Willingness to adhere to one’s own “norm” can sometimes lead to big trouble.
I must say, the last few years have been a challenge within my personal life. In many aspects, I have learned to change. These aren’t subtle changes, as they had been a huge part of who I was as a person. As I share, keep in mind that these specific changes have nothing to do with, ‘growing up”, but to do with how I have come to realize that all people are fighting a battle we know very little about.
I will admit, I had always been a pretty standoffish type. I guess the way I grew up and the experiences I had made me into a little monster. Being short–not tolerating the headache others would bring–with nearly all people was the best method for me. The only method, really. I enjoyed my solitude, my egoism, and the things that, frankly, would offend others. “F you” was usually the final thought before throwing people to the wayside.
Then, a specific period–the time I became involved in church–evolved into a two-fold experience that changed everything.
I felt conviction. Yes, I has a great epiphany, if you will. I began to see people in a different light: as sinners. As completely incompetent, unworthy, duds. Not fit for humanity, and certainly not capable of much other than destruction and inadequacies. Sin. Yeah, that was the image of all as I began to look through the lens of religion. As it continued, I also began to see others as I was–little monsters. Everyone under the sun was a piece of work, to put it nicely. So, I’d play the part–on my knees everyday, at church all of the time, Bible study 24/7, correction, correction, correction. This continued for over a year, and it was mandatory for not only myself, but my whole family. I made them do it. My wife, three young children and I would enforce it all with my, already, selfish hand.
Long story short, and something I have written about numerous times in my blog, I lost my family. We’re back together, but I had to change before that happened.
You see, my piousness and egocentric tendencies–my willingness to adhere to my “norm” (being a monster and then a religious monster)–ruined everything. It ruined my life. I soon realized, after introspection and time away from family and church, that I was a true monster. Religion only fueled the misconception of my true self. The instability: the teaching of Old and New Testament (God hates you, but loves you), the imbalance within myself, as well as within the leaders of institutions they call, “His house”, and, most importantly, the Spirit I never knew because of it all. The true voice of God within. One of true love for me.
Allowing the Lord of all that is beautiful in a wretched world–the Creator; maker of the life we experience in all of its marvelous intricacies–to guide my heart has been the biggest game-changer. I now see ALL people in a different light. I see that I have little understanding of who and what made them into the way that they are, and I also see that everyone needs love. Love–the true essence/wholeness of God.
I look at the world through a new lens: the one He provides. People, places, writings, words, hate–the monsters all of us are and that all of us possess–cloud His divinity. For years, my own monsters fogged His splendor. Now, I’m learning to walk away from those monsters, in others and within myself. I just pray and keep moving forward, knowing that no monster can break what God has given me.
No matter how old some people get, they never learn this valuable lesson. Perhaps your, “norm” needs His critiquing of love?