Saturday, September 3, 2016

A personality flaw: Going out of one's way to make sure everyone is okay.

“Ever since people first existed, they have been doing all the things we label codependent. They have worried themselves sick about other people. They have tried to help in ways that didn't help. They have said yes when they meant no. They have tried to make other people see things their way. They have bent over backwards avoiding hurting people's feelings and, in so doing, have hurt themselves. They have been afraid to trust their feelings. They have believed lies and then felt betrayed. They have wanted to get even and punish others. They have felt so angry they wanted to kill. They have struggled for their rights while other people said they didn't have any. They have worn sackcloth because they didn't believe they deserved silk.”  ― Melody Beattie

Yesterday, I had a catch up chat with an old friend and I surprisingly opened up. Maybe I needed it. That chat made me reflect more.

So, as it turned out, I sounded negative. Well, I have to remind myself that people take another's words not from the person's perspective but their own. Or, I prolly wasn't so clear with my point.  But, if anything, I guess what is sure to be true is that I am affected deep down that the concern consumes me enough to even talk about it.

And, just now, I read the same topic I ranted about to my old friend from a writer I am following on a social media site. It's not actually the first time that she did write about thoughts that have been bugging me. This is like the nth time now. (Could it be she's the person who is being molded by God in the same manner as He is molding me? That even possible? Or, maybe God is just communicating some things to me...)

Anyway, yes, I've been thinking about it lately. In spite of the heavier concerns I carry, I manage to carry this one, too. Which, according to my friend is a waste of time and energy. I thought so, too. Just it's not that easy for me to drop for whatever reason. Call it unwise if you would, but I have my reasons.

Then this writer wrote it just the same way I'd say it! Though, I think she is more honest about the matter than I am. For me, it is not my issue. It just looks like it. I'd say it another way because I don't believe that is my issue. I don't know. But, ok, if I will be real honest I wanting people to like me? Do I care too much that they do, which is why I am so affected when I learn about anyone not liking me? From the talk with my friend, I would say the answer is a whopping YES.

I give other reasons for being hurt when I learn about fake I wish they could've just been open and told me about whatever it is that they don't like about me or whatever I did which offended them...or, they shouldn't influence other people who don't know me yet to dislike me in the same way they do, at least...or, how unfair it is that they define me according to their small minds... yada yada yada...

If I will reflect again, I know that I've been bothered by the fact that certain people are faking things with me. They're ok with me when we're together but it changes altogether when they're with other people. And it's crazy. How can people simply be two-faced rather than just tell it to my face whatever is so annoying them that I do?! Why can't we just all be real honest with each other? Tell each other real stuff instead of flattering each other and then bash each other behind each other's backs? Ridiculous! I want to understand this. I know that it's not always easy to be blunt because everyone wants to be gentle and not hurt another's feelings. But, isn't it the same thing? Because when it reaches the person talked about, they are sure gonna get hurt just the same!

Yeah, this is what I've been whining about in my head and what I blurted out to my friend (and which I almost always cry out to God about). But it's only now that it's becoming clearer ...that behind the reasons I hold is the real root of my load ―  I want people to like me. I adjust for them so they could like me. And because I can't get all of them to like me, I get frustrated.

Not that it didn't get to me ever how nonsense it is to care whether people like me or not. After all, I've lived my life inside a bubble. Lived my life in isolation. Like a hermit. So, it didn't cross my mind that this could be the real issue within me. And when it did cross my mind, I simply denied it because I believe that I didn't care even if I am not liked. I just don't like what people are doing―smile at me and act everything is cool, then in my absence would frown and say nasty things. For me...I understand that everyone of us have somebody we don't like. We simply can't like everybody. But, we don't have to do them wrong. We don't have to say ill things against them. I hold this principle so strongly as the Word says, "don't do unto others what you don't want others do to you." And because this is where my focus is on, I missed assessing myself regarding the issue of people-pleasing.

I've said over and over and over that Christians ought to love one another. They must not harm anyone. We may not like everyone, but we must love all. And the Bible highlights that loving thy neighbor is the fulfillment of the law. Somehow, I have become too legalistic about this. I am imposing  this command on people when I should allow them to choose to either obey or disobey the command just as God gives people their willful choice to follow Him or not. Not realizing that the imposition comes from my nagging demand to be liked. Yeah, I said that's not my issue. I just don't like that their sharp tongues influence others to join their troupe to be my detractors. But, then, I insist on the love-thy-neighbor command just so they would stop doing me wrong. There is an ulterior motive. When I should rather want people to sincerely love because it is God's command.

