The Spirited 76

August 29, 2008 -
And we go back and forth, back and forth...

Sometimes I wonder if the weakest parts of a person are the strongest parts. They're the parts you hate the most and you try to get rid of them, stuff them down, fight against them, yet they keep rising back up to bother you time and again. They must be powerful to keep coming back. On the other hand, we like our strong parts and we pay attention to them and harness their power and nurture them. The less attention we pay to our weaknesses, the more crippled we become, because we need them. We start to feel divided because we are divided, against our own selves.

Clearly the way to become a stronger character is by confronting, embracing, learning from and strengthening your weaker aspects. Not through denial, avoidance, and pride. Your strengths won't go away, not after a lifetime of developing and nourishing them. Your strengths can be the steady foundation while you turn your attention to your weaknesses, your potential strengths.

September 3, 2008 - We've traveled halfway round the world to find ourselves again...

The thing about being quirky and religious is that you can reconcile your beliefs, but other people cannot. You know there are other quirky people out there but you don't know how to connect with them. Everyone wears a facade of similarity. 

Questions I hate:
"Why are you so interested in that? Why do you care about that?" Arrows right to the heart. I am such an extremely private person but I do not always want to be. I get tired of swapping one mask for another in this game of life. All of the masks are me, to a certain extent, but all of them feel like a prison. I don't know how to get used to it, how to be more comfortable.

I marvel at the ease with which other people talk about their interests and opinions. I am rather drawn to opinionated women, and they draw out a more vocal side of me it's true. Hmm, maybe someday..

So, I like reading funny reviews. Movie reviews, song reviews, book reviews, etc. Even of movies I would never see and books I would never read. I absorb so much of what I read that sometimes it may seem like I have direct experience with something when I actually don't.

My love of bad reviews is something only one person knows about me. Not because it's some big, terrible secret. Not at all. No, it's one of those secrets that shouldn't even be a secret. One of those shames that isn't shameful at all. I have so many, so so many.

Anyway, I've been following the bad reviews on this popular book series. One I've never read and won't ever read. The drama of the reviews is very entertaining though. I made the mistake of displaying that I had a little bit too much knowledge about these books. I was all ready to make a joke and before I got to the punchline...
"Why do you even let this stuff into your head?" OUCH! And a door slams, so loud I almost jump. So I just stalk off in a huff, and chide myself for not being wiser and listening because aren't they right? Shouldn't you only fill your mind with worthy things of the spirit? And isn't it childish to rebel by closing yourself off to other people? But won't I keep getting hurt at least until I can purify myself enough to be acceptable company? ARGH! I almost cried but anger and confusion got the better of me. And now I just won't feel or think about it anymore, it's just another bruise, roll with the punches kid.

I feel free when I'm alone. But there has got to be another way to taste freedom.

September 13, 2008 -
Know all of the things that make you who you are...

1. Dealing with people is usually irritating, always draining. I have come to realize that I treat interacting with people like a job, and I expect the compensation of being left alone. I tally up the minutes and hours in my head, and then feel I have earned solitude. I am just now realizing how strange and offputting this attitude is to other people.

It has become increasingly difficult to derive any joy from interacting with others in any way. The only time I see the positives are when I derive some kind of personal growth from the experience. That's still quite self-centered. I never seem to enjoy someone's company just because of who they are, but only if their company benefits me in some way. Frighteningly, the more fulfilling the interaction, the longer I need to spend alone afterward. So if I spend a fun week with a friend, then I take months after that for myself. If I go out to eat with someone, then I need days alone. Last weekend we went away for the district convention and I did not have a minute to myself. After we came back I didn't leave the house for three days and I am still craving isolation.

When I am lonely, I don't really want company, I want love. I don't know what this means.

2. I have become extreme in my defenses against the power of others. I deny needed discipline, self-imposed as well as other-imposed. I am still ruled by powers other than my own, for now I am ruled by bad habits, compulsions, and fleshly tendencies. But these powers are passive and give me small, immediate pleasures. I don't know how to fight shame unless I give in to the power of God. Why can't I take this step? Is it that I do not trust Jehovah? No, I know He is trustworthy, and in fact I try to avoid reading about Him or communing with Him altogether, because then it becomes very clear that I need to submit. I know submission is in my best interests, I know the yoke is not burdensome. But still I hesitate and turn aside. I am not and never have been a submissive person, and this is a big problem.

Whenever I read about the "new personality", I tend to feel very hopeless. It seems like such an all or nothing thing. Either you have the new personality or you do not, and my old personality feels very much ingrained. My only hope is that I am misunderstanding the concept somehow. I also practice sin. Now I should be scared but regretfully I have a habit of withdrawing from situations that frighten me, rather than confronting them. I withdraw a lot. So when I do something seriously wrong, knowing that it is wrong, and then do it again the next day, knowing again that it is wrong but giving up any effort to stop, then this is practicing sin as I understand the concept. Which means straight to Gehenna with me. Now I should be scared but I push away fear and replace it with temporary pleasure and longlasting hopelessness. If I am hopeless then I can feel sorry for myself and my pitiful lot. If I acknowledge that there can be hope, then I am acknowledging that things can change, and then I must see that the only obstacle is me. And I am very stubborn!

My therapist has put the question to me: "Why do you sabotage yourself?" Why do I stop taking my medicine? Why do I give up when things are actually going well? Why do I abandon thriving friendships? Why do I refuse to make goals or look toward the future? What is so scary there? Why don't I want to get better?

Quite a question. Why don't I want to get better? There is a significant part of me that does NOT want to get better. Now of course, there is a part of me that does, and this part has had to fight an awful lot over the years. But there is another side of me that does not want to get better. Now in what ways do I think getting better would harm me? What am I protecting myself from? Why don't I want to get better?
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