Wednesday, August 31, 2011
I am losing my grip. I have so much pain right now its killing me. Pain related to stress, ongoing inability to facilitate my own healing, people withdrawing from me, an increasing intolerable job situation. I also have a lot of anger coming up.
It's getting triggered by the verbal barrage I receive at work. It's short of abuse I guess depending on your definition of abuse. One co-worker regularly insults everyone in a joking manner. He picks on people in general. At one point I mentioned about working with developmentally disabled individuals in a group home not far from where I work now. He went on to say they shouldn't be allowed out in public and some other outrageous remarks. I really don't think he feels this way, he was just trying to be outrageous. I really don't care if his intent was to be funny, he wasn't funny and not only could this be seen as his opinion about developmentally disabled individuals but our company's as well. Customers outside the pharmacy window can and do hear what we say back there. My feeling is he can pick on me all he wants, even though it is annoying and hurts, but he can't pick on other people. That is one thing that makes me angry. Another time when a customer with cancer called for a refill on a pain medication and we found she had none, he joked that it would be funny if she did not get her pain medication. I asked what was funny about that and he quickly replied that wasn't what he meant. I complained to the manager and said if I heard him pick on people again, even if he didn't mean it and was trying to be funny, that I would call corporate to complain. Apparently she mentioned to him to at least not say things around me because he hasn't. I haven't worked with him much due to scheduling due to peoples vacations. Hopefully my complaint put an end to that behavior.
Even though I feel like me getting picked on is no big deal, over time I think it has worn me down. Sometimes there is a real issue to be addressed, but not always. I tend to ignore the stupid stuff because my one co-worker just wants to get a reaction. He says I'm no fun. He's right. He is someone I've had to forgive. As far as my boss, well she is a different story. She is disorganized. She doesn't communicate well. She had stuff all over the place yesterday and was standing directly in front of what I was working on. I had to leave it to go help a customer. I couldn't reach around her, I had no idea what else to do until I could get back to it. I said I didn't know what to do and it looked confusing and she said “that's obvious” and told me what to do. It's like this all time. I've asked her where something is and she will point and say “over there”. I go and it is not what I am looking for and go back. She says to me in an irritable voice to get that for her. She didn't say she wanted anything, she spoke as if she was answering my question....and it's my fault for not reading her mind.
I can't keep dong this anymore. Everyone wants me to communicate better with her. If someone ignores you it has nothing to do with me being the problem. Someone suggested taking cookies in or something like that. I took her a doughnut one morning and she threw it away when I wasn't looking. I know because I didn't see her eat it and then it was gone. When she left to go to the restroom I checked the bottom of the wastebasket and it was there. She then commented on a comment I made on facebook implying I was dirty...that I didn't do laundry. The other co-worker agreed with her. This isn't the same co-worker that picks on me. I only have 3 pairs of pants to wear to work so I have to wear them twice before laundry. I didn't send her a friend request...another co-worker sent me a request. It was this persons post we both were commenting on. Now I am trying to forgive them both and it is hard.
While my job situation is bringing me the most stress right now and is ongoing, it isn't the most important issue I have. The issue with my therapist still lingers on. I feel I need someone to go into my next session with her to support me in trying to get her to listen to me. I need to talk to her about my lack of trust in her. She wouldn't talk about it at the last appointment in June. The problem is that I do not trust anyone I know here to go with me. They all want for me what my therapist wants for me. That is to be integrated. Which is not a bad thing in fact it is a good thing, however I believe they would not be able to want for me what I want and need more than what my therapist wants. What I want is to establish enough trust to be able to work with my therapist toward this goal. I wrote about the issue with not being listened to in my post, “Are You Listening?” last month.
I am quite discouraged and depressed, especially as I see I do not have support for what I want. I don't think that wanting to establish trust is asking too much. I believe I will only receive support if I follow through with the therapist. Although this has not been stated directly I am fairly certain it is the case. I was told that a lot of people love me. I stated that until it move beyond words into action then it really isn't love. I'll believe it when I see it.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This story is simple...a child's story about becoming lost and the search for mother...for home. We are all that child. Jesus said unless we become as children we can't enter the kingdom of God.
Matthew 18:3-5 ...”Truly, I say to you,unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this
child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child
in my name receives me.. '' (ESV)
This child searched for the very basic of relationships...mother. While as Christians we seek our Father God...the first person of the trinity...this story goes to the more intimate and nurturing relationship we identify with and that is our mother.
It's not a far stretch to see this story as an analogy of our search for a relationship with Jesus. When we were conceived God placed in our tiny, brand new being the need for Him...a void only He could fill. Some have said that our spirits communed with Him before our birth. I have heard that very young children see the spirit world...they see angels around them. As this life and the flesh begin to dominate we lose that ability. This void is what draws us to Him...or should.
Our enemy knows about this void and has taken the good things that God has given us and driven us to excess. We seek so many things before we seek God. We think of addictions, alcohol and drugs. There is an emphasis on leisure and entertainment. We are materialistic, Madame Blueberry and “Stuff Mart” from the Veggie Tales comes to mind. Busyness, status and approval seeking, achievement and awards, overeating, exercise and athletic achievement, fitting into the world's view of attractiveness resulting in bulimia, attempts to control self and those around us with manipulative behavior and relating styles. Relationship is replaced with forms of relating...like pornography and internet social media. We have speed-dating for singles...comparing a persons traits and qualities to a list of what we want and don't want.
