what i've learned along the way
. . . our scars remind us the past is real
Published on July 24, 2007 By lobsterhunter In Misc
A deep well of sorrow lives buried within my soul. Woven into the tapestry of my being is the belief that I am a burden. The message taunts me constantly, and in moments of weakness, I give in and accept the lie. I crank up the volume on the tapes that tell me my existence causes other people’s pain.

Recently, a master manipulator convinced me that I was the author of her suffering. She explained that my presence caused her intense discomfort, and proceeded to rationalize her unacceptable behavior. This individual chose to reject me without ever stopping to consider anyone’s position but her own. The circumstances we found ourselves in were awkward for everyone involved.

Ironically enough, I wanted to justify her actions. I wanted to identify what wrong I had done, and own my part. However, in this particular situation, I have NO part to own. I have done absolutely NOTHING to harm this person, and just like an abused child, I am innocent of any wrong doing. Yet, something inside of me begs for an excuse. If I can come up with a logical reason for someone treating me this way, then I can fix it, right? I can solve all the problems from the past and win her approval by doing the “right thing”.

This woman’s inability to treat me with common courtesy left me feeling rejected. At this point, my childhood hurts took over, and all truth faded into the background. My feelings began to attack me, and the voice of the enemy threatened to annihilate any hint of reality. I sunk into a familiar pit where the walls are plastered with paintings of my shortcomings. In an attempt to empathize with her, I took responsibility someone else’s emotions resulting in a loss of my own self-worth.

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I battled the cruel monster of insecurity. Wrapped in the arms of the man I love, I sifted through all the thoughts and feelings terrorizing my spirit. As the clock ticked, I gradually found my way back to truth, and the fog of self-loathing began to lift. I reminded myself feelings aren’t facts, and slowly, I recovered from this brutal encounter where wounds of the past collided with present circumstances.

Comments
on Jul 26, 2007
It's so very amazing how God works! Every time I have a lesson to learn, He comes at me from all sides and closes in, lol. Dan write this thing called the "FUN UPDATE" about his life in Florida and sends it to his friends via email. This was his from yesterday:

Ever since my trip to Haiti, ants have taken on a special meaning for me. They represent how lots of small problems can combine to create what seems to be an impenetrable miasma of suckiness that permeates my entire life and robs me of all perspective. And so it was that two days ago, after a trying day that involved torrential rainfall, a stolen bike, and a five mile walk/swim, it was discouraging to come home and find that ants were congregating in my entryway.
When I say "congregating," I'm not referring to the characteristic assembly line inevitably leading to a forgotten apple core or candy wrapper. I mean there was about a thousand ants in one small corner of my foyer. I felt somewhat broken at the moment, so I heaped my soaking clothes into the washer and took a hot bath just in case pneumonia was eying my damp lungs. The ants were forgotten until the next morning.

For whatever reason, I harbored a timid hope that I would wake up and the ants would be gone. Laugh at me if you want, but just as water appears in the desert for the desperately thirsty, in my dreams those pesky ants had evaporated, replaced with wadded up hundred dollar bills. Or something.

I haven't dealt with many problems of the type that disappear when you ignore them, and sure enough, the ants were still there when I woke up. If anything, there were more of them, and they seemed to be laying eggs. Just swell. I was running late for work, so I threw on my work clothes and ran out to catch the bus, pausing only to spray the ants with some 409 all-purpose cleaner, the equivalent of spitting in the general direction of my firing squad.

Work... was miserable. Usually I love working as a poker dealer, but yesterday I hardly made enough money to cover my bus fare. I breathed in and out deeply, discovered that I had missed the bus by about three minutes, breathed in and out again, and waited forty-five minutes for the next bus.

I got home, opened my door, and learned something: 409 works on ants. All thousand or so of them were just where I had left them... but dead. And for some reason, yesterday suddenly became a good day. Which made me realize something rather profound.

Much of the background guilt in my life is the result of how I feel. I tip taxi drivers well even when they're late, knowing that it wasn't their fault. But I feel like going on a tirade, insulting their cars and jobs and relatives. I respond politely when the Florida Secretary of State calls and lets me know that I have a couple hundred dollars in fees to pay for moving here. But often, I feel anything but polite.

I feel guilty because I don't feel sure that God will provide. I feel guilty because I worry about jobs and money and people despite God's immaculate track record. I feel guilty because when bad things happen I feel let down by God, as if I am subject to the cruel whims of a divine dictator.

So I'm thankful that my faith and my love aren't judged by my feelings. The bible says that "even a child is known by his actions." I am judged by my decisions--what I choose to do, and whether or not I choose to indulge my guilt, anger, and malice. I feel capable of making good decisions.

I mean, if a bunch of dead ants can instantaneously take me from despair to happiness, where in the substance in emotion? Emotion is just the veneer of circumstance, giving color to perception. And that's nothing to feel guilty about.

*and break*

amazing? I think so. If there was something Trinitie needed to learn, it's that our emotions aren't necessarily our rulers and they seldom reflect reality. 'Tis a comforting fact. Hope it's the same to you. I miss you lots.

Trinitie
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