Addicted to Ink

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

my amber-colored lenses

If you’re already having a rough coupla days…you may not want to read this.

Or wait…maybe you do.

Ever feel like lots of things are going wrong at once?

I, the hopeless optimist, am usually able to find the silver lining almost immediately.

But when things start really piling up… yuck. I’ve had lots of not-so-great days in the last couple of weeks, mainly due to the fact that I am really terrible at conflict. However, because I’ve had so many of them lately, I’m getting better at resolving issues, AND managing to come out of these ugly times not feeling like I’ve been completely ran over or taken advantage of. (Thanks, Todd, for the phrase “Help me understand your intention when you say/do…”)

Conflict will never be something I enjoy. I am forever the middle-child-peace-keeping-people-pleaser. But I’m growing, right? And solving conflicts sooner than later is much healthier than becoming passive aggressive about them….

It also seems like LOTS of pre-trip stuff is happening with our upcoming service-learning trip. Is it my fault because I’m the “official” leader, I keep wondering. What am I doing wrong?

And I know that eventually, my optimism MUST take over this one because otherwise I want to run screaming. One of my favorite books (and, hey, it involves Russia!) has this passage in it:

Carolyn Myss, the medical intuitive who writes and lectures about why people don't heal, flew to Russia a few years ago to give some lectures. Everything that could go wrong did-flights were cancelled or overbooked, connections missed, her reserved room at the hotel given to someone else. She kept trying to be a good sport, but finally, two mornings later, on the train to her conference on healing, she began to whine at the man sitting beside her about how infuriating her journey had been thus far.

And he said--gently--that they believe when a lot of things start going wrong all at
once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born--and that this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.I believe this to be true. And I especially believe it when other people's things are breaking down. when it's my stuff, I believe the direct cause is my bad character.

Traveling Mercies, Ann Lammott

That’s me… while I believe that these struggles are happening because something amazing is going to happen over there, but somehow I keep blaming myself for every obstacle we face.

The last time I had lunch with my friend Jackie, she was telling me about her daughter-in-law’s absolute devastation at being turned down for a job. Jackie wrote her a letter of encouragement, pointing out the difference between what is true and what is truth. (I.e. “while it is true that you didn’t get the job, it is truth that you are a good teacher)…and essentially, that no matter our circumstances, the Truth that remains is that God loves us unconditionally and that He has a plan for us.

I’m not Pollyanna-izing this and saying that our journeys are going to be strewn with all sweetness and light…I’m just saying that looking at the big picture–that perhaps something big and beautiful IS trying to get born–is what is slowly helping me keep stumblin’ tumblin’ onward.


Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks for this blog. I needed that encouragement. I hope you're doing okay. I need to return that phone call from the other day!

5:54 PM  

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