Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Life-Affirming Gift.

(ID characteristics have been changed to protect privacy).

Happy 2006 everyone! After much labor and anguish, I managed to salvage one out of twenty photos I took for Christmas! A lesson: ALWAYS FORMAT your new memory card, before you start snapping away, with your digital camera! The picture is of the gift wrapped painting I commissioned for Maria and John, of their dog DeeDee.

Reviewing 2005 has been a joy. I've made many new friends, joined a terrific church closer to home, achieving goals preparing for my work life and am in the blogosphere! I shed a few tears of absolute joy, over how my world has truly come full-circle. It all began when I finally decided to stop trying to tell God how to do His job and just started to really get to know Him, not just facts about Him.

All the years of anger and rebellion just evaporated under the gentle and friendly spirit I experienced while just sitting in God's presence, being quiet (to listen, for a change!) It was scary. I was sure a big hand, or something, would materialize out of thin air and start slapping me around! There are actually people, good people, who find comfort in a God like that! Not me. God is feather-soft with me. He knows how easily I'll bolt like a spooked horse and head for the emotional hills.

I began to notice other interesting changes. I became agreeable to the positive in the world. A reversal of having a PhD in negativity. That too began to transform. I find that I'm braver about people then I've ever been before. I no longer am willing to say, or do anything to gain their approval. It feels very good to take up the responsibility of adulthood. I'm learning to tolerate uncomfortable feelings. I assure you, when I first realized I may have nothing to post for this blog in pictures, I was discouraged. I took a break and turned my attention to God and the (still) wonderful things going on around me. Eating dinner also helped, low blood sugar makes me feel down. I still have a problem retrieving my 19 remaining photos, but I no longer want to cry about it. That is a miracle!

The life-affirming gift, is friendship. I've learned to make friends with healthy people. People who are (or appear to be) more skilled then I, in certain areas. I respect them, their lives and their opinions. My last post was absolutely from my heart and soul. I reached out to someone I respect a lot, asking for their evaluation. I then held my breath, waiting to be told that I was becoming delusional again!

Their reply caused me to tear up, with gratitude, in church. They thought it was a great post and hoped that I'm able to help many people. This is adult to adult communication and encouragement. I rarely got praised for much of anything, (I cared about). That couple of sentences filled up a hole in my heart that has been there ever since I can remember. I can feel the strength growing in response to a caring friend.

I used to try to be someone's everything. Oh, if you liked football, I'd try to like it also. Not in an adult way, but I'd lie about my true feelings, driven by a vortex of internal emptiness. I'd say, and or do almost anything, hoping someone would just like me!

What happened last night was totally new and healthy. This person has no need to pass out fake praise. There is depth to their thinking. They don't suffer poor performance from so-called professionals, much better then I do. (Don't you hate the way the English Language is being butchered, in written and spoken form?)

It was an inspiring experience to be evaluated well by someone I respect. I am enthused to continue this blog and my computer work. When trouble, or critics come, I can look back at this on-going friendship and find the inner fortitude to weather the storm. God works with and through people. My prayer is, when my friend runs into rough going, that they can reach out to me, so I can return the support given to me. Friendship is absolutely the life-affirming gift.

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