All my life I've been struggling so hard to be comfortable in my own skin. I guess I successfully managed to appear like I am, which others translate as me being either confident or stuck-up. I can't put me in the category of a people-pleaser because of the fact that I am being me almost all of the time, which is the very reason why a lotta people don't like me, I believe. Because I say what's in my mind. I don't tell people they're looking great when I don't mean it from the heart. I say what I mean. I act me and not how people want me to be. I talk the way I talk. I refuse when I really don't like a thing. I readily say NO, when I mean no. I don't conform just to be liked. And so I can't convince myself that I am a people-pleaser.

Right at this moment, however, I've given it a thought. However I try to categorize things based on my understanding, I guess I need to simplify it. Because I am concerned that people do what they do, and I want to understand what makes them dislike me...and it bothers me that they don't like me then, I am under that category I so deny ― I am wishing to be liked. I long so badly that people see me the way I really am instead of painting a different me in their heads. Sadly, though, it's beyond my control. I can't get people to do as I wish. That includes how I want to be seen. And I gotta give them their freedom to live even if they want to live with a hateful heart.

Like how my friend puts it, celebrate the people who do like you and do away with people who don't. Maybe, it's not as bad as it sounds. Cause am sick and tired of the consumerism practice going around relationships. People have become disposable commodities. If you're not of any benefit to me...if you're not satisfying my needs, you can go! That way of life is for me deeply hurtful. People are not objects to be used. But, I guess what my friend only means is, let them be (my very own mantra, would you believe?!). I don't know exactly how to do it, but I gotta do it for my peace' sake.

And, this message is not only for me. It's for everybody else who are becoming more wounded by this deceitful desire that masks itself in innocent ways. Truth is, we can't please everyone. Even Jesus was hated for no reason. (See John 15:25) People may have their reasons to not like you, and you must simply give them that. There is no effective way to market yourself enough to people who have long decided they wanna be hateful. So, why bother?

The only person we ought to please is God. And if we are to please others, we do so for their benefit. (Romans 15:1-13) So we can contribute to their welfare and not to tolerate their bland side. We all need to grow. Authenticity is more important than being liked. Whoever accepts you for you, is really for you. Those who only like you because you please them, they're gonna be hard work eventually. A high-maintenance relationship is tiresome! You're gonna have to constantly toil to keep them. Which is why, we all need to simply let the door swinging open and close. Letting people come and go. Not as we please, but as they please.

Friday, February 19, 2016

I'm responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.

Freedom of speech or freedom of expression must not be a privilege given to certain people and be denied to some others. And if we are just going to use intellect more than ego (feelings), we will be a little less harsh with the description we give the man. Too many seem to be taking advantage of the said freedom to voice their dismay to the extent they explicitly give him names such as bigot, false prophet, hypocrite and many others. In fact, even before the issue came up, he and his family have already been used as laughing stocks by stand up comediennes who bring home moolah for doing so. Yet, nobody dared defend their rights as humans. Their dignity have been trampled on. Now it can be excused as simply comedy?! How convenient is that? While the dude only gave an innocent, honest and bold answer to a question using an analogy. It's a surprise that the ones who've been calling him names don't seem to understand and accept logical rationalization, yet demand theirs be heard and received.

I have not been writing in defense of him. If truth be told, I am not a fan. I was never a supporter. I didn't even like him. He is overrated in my opinion. But, I am standing by him because he courageously drinks from the cup given him. The man speaks not to impress nor to be famous. He speaks what most would be careful to announce in fear of people's judgment. I write not to applaud him but with the intent to try put things into perspective. 

Truth of the matter is, too many a number just got it all wrong. No one was compared to anything. Should we just go back to the question and focus on the NOUN, the topic is clearly "Same-Sex Marriage". The question is NOT "how do you regard homosexuals?" but "what is your take on Same-Sex Marriage? "Group of people" as opposed to "Behavior/Preference".

And to emphasize further, his opinion was SOLICITED. He did not come around shouting, "you people should repent of your promiscuous ways or you will all go to hell!" Nor did he say, "you guys are animals." Let us all please understand the difference and his circumstance.

It took me a few views of the interview to make sure I was not missing a point. But, whichever angle I look at it, twas a general statement emphasizing basic logic―an animal's natural instinct is to find the opposite gender to mate. And if animals know this basic actuality, then they're better creatures than those who were endowed with moral judgment.  Is this not sound analogy? Did he make mention of names? For everyone's convenience here's the video and watch it once again without any biases.

Another way of saying what he said would be, "No, I am not for Same-Sex Marriage. Common Sense tells me that we don't see male-to-male or female-to-female animals mating. If animals instinctively find the opposite gender to mate (given that they have no sense of right and wrong), then humans are worse than animals."

Let us try to break it down...

His position: "I am not for Same-Sex Marriage"   
His justification: Common Sense tells me that we don't see male-to-male or female-to-female animals mating. If animals instinctively find the opposite gender to mate (given that they have no sense of right and wrong), then humans are worse than animals."

