She's a Glutton for Punishment or So It Seems

“We all live with the scars we choose.” – Sugarland “Take Me As I Am”

“Now you go your way, baby, and I’ll go mine – now and forever until the end of time.” – Serena Ryder “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”

I woke up and the clock read something that equated to “early” in my mind. I set my alarm and went back to sleep. When it rang out again, I silenced it and laid with my face in the pillow. It felt sublime to catch up on sleep and just let my body rest. I finally got up and chit chatted shortly with my mom before throwing clothes on and running to church. I was late, but I didn’t mind.

There, I met up with a friend and sang a few songs, shook some hands, and settled into the sermon. It was about words, the power of words, and letting our “yes” mean “yes” and “no” mean “no.” It struck a chord with me for several reasons: 1) I am a word person. My words speak louder than my actions. 2) My “yes” means “yes” but my actions and my words don’t always translate coherently. 3) I am called to align the two.

At lunch afterwards, I shared a good conversation which really forced me to identify the disconnect between the two in my life. Somewhere along the line, I got into the habit of thinking that if I said I felt one way, people would understand that and it was up to them to act accordingly. Unfortunately, I forgot that 1) People are generally self-serving and act in the manner which best suites them and 2) If they identify a disconnect, they will interpret that to mean my actions reflect my true desires. Not true, in my case; I think I’m unique in that. What that means though is that it should not be left in someone else’s hands to act appropriately or accordingly but in my own. It’s a simple concept which many people learn at a young age, I’m aware. I was somehow enticed into this mentality which allowed me to wash my hands of something based on the fact that I had already said how I felt about it, regardless of my actions. It’s cowardly, really and it’s exactly what the pastor cautioned us about today. Shucks.

Upon realizing this, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time yet again for some clean-up in my life, time to right some wrongs, and time to allow my actions to reflect my words. I’m here, not there.

On a separate note, how do you know when to draw the line with something? How much effort is too much effort? At what point do you go from being gracious to doormat? I struggle with this question quite a bit. And I think some of my friends struggle with me riding that line as well. I just keep thinking of forgiving your neighbor not 7 times but 77 times (or however that Bible verse is phrased). I can’t be faulted for giving too many chances or showing too much kindness, can I? I know that my friends think otherwise. It’s a hard thing to argue against too. I’m trying to give what I want to receive, whether or not there’s any hint that I’ll have it come back to me. In fact, I think I do it with a guarantee that it won’t come back to me. Come to think of it, I don’t think it has anything to do with giving and receiving. It’s just giving.

I don’t know if that’s an asset or a fault overall…but some days it feels like a very large fault.

Yet another note: No one knows a person like she knows herself. I cannot recount to you the struggles I have faced, the pain I felt, or the joys I have created. I picked myself off the ground with the help of God, not with any person’s hand. In my darkest hour, I forged my own path and brushed off my own knees after every fall; they were countless. If you think I have leaned on you, you have no idea of the weight I carried on my shoulders or heart or that which I still do. You may have braced me while I rested, but you have not weathered any storm with me or stood beside me in sleepless hours. You have not carried me or taken my weight from me. You may have witnessed me shift that weight, that’s all.

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