Several things have been happening to me for the past weeks. I’ve had my own dose of drama. Funny (or for me it is) that everything seemed to have taken place (or became climatic) after I committed to something bigger than me. For four weeks, I wasn’t myself, or I was so myself, that I became really self-aware. Little did I know that everything connects. And as of the moment, I am blessed to have seen a chunk of the connections.
I have learned that when we become self-aware, we increase our knowledge about ourselves–our strengths, attitudes, aching muscle, and also, our weaknesses. We have a tendency to feel discomfort because we see our flaws, our shortcomings. Therefore, this elicits negative emotions from us, and in the long run, we may develop depression.
From this point of view did I justify what I have been feeling, experiencing, for the past weeks. It is because I really became self-conscious about my thoughts and feelings that it fed the negative emotions I was getting.
Desires and motives
Earlier (in the week) four weeks ago, I was asking myself what were my motives in desiring a particular thing (though I consciously turned it away, but it came to me still). This led me to ask, why, o why, do God answers my one-time prayers very fast, but slow in what I was really praying for a very long time? I know I shouldn’t question, but out of desperation, unsure of what my motive was for the answered one-time prayer, I asked.
I was reading my Personality Psychology textbook (actually reviewing for the exam) and I read again the section about identity crises. There are two kinds–identity deficit and identity conflict. Identity deficit is when you don’t find anything in yourself to explain something that’s happening to yourself while identity conflict is finding two contradictory beliefs in explaining that happening to yourself.
And I quote Baumeister (2005): “the resolution to identity deficit seems to be a two-step process. First, the person resolves the fundamental issues of value and meaning. That is, he or she decides on basic, abstract principles, such as what is important in life. The second step is to translate these abstract values and convictions into concrete, realistic ambitions. (p.271)
Yeah, I thought. I should really resolve my meaning and value system on the thing I’m having problems with. Since I mostly use my right brain (refer to previous blog), I need to understand why I’m doing things in order to continue.
With these in mind, the weeks passed.
I told myself, I wanted to be good at something. And I mean really good at doing that thing that I will be known for doing that thing good, real good.
Why do I need that? I justified myself: so that I will be affirmed by people. I would get affirming words, something that I long for these past weeks. It will feel real good.
28 = 3
For four weeks, I was having my drama. Guess what? Resolution came within three days. Well, they’re not all resolved, but as I said earlier on, a big chunk was brought into light.
Monday night, I was writing in my newly bought journal. I was writing why I entitled it “refresher.” Not only did the cover have the text “be refreshed” at the upper middle left part of the cover, has water being poured out, and has a base color of green (which is the most refreshing color for me), but also because I want to be refreshed from all my drama. I’m tired of them. I want to be refreshed every time I write a new entry in my journal.
That night, I was able to connect a part of the book I’ve read for the Holy Week (He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado). It was the part where blood and water came out from the pierced side of Jesus Christ when He was hanging on the cross. Max said that the blood was God’s work for us, and that has been accomplished through Christ’s crucifixion. The water is God’s work in us. Because He continues working in me, I should accept the water as it is. I must accept the changes that God is leading me to do. No matter how sinful I am, I should make the decision to free myself of the chains I have tied myself with–self-guilt (guilt because of my weaknesses).
Max said, “The blood is God’s sacrifice for us. The water is God’s Spirit in us.” (p.107) How timely can it be that I just had my confirmation January of this year, and there, I received formally the Holy Spirit to really work in me. I guess this is part of it.
Also, Max said, “Jesus allows your mistakes to be lost in His perfection.” (p.108) Just this Wednesday afternoon, I was having coffee with a sister I consider as one of my mentors. I was relating to her the story of refreshed, the water, Max quotes, etc. Then it hit me. The water is the Spirit, which is perfect. Water is the universal solvent because it can dissolve almost all substances. But Jesus’ perfection is far from the water, though similar. Our shortcomings, mistakes and weaknesses will just be dissolved and “be lost in His perfection.”
Back to Monday night. I was also writing my thoughts about wanting to be good at something. In the middle of writing the question, I heard DJ Patti (in her show Stop Overs in Jam 88.3) share an experience of doing what you love. She said that even if you stop doing it for some reason, for example because people say you’re not too good on it, if you and that thing got reunited sometime in the future, hopefully its not yet too late to do it again. Then there, it struck me. Why do I need to look for something where I’m good at? I would never be really good at something because I’m imperfect. The right thing to do is to continue doing that thing I love, and everything else follows. When I do the thing I love, it would naturally bring out the best in me, therefore, I would also be good in it. That same night, the “burning question” was, “what are you grateful for?” To DJ Patti and other staff members on duty that night, sorry for the uncompleted phone calls (three times I attempted to call). I just couldn’t bring myself to call. But I’d like to say thank you. For that particular night, I was grateful to you, DJ Patti.
Tuesday night, I was again listening to stop overs. I knew long before that the title of the show was the same as what I call my whole multiply site. I created my multiply two years ago and I never changed the title because I thought it really fit. My multiply site is where I deposit my thoughts, writings (such as this), etc. People comment, I reply. That night, I realized a good similarity between the show and my site. DJ Patti always ask a “burning question” and listeners share their answers. These questions “say” something. It has weight. It somehow rattles the human mind, and heart, in search for an answer. Somehow, I find most (I’m not saying all) of the contents of my site like that. It came from the innermost me. The things I wrote were the product of me rattling my own mind, heart and soul.
Oh, and another thing about Jam. Their summer tagline is “summer’s most refreshing.” Isn’t there another word other than “refresh?”
Wednesday afternoon, I, again, have proven that whenever I retell a story, new realizations struck me. I was recommending the song “Hosanna” by Hillsong from their album Savior King. It was my song when 2008 entered. Looking back, what struck me was the line “heal my heart and make it clean.” Then, I realized, that maybe, all these things that has been happening to me, being privately self-aware and self-conscious, is a preliminary step in the “cleaning” part. How can you clean the floor under your bed if you don’t know what kind of dirt is under it, or worse, if you don’t even know that it’s dirty? In the same way, I became aware of my weaknesses, shortcomings, and imperfections–the things in me that needed cleaning, healing.
Then my mentor added another route to being privately self-conscious. Yes, when we grow more aware of ourselves, we gain self-knowledge. We learn more about ourselves, including our weaknesses. But knowing these shortcomings, these imperfections, should not mean being sulked in depression. However, it should make us realize that we really are nothing, thus, we really need God. We are just imperfect beings without God in our lives. This affirmed me that the imperfections I have gives room for the water. It allows the Spirit to move me, to change me. Being aware of my own flaws enables me to act, somehow, according to how God wants me to.
For the second time, here’s the bridge of the song Hosanna:
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you
And love me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I have
For your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
I was made aware of what needed cleaning and healing. My eyes were opened to things I didn’t see. My heart was broken. And as my heart heals, I pray that it may be able to love just as I am being loved by my Father (as close as possible for I know I cannot ever love the exact same way He does), all for the glory of Him.