Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Admiration: A Totally New Experience.

I'm alerting a friend to the "adults only" nature of a pod cast I found very amusing. He responded that the guy was a bit too crude for him. I held my breath, waiting for the rest of this speech. My friend had no further comment. He simply staked out his personal preferences and went on with his life. My relief was palpable. No snide comments about the quasi-state of my Christianity, no contempt and no mood crushing reactions like: "I just don't know how you can listen to (fill in the blank) and call yourself a Christian." This is terrific. The quality of personality has gotten radically healthier. I used to attract the self-righteous, now I seem to be attracting the mature. How in the heck did that happen?

Somehow, as I continue in my 52nd year, I no longer care so much what you think about what I do, or who I am. When I encounter people still trapped in the "...but what would they think" pattern, I get restless and lose interest. For me, it is a dead-end street, spending hours, days and sometimes years trying to please the (imagined to be) so powerful "them". The secret is: most people are too busy with their own life and problems to think too deeply about you. Your close friends prove your value by seriously giving of themselves and their precious (never enough) time. I was deeply touched when, after a 7-day cruise, the first thing my friend did, upon returning home, was to call me. She had a great time and I was overjoyed to share it with her. I didn't realize I was so high on her 'value' list.

I realize my entire approach to life and people has changed. I watch what others do, and take notes inside on behavior I want to try out. One of my friends has an excellent gift of tact. I really want to get a bit more of her style, as my subtle-as-a-truck method, occasionally causes me problems. She has restraint. She understands that her mom and her are from two completely different generations and there is some stuff her mom will never understand. So, she holds her peace. God, I admire that. I'd be putting my hand up in a stop gesture and making a useless speech!

Another friend is supporting a household of five counting himself. He takes on back trouble, allergies and other sundry irritations in stride, as he goes forth into the world to make a living. I spoke to him about how impressed I was with his behavior. True to his middle class background, he felt he wasn't doing anything all that special. Oh, I beg to differ, I could tell you stories from the ghetto! I have tucked away in my mind, remembrances of this man's gutsy approach to life. More than once, I've pep-talked myself back to doing a dreaded housekeeping task by remembering some of his challenges and determination to "go through".

My new church is one of the most amazing gatherings, I've ever encountered. It is fun to go there. I have more energy after going, then I had before the meeting. A church full of people who aren't trying to run my life! They are busy with their own adventure with God. They actually seem happy! I've been around a lot of Christians, and a truly well-adjusted one is rare.

I am inspired by these folks because they talk about what they are learning, doing and struggling with. They want to get better, but aren't ashamed to admit, when in their estimation, they dropped the ball. I have always been motivated to be real. If you want advertising and 'perfect' look at TV. I have never been, nor will I ever be, a perfect anything. How I admire my fellow church members. Parents who haven't terrified the personality out of their kids. Kids who respect adults, not out of fear, but by learning from their parents behavior. Younger adults who help a frail lady to stand, when she speaks. All done with no hassle, or fanfare. I have never seen this kind of thing, in a church, before.

Then there are people I know who are fighting long term illness or pain. I have never been one to suffer in silence. Especially, with physical pain, sit down,let me tell you all about it. I am amazed how the people with the really serious problems, are usually the ones you hear the least from. I absolutely respect that kind of self-control and restraint.

I am thankful I've lived long enough to heal to the point that I can admire people around me. I take little pieces of them deep inside myself and am bettered for it. I almost wept at church, when a teen got up and seriously talked about respecting how her mother had handled a serious illness. This was no butt-kissing exercise. When you are around real, you know it. What is amazing, is how people take pieces of me and find comfort and strength. It has been a long time in coming, but I like being a regular member of the human race.

5 comments:

MacPhilly said...

Welcome Cybergal - it's good to have you here with us darlin'

steven edward streight said...

I'd like your take on my recent post "Baby Bloggers are killing the blogosphere".

I am a proud grandparent, but I will never display photos of my infant relatives, unless I artistically filter out recognizable faces, fuzz them.

Why do adults seem so unheedful of the dangers to their children?

I have tastes in music that some might consider "unChristian". I like radical protest reggae punk breakcore wreckstep music from Czech, German, Belarus bands.

Why don't you use Word Verification and Comment Moderation?

steven edward streight said...

Oh. You do use CoMod. Good going, Cyber Gal.

Yours loyally,

Vaspers the Grate

steven edward streight said...

I was a regular member of the humanoid race until I started blogging. My blog ate my brain. Then vomited. I don't blame it.

steven edward streight said...

Are you a fan of Melodie Beatty? Co Dependent No More, etc.?

I really like her stuff. Its fun to read.

Approval Addicts. Joyce Meyers is the New Billy Graham except she's not really evangel