*Note: "Humans", as general, was what he said. 

Considering that he is coming from his personal standpoint, his statement sounds rather like―"I am not for Same-Sex Marriage because my judgment tells me that it would make me lower than animals if I'd be for it." As listeners, we take one's opinion as applied to the one giving his or her opinion and not as if addressed to us. Had the question been, "what do you think of the LGBT group?" and his answer was what he answered, it would've been totally foul.

Can't emphasize it enough that he was asked and he gave his opinion (belief, conviction) and he did not do so with the intention to shove it down anyone's throat. He did not do so to earn money. He plainly answered the question. Yes, he is running for office. Yes, he should've known separation of Church and State. Still, it is his conviction expressed because it was called for. Nobody has any right to demand a person to set aside his values (or religious belief) to tolerate another's, nor dictate to him to speak apart from what he believes in only because he is running for a position in government. Don't we all plead for freedom? Why do we detain him within what we believe should be his answer? If others can freely and deliberately satirize another for the sake of entertainment and laughter, why is an innocent remark worthy of reproach?

His response was without judgment nor condemnation with it. No hidden agenda. Plain honesty. Won't we rather have an individual speaking truth instead of lie?

I am not being insensitive to the feelings of those protesting by saying these things. Please slow down in making judgments. I have loved ones and friends who are queers. I love them and I respect their preferences. They're given their rightful freedom without being judged.

Yes, a large number may have been hurt, this fact is not put aside. Did he not quickly apologize, though? Let us in stead aim for understanding and be open to reasons. See from all angles. Acknowledge the innocence of his ground. 

Know when an opinion is being shoved down another's throat against an opinion simply stated. When an opinion is being forced on anyone, the manner it's said is completely different. It's suggestive or manipulative, while an opinion simply stated only provides justification. He did not preach his religion then demand for viewers to yield. 

It is just unfair that when Christians talk about the Word, they're accused of many things. They're called religious freaks and whatever. Don't we all lie everyday? But, just because we're all liars none of us must point out that it is wrong to steal? Are we all just going to keep shut cause none of us have any right to tell when something is wrong because that is considered judging? But, don't we all make judgment on a daily basis―others' looks, behavior, manners? ...and our basis mostly comes from preference/opinion...we think some people are dressed oddly or some others talk in a manner that we find annoying. It is our predisposition to have opinion and express it.

We (Christians) do not proclaim God's Word because we are perfect. We are imperfect humans who are working hard to obey God. We do fail every single day. We don't claim to be righteous when we speak of what the Bible says. Our struggle to do good and to fight what's evil is not a joke. When we say sin as it is, it does not come from our own biases or opinion (nor do we impose it on anyone). It is Written. But when we are persecuted as bigot, what is the world's basis? Christians are collectively tyrannized. We are prevented from speaking our hearts and minds out or else we will be severely castigated. Where is equality and freedom, then? We're being bullied to shy away only because our weapon is the Truth. Now who is intolerant?

Saying that "it is a sin to commit murder" makes no one self-righteous nor religious fanatic―It's a statement. Telling someone that it is wrong to gossip does not make one judgmental―Another statement. Telling a person (s)he is a "slanderer" IS judging―It's conclusion. One does not condemn a person by quoting the Bible, unless it is spoken with a certain tone―"You are gonna burn in hell because you are this and that" versus "it is said in the Scriptures that it is against God to do this and that..." please clearly see the difference. One's behavior toward others is another story, of course. We, Christians, bully no one. 

Saying that an ACT is wrong is NOT judging. DEFINING a person BECAUSE of his or her act IS judging. We don't go telling people they're bigot. We can rather communicate properly if we find their assertion offensive. Then we can all meet halfway. This is the freedom of expression that is fair to all.
Finally, speaking the Truth in love does not have to equate to exchanging the Truth for tolerance. We are not told to withhold the Truth from anyone because we do not want to offend. The Word Itself is offensive to those who do not want to submit to it. The challenge to Christians is not loving people, but loving God above all. Jesus offended many when He overturned the tables and this scene became one solid reason for certain people to question the truth that He is without sin. But was hate His motivation for doing what He did? Twas His zealousness for the House of the Lord that brought Him to act that way. When it comes to the Truth, the challenge to Christians is to either save their own lives or lose it. The choice who to offend.  Jesus said, "I did not come to bring peace, but sword." [Matthew 10:34]

God commands us to love our neighbors, yes. This requires us to accept everyone and treat them as He would treat them with great love, with so much grace and compassion. But, we are commanded to love Him more than His creations. When the topic of God's Law comes to picture, it becomes a completely different cause. Our loyalty is then tested. 

Oh, and before I end this post...I encourage everyone to watch the unedited video of the interview. 

Live and walk in LOVE. ❤