can't stop breathing

My mom (in the nurse hat) once said, "Well, you can't stop breathing on a count of not breathing right." I know it seems over-simplistic, but it makes so much sense to me. In times where I desire perfection and I want to quit because it's "ruined," I remember that statement and it rings so true.

It was through this and reading a great book called Stories of Emergence that I realized just how legalistic I had become with myself and with others.

In my friendships, I was always trying to get them toward an intimate friendship, but that's not always where people want to be. I've come to understand that I created laws that people had to abide by if they were going to hang around me. I guess we all do that to a lesser degree (laws like "don't hit me in the mouth"), but I was looking at it from the perspective of relational equity. What were my friends putting into the relationship and what was I getting out of it? To be my friend, they had to be moving toward intimacy and I liked it at a faster pace than most. I can't really tell you why. It probably has something to do with dear old dad, but I'm getting tired of trying ot figure all of that out.

I was trying for the perfect friendship. Maybe not perfect, I just wanted one that obeyed all my laws. As soon as a friend or set of friends disobeyed a law of mine, they were out. "They don't want REAL friendship" I scoffed, moving on to the next mirage of relational perfection.

I'm doing it with myself too. I start something and then get so excited, I decide that I want to create this rule that I'm going to do it every day. When I miss a day, it's gone, ruined, and I'm full of guilt. "Why can't I sustain things over a long period of time," I wonder. Thinking I'm just not good enough, I begin to believe the lie that my own limitations keep me from spiritual growth. I'm not perfect, therefore, God can't use/speak to/like/want to be around/care for me.

Mom says I've got to keep breathing, so breathe I will, even if it is intermingled with coughs and sneezes and other less functional ways of retrieving oxygen. I'm learning to let go of my need for perfect intake of oxygen and growing the love for the air itself. I guess the rest just falls into place after that.

2 comments:

Kent said...

You'd be surprised how hard it is to discover things within yourself the things that don't quite mesh. I applaud your findings, and congrats. Keep up the good work!

Scott said...

Dude this is excatly where I have been with my friendships. Ever since August I have totally been writing off friends. Or at the very least pulling away from just about everyone. And I mean everyone. So I know what you have been going through. By the way check out my blog