your opinion) and I'd like to get my thoughts out there, so here goes:

For a long time, I've thought LOVE's opposite was HATE.
I'm changing my mind.
I believe LOVE's opposite is FEAR.

"Every type of emotion has one of only two roots – love or fear. Out of love flow joy, peace, happiness, patience, kindness, gentleness, and hope. Out of fear flow hate, anger, bitterness, resentment, rage, worry, envy and hopelessness.

The fascinating part is that scientists have researched the anatomy and physiology of love and fear and found that these two emotions cannot coexist. You either walk in love or fear but you can’t walk in both at the same time."

Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd

This explains it all so well. I am incapable of loving if I am afraid of love, or afraid of what may happen, or afraid of my past. I am incapable of fearing if I love God and others with a love that surpasses even that of my self-love, which is continually greater than it should be. 

The other big thing that's tumbling around in me is the word MORE.
As a resident of 21st century America, I am quite familiar with this word and its meaning. It means that what I have now is not ____ enough. Maybe just not enough. Maybe not interesting enough. Maybe not beautiful enough. Maybe not clean enough. Maybe not fast enough.
It means that what I have now is not satisfactory.
It means that contentedness is not a option currently.

And yet... YOU are MORE.
You are more than what you say.
You are more than what you do.
You are more than what you did.
You are more than what you wear.
You are more than what you believe.
You are more than what you see.
You are more than what you love.
You are more than what you fear.
You are more than what others tell you.
You are more than your mistakes, hiccups, skeletons, pains, glories, prizes, accolades, and shadows.

It means that what you are now IS ENOUGH.
It means that what you are now is satisfactory.
It means that contentedness is possible.
It means that forgiveness is not only possible, but has been standing there waiting on you to recognize it.

and still, beyond that, HE is MORE.
He is more than what church says.
He is more than what church does.
He is more than what you did.
He is more than what pictures of him look like.
He is more than what we believe.
He is more than what we see.
He is more than what we feel.
He is more than what we love.
He is more than what we fear.
He is more than what anyone has ever told you.
He is more than words, images, and emotions can explain.
He is more than your experiences, regrets, rewards, light, and shadow.

It means that what He is IS ENOUGH.
It means that what He is can handle absolutely anything. period.
It means that what He is now will never change.
It means that contentedness is actually not an option, because we can only see the surface of the 'enough' that He is.
It means that He is forgiveness.
It means that He makes you worthy.
It means that He makes you enough.

He is more, therefore I am more.
Together, we are more than my loves and my fears. Together, He takes my 'enough', and makes it His, and makes it more.

welcome to midnight.

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