Inspiration, Reflection

Time to Serve Only You

One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask for something for myself because after I ask, I feel selfish.  In the era I grew up, women were taught to be “quiet about” the things that they could do better than a man. We were put in our places, told that we had a place along side a man, but certainly never in front of one.  Biblically we were taught that a woman’s place is in supporting her husband. The community of men aspired to get that message out to every single woman.  So, when it came time for me to want a little alone time (something every human on the planet SHOULD have) I felt selfish.

Today, I sit here knowing that after 3 harsh months of school, activities, behavior modification for the kids, husband schedules, date nights, friends, family, and my adult children I feel horrible that this is the first day I got to sleep in. What’s going through my mind? The numerous things I SHOULD be doing not the numerous things I COULD be doing. Instead of taking the day off for me, or carving out some much needed writing time, in my head is a laundry list of items that still need checked off.  “Ortho appointment for the eldest.” Check.  “Dry cleaning for my husband.” Check. “Pick up kids at three separate times.” Check. “Plan dinner so husband isn’t mad.” Check. “Take dog for grooming.” Check… and the list goes on and on. So much so that I honestly do not have two consecutive hours of my own.  There’s no time between travel and duty.

Nights offer no downtime because the kids are old enough to go to be at 10 o’ clock.  So after dinner, homework, activities and being available to “look at” my husband as I listen while he talks, there is no room to escape for some me time.  Life becomes all about pleasing someone else, and the more you do, the more they have no concept of the lengths that you go to make them feel included, happy, fulfilled; until you’re brain is completely fried and you’re an empty shell.  It’s a mother’s life and we have all felt those moments from time to time.  Serving other’s is a powerful gift, but when is it time to serve yourself?

My advice, is to do it. It’s that simple. Put off the chores and take a day off.  Go do whatever it is that fills your cup.  Whatever brings you a blissful moment.  If you have to ask in advance, stop beating yourself up. Your husband clocks out. Your kids some home. Your friends can wait.  You never clock out. You keep going like that annoying pink Energizer rabbit.  It’s time to replenish the batteries and NOT feel guilty for it.

Psychology today says, “Being alone allows you to drop your “social guard”, thus giving you the freedom to be introspective, to think for yourself. You may be able to make better choices and decisions about who you are and what you want without outside influence. Often, we are swayed by the thoughts, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and behavior of those in our immediate sphere. Of course, you may ask others for their advice and opinions but ultimately, consulting yourself and making up your own mind about what you want to do will lead you into the life that’s best for you.”

Don’t wait. Make today great. Make it about you.  It’s normal and it’s so very necessary. For me? I am going to Louisiana to see my adult kids for one weekend. I’m leaving behind the people who need me the most so that I can gain a newer perspective about where I should lead them, about how much patience I should have and maybe gain some joy along my journey.  Just a moment of peace.  That’s all I ask. For me.

Inspiration

Convictions or Rationalization for Condemning?

Last week I commented to a friend on a post she made on Facebook.  Instantly I was berated for my opinion.  By that word I mean told that my understanding was not based by the heart but merely by the perceptions I merely thought.  After a long banter back and forth of me trying to help the offended understand my intent, the dialog never really made it past an agreement to disagree. Further the offended, nonetheless without evidence except absence, is still somewhat concerned that their interpretation of my actions are not only just; but they’re tantalizing the thought of severing any kind of kinship with me whatsoever, because of the inference.  I find this disturbing.

The opposition was whether or not we have a right to form a working hypothesis about a group of individuals or behavior.  My position is that we not only have the right to form conclusions and thereby our convictions, and the opponent view was that in doing so; I am condemning without the benefit of concern or kindness.  In other words I was putting myself above another human being in their eyes and not putting the regard/respect of any individual’s right to determine his or her own faith above my judgment.

My thoughts are ever processing because it is very important to me that others see my heart despite the things I’ve learned to be true; such as people are both good and evil. Relationships are tricky because people always get disappointed in them.  Love sometimes hurts because nothing is great forever.  These absolute statements are the much formed opinions that I own due to my experiences.  They’re working hypothesis after years of studying the human behaviors that to this day I find confusing because others do not react, create, or act in the same ways in which I would. It takes me a long time to compartmentalize behaviors that I find offensive and put them in a context that I am able to conceptualize without feeling wounded by them.  I’ve learned sometimes people are cruel.

Despite that I tout that forgiveness is the only way to break the bondage of pain.  That a good heart is better than a great mind. That life without the blessings of being loved isn’t worth much or several cliché’s I am sure that you randomly get tagged with on Facebook. That’s how I genuinely believe.  I possess the gift of inspiration.  Whether it’s inspiring others to think of their own actions or offending them in such a way that they hold me accountable for mine. I inspire action.

Then I have to ask myself why is it that none of that mattered in the conversation. My conclusion? The offended didn’t really read about me. They don’t know my path or the great lengths I have taken to sacrifice my own happiness for the betterment of another.  They do not know of my years with women who were beaten. Nor do they know that I mentored many women and men through the years or even that I hold two masters degrees and one of those is in behavioral science. So how do you respond to a person who is so appalled by your proclamation that they cannot see past the offense? I have to question.

It is true that my convictions will not change the offended’s principals. It is true that theirs will not negate my own.  How do we get to a common denominator? Here’s what I know to be true.  With that being said, I am highly aware that my truth is NOT the same as another’s.  It is my conclusions of the experiences and inference to the data I have been subjected to all these years and it is in those convictions that I find myself defending.

I think it’s important to pause to understand how the things we say impact others. I think it’s further detrimental when one of those people tell us how they’ve been damaged.  It’s a responsibility to determine the facts presented and if ones actions have been faltering in the principals or beliefs behind the person, altered in such a way that it does not offend.

It is true that I believe in God. I believe that the teachings set forth by our great Lord are there because they are applicable to all people on this earth. It’s hard to negotiate that with someone who proclaims themselves to be an atheist but that goes back to a fundamental belief system that I wholly agree is non-negotiable.  It is in that reverent believe where my opinions of right and wrong principals are born.  Add some experience and education to the soup mix and you have the confidence to birth a conviction.

Promiscuity as I know it to be several indiscriminate partners; and as Physiology today claims it as the epidemic of anti social behavior I am perplexed why one would not understand why the conclusion to that argument is made. Further one could argue why they could not come to a conclusion.  The answer? Conviction becomes action and that has proven to be horrific for the community ethically and legally.  Now, we’re getting into the brass of it.

My understanding is that I have not condemned one for their promiscuity. I have in fact taken women and men into my home and given them rest. I have given counseling, and I have picked up the broken pieces of many who choose this life. I understand it. I don’t agree that’s it’s okay to live one’s life that way because I have been witness to the aftereffects many times over; first hand.  It breaks my heart that it is so ramped here in America and it a true cultural issue.

The offended understanding is that by concluding that there is a sense of brokenness or damage implies that the person making a choice for indiscriminate partners has his or her own mind and is making that choice. That choice should be done so without contempt, judgment, and or labeling.  No one has the right to form a conclusion because it takes the power away from the person making the choice to step outside the social boundaries of religion and social norms.  That’s a very strong argument.  One that should be considered.

Is the word “judgment” become a slanderous word by putting down to elevate oneself? In this case, I felt that “judgment” was conviction to assist where needed by applying scientific and physical evidence to the claim that people of this lifestyle were broken. Were my convictions simply a rationalization so that I can feel better about providing my time and effort?  I think not…but how does the other person feel about that?

My question to you is this. If you judge something you know to be true are you condemning it or are you concluding your findings? Food for thought. Would love it if you responded.