We ALL want there to be a secret answer to life and love, let’s be honest here. THAT WOULD BE SO MUCH EASIER. A simple prescription to the language of hearts and we could all have fulfilled, happy marriages coupled with flames (the good kind) and fireworks (because, who the hell doesn’t like fireworks?).
Growing up with a pretty traditional Christian view, there were simple formulas to life. If I respected my parents, then they would be pleased with me AND so would GOD! If I waited and stayed pure for marriage, my marriage would be rock banging awesome (come on, you KNOW that’s basically what Joshua Harris was promising!). If I went to church every Sunday AND tithed consistently, then I would be blessed and all my needs would be taken care of.
Now some of that is what I thought God meant, and some of that is what preachers thought God meant, and some of it is pretty much straight outta the Good Book. Let’s be crazy honest here.
If you respect your parents and are the perfect child and they have any EMOTIONAL injury, your best efforts may fall completely short.
Some of the best kids I knew were the sons or daughters of leaders in one church or another, and they had the most bound up, repressed, and ANGRY parents. AND let me tell you, it didn’t matter what those little butt-kissing, brown-nosers did! IT WAS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH.
Airing out my dirty laundry for you as a real life example that I can personally own (but seriously, blogs are weird things right? Half airing out dirty laundry or proving how damn perfect their life is…take your pick and then offering advice. Why do we read or write these things?):
I’ll start in the present with a super positive note to balance out all the crap I’m about to post on the world-wide web (I really am a positive person and NOT THAT judgemental).
My bro is the HARDEST working man I have ever met besides my dad and grandpa. He is insanely loyal to those he chooses and would literally do anything for you. He is the best friend in the world to have especially if you are in a rock crawler stuck on top of Mt. Everest because your something (sway bar? Radiator? Um, lug nut? Running out of mechanical terms here) broke. Not only will he find a way up the freaking mountain, he will fix your vehicle out of the goodness of his heart, and then race you down the mountain for pizza and wings.
Growing up with my bro was a challenge. In today’s lingo he was maybe borderline asperger’s, coupled with some dietary issues, and ADD/ADHD (or maybe asperger’s trumps that into oblivion. I have no idea.). Anyway the point is that he was a challenge to grow up with, and one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a little girl and big sister was that he could have worked for the CIA, FBI, or heck, Homeland Security, he was such an amazing and let’s face it, PROLIFIC liar.
Fast forward to my being a mom and having the most intelligent and fun daughter who around the age of 4 starts to lie like her pants are on fire. Follow me down crazy Emily lane as I spend the next 4 years SOLVING this awful habit/personality trait, whatever (it must be ERADICATED STAT!)…I go to Bible studies on being a mom, read personality books galore, have 23434 conversations with her, try to look at the bright side (I wish I could pull off some of her “truths.” She could definitely be an aspiring actress or spy).
Here’s the thing: her lying isn’t actually that bad. Mostly she doesn’t lie. Yes, it comes ridiculously easy to her. Yes, she can pull it off like a diva, but there are some serious upsides to being able to have a brain that can multitask like that; and as a mom, I failed for the first few years to acknowledge the good. All I could see and FEEL was my pain from over 15 years ago and the bad guy was not XX and technically doesn’t technically exist anymore, because my bro is no longer a liar (I think???).
She tries SO HARD not to lie. Her heart has no desire whatsoever in it to hurt me, and she HATES it when she does; and the saddest thing in the world is that I couldn’t comfort her or truly be present, because I WAS INJURED.
As a Christian, that was a tough lesson for me. To realize that life is messy and there are no hard and fast rules or formulas; and that if I want to maintain ANY relationship, I am going to have to continually grow and change accepting that often my worldview or beliefs may need tweaking and that’s OKAY, damn it! LIFE IS GRAY. Gray is good. It can be a perfect backdrop for anyone or any color (white and black can too, but they are so much more harsh). I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to get it right. I just HAVE to be willing to see the other side, even for a moment, see failure as a notch in my belt as being one step closer to getting it almost right, and love with all my heart.