Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, May 18

I loved the Meredith Brooks song, "Bit*h," because it talked about all of the different people we all are. I loved hearing something that reinforced that I can be - am! - different things to different people and that all of those things make up ME.

When we talk to Griff about the Holy Trinity, we explain it that same way (without the cursing, of course). He is our son, Eliza's brother, my parents' grandson, etc. We all have different layers to our personality, different personas that we wear. And I like that. That is what gives depth and meaning and surprise to our lives in a lot of ways. Our interactions would get stale if we didn't have new and changing layers of ourselves.

Mike and I were talking last night about a project I'm doing at work with a co-worker (who also happens to be a good friend). I was telling him that I'm more literal and she's more visual and that we're having a hard time explaining our needs and wants to one another in ways that reassure our own insecurities and encourage the other's strengths (I am thankful that she and I are close enough to share those needs with one another and that we don't get our feelings hurt by differences like this). I said to Mike that I just pretty much want her to tell me what to do & let me do it. I said that I didn't have any ideas or much creativity but that I'm a great rule follower, a great worker bee. This friend is an amazing big picture thinker, and I'm a details girl.

And he laughed. (Which he does a lot during discussions like this.) He insists that I have more creativity than I give myself credit for (which this particular friend tells me routinely), and I was surprised by that. I had told him earlier of a blogger who is holding a contest of sorts in order to find writers for her new team blog, Intellectuelle, and he said I should enter. I think the blog is an interesting idea, but it never occured to me to enter the contest because I don't think of myself as intellectual. I'm a feeling girl.

All of which has made me think about the ways that we see ourselves and the ways that other people see us. I think, in general, I'd probably do better if I saw myself more the way Mike and this friend see me than the way I see myself sometimes. I'm always harder on myself than on other people and than other people are on me. These people see a kinder, smarter, more creative me than I see, and I'm encouraged and reaffirmed to know that they see these qualities in me.

I know they see the ugly sides of me, too, of which I think there are plenty. We all have all of these layers to our souls, and I think it would just be impossible to live in this human world and not develop an ugly layer or two. Sometimes, we think we've moved past those ugly layers of our youth, only to see them pop up again later (a friend of mine made a comment a few weeks ago about race that stunned and shocked me... I knew he had felt that way when he was younger, but I assumed that he no longer held those views, given the more mature and accepting attitudes he's shown in the last few years). How gracious our God is to see the ugly layers, to know them intimately, and yet to love us unconditionally. How generious is He to put family and friends around us who see those ugly layers and love us anyway!

I believe that God puts specific people around us at specific times to meet our needs and to use us to meet the needs of other people. I believe He put Mike and me together because we meet one another's needs. We finish one another out, give balance to our relationship. I am a great rules follower. I always have been. I have a fair bit of respect for rules, and I enjoy the boundaries and safety they provide. Free thinking has never been my strong suit. A pure believe that other people's opinions don't matter isn't something I've always possessed, though I'm stronger in my own thoughts now than I was 10 or 15 years ago. That's because of Mike. He's this individualist, free thinker with opinions and the necessary knowledge to back those opinions up. I'm amazed by his knowledge. And I think he's appreciative of my intuition. God put us together to fill in the open spots between the layers in our personalities. He is using us to smoosh out the ugly layers in one another and to reinforce and build up the good layers.

I am humbled by the ways in which our God works. I am humbled and honored that He chooses to use me in His grand plan.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, May 18, 2005  ]


I have always said that we are our worst critic. But, we are also our best PR person. Something to think about.

By Blogger The Pastor, at 12:56 PM  

Post a Comment