March 18, 2013. I am officially free from social networking.
Last weekend, I stayed with my best friend in Dusit Hotel. She wanted to rest, and for some reason, I just wanted to accompany her. I wasn’t exactly my best self. By God’s grace, it turned into the most honest weekend yet. The messages in church and the Bible study guide I’m using have been awakening my seemingly sleeping demons. And for those who have been through a season of facing their past, it’s not a very pleasant season to go through.
My quiet time for the past few weeks has been unearthing my ancient ruins: my childhood hurts and traumas, my imperfect family (who has a perfect family anyway?), my heart breaks, my buried memories of rejection, and the lies that I convince myself with so I can cope with my struggles and appear as if I’m strong. Understanding my past and my present has led me to be honest with myself. I realized that the person I lied to the most is myself. So I’d like to share with you the brutally honest things that I have told myself:
- I am a human being, I get hurt – as an oldest child, I developed a habit of ignoring my pain. When I feel pain, I deny the existence of that pain. I grew up unable to identify what causes my pain, or what kind of pain I’m feeling. It’s like being an emotional leper, being able to understand the fact that I can feel pain, but I can completely ignore it. I have developed an instant emotional anesthesia. The trade-off: I find it hard to communicate. I treat myself as a third person and I try to perform root cause analysis on every pain I feel. The patient plays the doctor. But we all know that will never work. Self-medicating is sometimes deadly. The root cause can be anything: myself, my past, or demons. But sometimes, I forget the part that I’m a patient too. So this is the time that I can honestly tell myself. I’m human. I have feelings. I get hurt. I’m heart broken. I have been abandoned. I have lost. I can cry. I can mourn over my loss. It’s ok. The Lord honors my tears as worship.
- I don’t need to listen to lies, I don’t need to be strong – one of my coping mechanisms is to convince myself that everything is ok, all is well. There are some stuff that I convince myself with that are grounded in truth. For example, the Lord loves me, or I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His eyes, the Lord is with me. And these truths have been the cornerstone of my positive outlook in life. However, there would be times that I get impatient. I refuse to hear what God has to say, and make up my own truths to salve the pain that I feel. Refer to the previous blog entry. What I learned now is I don’t need an answer if it’s not from the Lord. I can stay in pain for a while. I can be weak. It’s ok. The Lord is strong.
- I don’t need to conform, I have my own pacing – being a Christian for quite a while has taught me to pray with Scripture. But sometimes, I feel like I’m just praying scripture for scripture’s sake. Lord, how can I say I love You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength when I don’t even know myself pretty well? How can I say ALL when I don’t know my ALL? Can I just say that I love You with all that I know about myself? Can I ask You to help me know myself better so I can offer them to You too? I feel like I’m lying to You if I told You I love You with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, I’m not there yet! Can you teach me how to obey that commandment? My issue is not because You are not lovable, it’s just that I’m not capable. I am ignorant. I don’t want to look at other people anymore, I’m just tempted to envy or to judge. It’s not helping me. Teach me how. Teach me how to do this daily.
- I need my heart to be healed, I can be rebuilt – my heart is hard, deceitful, proud and covetous. It only seeks its own gain and understanding, not wanting to understand others. But my heart is lonely, that’s why it responds that way. It may not speak its thought, but it’s a very lonely heart. It needs true friends. And my heart found a true friend in Jesus. My heart learned that I am fully accepted, fully loved and fully understood. It may stumble and fall sometimes, because its nature is to fall. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am fully accepted, fully loved and fully understood.
With the journey of being completely honest with myself, I found myself struggling to listen to the services in church. The topic lately is about friendship, and it made me really question: do I really have true friends? Do I have true friends who intentionally sought me, or who I intentionally sought, who can sacrifice for me, and I can do the same, and who can help me with my sanctification? I have almost 3,000 friends on Facebook. I can only pinpoint a few people whom I consider true friends. From the list of true friends, I have a handful of them that I know the “little things” about them, like their favorite color, or their hobby, or favorite food. It made me realize that Facebook has been limiting me to be intentional with people. Because I know the updates on their lives, I tend to have a fixed idea in my head about how they are, and just confirm what I know when I see them. So yesterday, I made a decision. I’m deactivating my Facebook account. I don’t know if this is for good or for a while. I know the repercussions of losing it. I don’t have any backup of my photos. I don’t have the contact numbers of the people in my friends list. I may lose more than a thousand friends in the process. But I think it’s time for me to enjoy the surprise and excitement of learning about a person first hand, not just by a mere status update or a photo upload. A person’s heart is not in Facebook. It is in day to day relationships. My hope is this: that not only my heart will experience the joy of being rebuilt by the Lord, but my relationships, too.
P.S. my Twitter and Google plus accounts are gone too! I’m only left with this beautiful blog.