So much of this starts with brokenness in some area. When we are children we seek the love of our mother and father....their approval. Often the lines between love and approval are blurred for both the parents and the child. Approval becomes love. Disapproval may be shown by a withdrawing of love. Comfort or reward may be shown exclusively with special desserts, treats or money. What should be fulfilled in relationship is poorly and only half met in the offering of things.
There are even more insidious and grievous paths to brokenness. Many children experience neglect, abandonment and abuse of all forms. One blog post about this book suggested the mother bird abandoned her baby in search for food at the precise moment of birth...leaving the baby unprotected in its environment. We are born into a broken world to imperfect parents..including an imperfect mother. We fell out of the nest so to speak...because it is a part of the design of God. The search and the struggle is a part of His design to draw us to Himself. This struggle is hardly in our control...as children we follow those in whose charge we have been placed...for good or for evil and usually some of both.
The following is taken from Richard Wurmbrand's “The Unreasonableness of God”. I found it posted on the www.soaking.net website.
“If you are in the sad situation of experiencing neither His reason, nor His mad love,
you might consider the fact that in the parable of the ninety and nine, only the lost
sheep had sure proof of His love and concern. The others could reasonably say they
were neglected and abandoned.”
The baby went in search for its mother but walked right past her. He had an idea of mother at the start and she did not fit that. He kept asking along the way. We tend to get more and more desperate as we search and find nothing fills our heart. Many come up with new activities or increase the intensity or go to excess in the search to find what will not leave them empty and afraid when they go to bed at night.
who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and
he would have given you living water” The woman said to him “Sir, you have
nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living
water?” “Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank
of it himself as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “ Everyone
who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water
that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will
become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (ESV)
The animals and objects the baby bird queried can represent the people, places, things and experiences we look to outside of Jesus for fulfillment of our destiny in Christ. The steam shovel , the“snort”, is a different sort however. The “snort” lifted the baby bird back to the nest to be reunited with his mother. The steam shovel can be a type of Holy Spirit guiding us home. Often the Holy Spirit works through other Christians to guide us and it may take the form of a personal relationship, a book, radio program, music etc. When we arrive at the next destination, realize a lesson learned it seems like it was so simple, yet aknowledging that we could have never found the answer without guidance is key to takng the next step and growing even further. Too often I have not taken further steps to move on and have floundered.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I've been thinking a lot about qualities related to our relationship with Jesus and the state of being His child. Qualities like Love and Joy. I don't really understand them very well. As a survivor of sexual abuse and ritual abuse these things have been contaminated. Even more so in the broken relationship patterns of my family of origin. It's like I have a block when it comes to understanding them and embracing them in the context of being gifts from God. I hope in writing this post and asking Jesus to further redeem them, that I will grow deeper in my understanding, not only of Love and Joy but of Christ Himself.
I hear all the time that joy is not an emotion, that it is not happiness because happiness is fleeting. But no one really has ever defined joy for me. I went to Webster's Online Dictionary (link below) and low and behold it is defined as an emotion. I read through the comments which were mostly Christian in nature. One individual was looking for the difference between joy and happiness but did not come to any conclusions. Another however stated that joy comes through peace. That one caught my interest. I also noted another word, “joyance” which turns out to be an older word which means “delight” or “enjoyment”. That's a little better. So it seems that today the world sees the word joy as almost synonymous with happiness.
I found a biblical reference in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia online (link below). It is extensive but many of the words interpreted joy in English come from Greek words which can also mean “excitement”, “exultation”, “rejoice”,“be bright”, and in one instance is closely related to the Greek word meaning “grace”.
But what does all this mean to me? If joy is more than an emotion, if peace is a part of the equation and if it is a noun that requires action...then what does God have to say to my heart and mind about it?
“Joy was placed as a spark inside of you when you were conceived. It has been there as long as you have existed. It is the zest for life that I intended for the most special of my creation....man. I intended it to be the part of you that reflected me here on earth. Each time you spend time with me it grows and glows through you. My hope was and still is that this light would glow through you as you participate in my life and ministry. I was in anguish when fallen men turned their twisted desires in your direction and tried to extinguish that spark. I made a way out of that place you found yourself in, knowing you would search for me and I would be there, even in the pain and darkness that held you captive. I led you here to question joy, to question what you have been told and what has been demonstrated to you. I am leading you back to the original spark of joy I joyfully placed in you many years ago.”
Wow...what a time it was to listen to His words speaking to my spirit. I have more to ask Him about...love and trust come to mind first. It is in His presence I thrive...when I don't take time to listen to Him I look around and can't even fathom His love and joy. It is so comforting to know when I stop my busyness that He speaks to me as if I was listening all along.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 27:6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tents sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
Psalm 30:5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
Much thanks goes to my friend Marie Wikle of Spreading Joy Inc. for challenging and inspiring me to pursue joy.