Monday, September 10, 2007

Becoming My Own Person: Owning Up To Mistakes.

I document recovery by sharing my half-developed ideas and sometimes my mistakes. I forget that in print, my attempt at satire doesn't always appear as satire. I am traveling some new philosophical ground lately. I ponder what are the parts of me which are "fixed", as compared to those parts of me which are still "flexible", open for change, and or new information.

I lean toward a very mousy type of co-dependant behavior. I'll become anything you like, so you'll like me. I'm getting secure enough within myself where I've stopped doing that. I'm a committed Christian and I'm no longer willing to get wishy-washy about it. I also come from a totally messed-up background where I haven't a clue as how to negotiate with people. Is is okay for me to stay different from you, after you show me who you are?

I love having all sorts of people in my life, many of whom don't believe at all as I do. It is like looking over beautiful jewels from different angles. People and who they are endlessly fascinate me.

I want to be who I really am, without alienating people who see the world differently then I do. Once I establish my religious feelings, I'm willing to drop it and move on to exploring work, hobbies, school, or whatever someone else finds exciting. I don't assume my sharing is going to "change" a person.

This "healthy" sharing comes into direct conflict with my experience of "Witnessing". You know where someone browbeats you in the name of (usually Jesus) until you come around to their way of thinking? In other subjects I don't get confused like this. In other areas, we are just showing each other points of interest. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of meeting people on the Internet. But when I speak of religion and another religious person engages in "showing" me things, I assume its time to "man the barricades, defend and hunker down ...!"

Yes, hello co-dependency, will I ever get healthy enough to be rid of you? Oh, I hope so!

A lovely person, not of my faith and I began emailing back and forth about religion, theirs and mine. I didn't realize I was feeling like I had to "defend" my ground. My friend was not intending this any more then my atheist friends are. I wrote about "Religion: A Commitment We Are Willing To Die For", as a way of haltingly exploring being my own person, along with examples of some of the abuse which I've seen and experienced under the category of "witnessing".

I learned something very crucial. People are gentle, sensitive and can be unsettled by my aggressive stance. Humor mis-understood can appear to be overbearing and aggressive. I am sorry. I realize now that healthy adults can share aspects of themselves without the "ulterior motive" of trying to manipulate change in each other.

I got that concept everywhere else, except when discussing religion. I am now free of fear. I am free to explore your spiritual garden without fearing I will be required to kill my garden to replace it with yours. If I like something in your garden, I can add it to mine. We both gain and nobody loses. This is wonderful.

I have some very cool atheist friends to thank for teaching me how to share without manipulation. They aren't afraid to say who they are, but have absolutely no desire to uproot my religious leanings. That is a cherished lesson. Waves of peace wash over me because I no longer have to "make" anything happen. True "witnessing" is simply sharing without a hidden agenda. Damn, after so many years of misunderstanding the process. I'm free!

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