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Archive for February, 2012

truth: people keep me honest

I discovered something about myself this week and I have to admit, I am a little ashamed that it took me this long to realize it. People keep me honest. More specifically, they keep me honest about myself–who I am and how I am doing. As an introvert, I have come to see that my my interactions with others really serve as a sort of barometer on my life. When I have had a rough go of things, my interactions with other generally invoke feelings of anxiety and frustration. When I have one of those Austin Powers sort of days where everyone stops to gawk as you pass buy, my interactions are joyous; I am funny, witty, and in general fun to be around (or so I think).

This week brought out the worst in me. I don’t know what it was because there were seriously a lot of awesome things that happened throughout my week but nonetheless, I was a monster. To be fair, I don’t know if anyone else picked this up because I am actually a pretty good liar, which is its own problem but this was one of those weeks where the only place I wanted to be was in my room sitting in my comfy chair.

While I realize that it is perfectly acceptable to have a bad week, the thing that scared me was that I felt like I was being a monster to everyone around me. The woman coughing next to me on the subway was offensive. The person craning their neck next to me in class was an obnoxious person who needed to mind their personal space. All of the other people on the sidewalk were obviously not in a hurry and were just trying to thwart my plans to be on time. Even close friends became enemies in my own mind. Yikes, even as I write this I am appalled by my thoughts and feelings this past week. The only consolation is that my perception of these interactions was really more of a picture of a couple other stressors/problems/general aspects of myself that I needed to keep in check. Remember the barometer? 

Last Sunday (or a couple Sundays ago, I can’t quite remember) we had a guest speaker who spoke about giving ourselves permission to fully feel emotions like anger, sadness and despair. What is more, we need to allow ourselves the space to really feel (and express) joy and happiness. One way we can do this he says is through the Psalms which really embody many of the intense emotions we often try to ignore or dampen.

In the Psalms we see prayers asking God to strike people from the earth alongside proclamations of joy that should be reserved for only the most spectacular of occasions. 

I have been trying to give myself some space to feel lately and there have even been (*gasp*) tears! But one thing I have to keep reminding myself of is that I should also experience great joy. For me, this means simply acknowledging the good in my life because it is there, I just choose to look over it when I do a survey of my day/week/life in general. In our sermon today, the speaker ended with a question: “are you happy?” He responded with, “then tell your face!” Which got a chuckle but really there is a lot of truth in there. 

I will leave you with something that makes me happy right now. It even brings smiles and even a little dancing whenever I listen to it. 

May you come to feel anger, sadness and despair, joy, and happiness this week. Also, I hope you laugh in public and maybe even dance a little.  

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