React (another retreat missive)

I want to always respond quickly to God’s call. I often hesitate. I’m not sure if it is God. I’m not sure I have the ability. I’m not sure in general.

I don’t want to do something wrong. I don’t want to get involved. I think I’m going to get in over my head. I think I’m going to say the wrong thing.

But I’m trying. I’m testing the waters. I don’t want to run away from God, because I feel that I’ll stop being called. And I am more afraid of not being called than looking goofy when I am responding to a call.

I’m getting more trusting. I’m learning that the pre-call is part of the call. God warms me up for it. It isn’t “jump,” it is more like “I’m going to tell you to jump in a little bit, so get ready.”

It is like telling a perpetually late child that you need to leave the house in 30 minutes, when really 45 minutes is ok.

God is learning how to deal with me, and I’m learning how to deal with God. I suspect this is going to be a lifelong thing between God and me. There aren’t a lot of instruction manuals for this, but then I have a feeling that God will tell me what I need to know when I need to know it, and in a way I need to know it. God knows me better than anyone.

(I started this midafternoon of the retreat that was in September. I added more to it tonight)


Glasses for mental health

What if anxious and nervous is your normal? What if it isn’t something wrong at all, but just your way of being?

Think of it as the same as needing glasses, or a hearing aid, or an orthotic shoe. There is nothing “shameful” or “wrong” about these conditions. We can’t control the fact that we are different from “normal”. We can’t control the fact that we need a little bit of help to fit in with everybody else.

Why do we think we have any real control over our emotions?

Some of our emotions are trained into us. We are taught to behave and react in certain ways, some of which aren’t that useful. We get that from our parents. What if some of our neural pathways are different genetically as well? Forget nature versus nurture. They both have an effect.

What if we aren’t to blame for feeling afraid or angry or hesitant? What if that is just the way we are? What if we stop trying to define these feelings as “bad” and we just accept them for what they are?

There is a big push in society for everybody to be the same – but we aren’t. We all look different – but we can have surgery to all look the same. We can wear clothes to make ourselves look smaller or taller or skinner or have curves in different places. There are girdles and pads aplenty to make you fit in and make you look more like everyone else.

There are things to make you fit in mentally as well. There are pills if you are depressed or manic, or eat too much, or don’t eat enough, or have anxiety, or ADD. There are pills to counter every state of humanity.

But why fit in? Because it makes them feel better, or you? Wouldn’t it be healthier for them to see you being you? When you are honest about who you really are, then you are giving everyone else permission to be themselves.

I say we all just take off our masks and say that we are the way we are, and that is OK.