Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lessons to learn, re-learn, and share

The lesson of luggage:

Last night I went to a party. As soon as I walked in 3 of my favorite men immediately greeted me with big smiles, hugs, and outrageously over-the-top compliments. Right behind them came their wives. Eager to say hello – and chat for a few minutes.

It always amazes me these people are so warm and welcoming. That they seem to genuinely adore me – and want to spend time with me. Time spent in their presence is some of the best tonic available.

Quite honestly, I am always amazed people want to be with me and near me – and that they don’t just “tolerate” me. This feeling is a piece of baggage I carry from childhood. It’s horribly battered and worn these days – and just seems to get in the way. I think it’s time to chuck it. I keep kicking it to the curb, but somehow it keep reappearing in my brain. *sigh* Maybe it’s time to donate it to the good will.

You know, luggage usually comes sets.

The other piece I lug around is this amazement when people reject me. On one hand, I’m always ready for the rejection. (see above) On the other-hand, I am always left gape-mouthed when people openly reject me. For the life of me, I cannot fathom why anyone would not want to be my friend. It always takes my breath away to have my offer of friendship rejected. I guess that’s why I can never get rid of the first piece of luggage. These two seem to be a matched set.

The lesson of tug-of-war:

Remember the game of tug-of-war? In between the two teams is a pit of mud. It’s supposed to be fun to tug on the rope and see if you can get the other side to plow through the goo.

I frequently face this tug of war with Godzilla Girl. For some reason I struggle with this relationship. Part of it is because I’m afraid I’ll be drug into a pit I do not have the resources to deal with. Part of it is because I feel like I should be doing more – and doing it cheerfully.

Today was my turn to bring her to church and return her to her living facility. I was dreading this for several reasons. I’ve been hiding out from her because of the two issues listed above, and because of my own impatience. With a heavy heart I arrived to pick her up. And immediately I felt like a heel when her face lit up when she saw me. One the way to church we exchanged some good natured teasing – and I was surprised at home much I was enjoying her company. I had to question myself. Why have I been dreading this encounter? Why have I built up such a pit between the reality and my impressions.

I dunno. But after dropping her off today, I realized she’d won the tug-of-war, and I didn’t even have to go through the pit. Heh.

The lesson of the illustrator:

Today church was all about imagery. No, that wasn’t the topic of the sermons or Sunday School, but it’s what struck me though out the day. In the contemporary service we project graphics behind the words to the songs and the sermon. Today the graphics contained two images I’d discovered last week. Coupled with the words of the songs, I stood there in amazement as I tried to comprehend such a vast God. Such a mighty God – one who can design a universe that looks like this and this:

One who gives me vistas like this:

To take my breath away. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate my belief in God from this amazing place He’s created. I don’t really care what you believe or don’t believe. I think He’s an amazing architect and space planner.

The lesson of heart-ache:

As I sat in church today – I was so edified. The music, the people, the love, the message. I was edified and saddened. Saddened to know so many people can’t relate to this experience when they think of church. That their memories of church and religion are so overwhelmingly negative that they chose to never re-visit this alter. Experiences that built walls between them and God, instead of bridges to peace and contentment.

As I was refreshed, encouraged, and ministered too, I felt a wish creep upon me. That I could trade shoes with any of you … that you could sit in my place for a Sunday and feel the rejuvenation and joy I feel every time I enter that sanctuary.

And then my heart-ached.

I know there is no way for me to share the experience – to undo all the preconceived notions and perceptions. The only gift and tool I have are my words and smile. They seem so tiny in face of the challenge.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

"This feeling is a piece of baggage I carry from childhood."
You need to fly more! Very good chance they'll lose any baggage you bring with you!

Anonymous said...

(forgot to sign it!) -alacrityfitz

Talla Paula said...

Believe and accept the genuine love & acceptance you receive from those who give it freely.

And try to remember that those who reject you, may not really know you. Think about what,how,and why they are rejecting you? If you can't see the reason, then remember ---- no one wins all the races - somebody always loses. Just the equation itself is proof of that.

Focus on the love, warmth and happiness THEY are giving YOU. You can't go wrong, then !

Anonymous said...

I agree with talla Paula, although she does say it so much more eloquently than I!
Loose that un-needed baggage!

Mother of the Other Red-head lost in the woods in NC!

Woodstock said...

One of the things I'm learning to cope with in the process of shedding my own "why was I rejected?" baggage (look: stickers from around the world!) is the fact that most of the time the rejection we face, the choice that someone makes to disassociate him or herself from us isn't really about us; it's about the person choosing to step back. Very often they are simply meeting their own needs, which just happen to involve walking away from us, rather than meeting our needs, which just happen to involve them hanging about.

Hard to digest but well worth the effort.

Talla Paula said...

Woodstock - you said it better than I- "Very often they are simply meeting their own needs" -------which conflict with your needs.

You might try to examine the situation when you feel rejection - what kind of person are they?

What kind of person are you in that situation?

Is it a situation you are uncomfortable in and therefore not being the real you? Going over the top to cover up your feelings?
Not every personality is compatible - so don't worry about those who don't adore you - there are those who do - look at those situations and see if you can identify what makes those relationships work - and keep those in your heart !!! The others may take a little more effort, if you really feel they are worth it, and most people are, if you meet them halfway ----- ?????

Hey, are you proud of yourself with Godzilla Girl ! I am !

Anonymous said...

PS - The illustrations you use in your church/blog are the reason I always felt closest to God when wading a stream/driving anywhere in this nation. He and Mother Nature can't be beat - by anyone !!! TP