I am torn between writing some deep, rambling, insightful post about life and freedom and meaning and language and relativity and definitions…. and posting cute pictures of kiddos from this week…. Thoughts? Opinions? Comments?
[Too bad you can’t respond to my questions before I ask them…]
Well, I guess for starters I’ll update you on the day-to-day of my life and see where that takes me:
+ gray and threatening rain = playing in the children’s section of the library and risking a trip to the park where we met a new friend
+ mass chaos, wresting, practicing the art of sharing, indoor trampoline, watching Ezra cheer up Ivy, “oh, you do ballet?! I did too!”, thanking God for another set of adult hands…
+ FINALLY THE SUN IS OUT! another trip to the park, splashing in the river…the smile the garbage man gave us when he noticed it was a toddler sitting in the front seat pretending to drive the parked car :) the tantrum that followed after getting out of the car…
+ missing mommy, loving on the cat, missing mommy, eating a snack, missing mommy…
+ playing in two different sandboxes with two different kiddos (also true of slides and bubbles)
In the time I wasn’t with kids I:
+ started a book called Wool by Hugh Howey that my parents bought for me after asking if I like dystopian literature, which I do. Really interesting so far. Definitely a page-turner. As of now it is reminding me of a cross between The City of Ember, The Hunger Games, and The Circle.
+ hung out with two new friends :) I even got to talk about art/design/making with them!! Plus I got to hang out with some old friends too. It’s been a good couple of weeks in terms of my social life. And it’s not often I feel like I can say that. Being such an introverted homebody and all…
+ had one day of productively checking things off my TO DO list
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
And now here we are. A Friday night…sitting on the couch…trying to put a finger on why I feel so off.
I hate that there are always so many factors.
Is it just something biological? Did I not get enough exercise today? Poor food choices? Is it an inner emotional turmoil? Am I frustrated by the fact that I have time to do something creative but don’t feel up to it? Do I feel unseen, unknown, unheard? Is it my insecurity in relationships? My insecurity in my artwork? My worth? The typical feelings of meaninglessness? …
Something I have come to realize about myself is I always want to know WHY. I think that is something true of humans in general…but I also think that some people think about the whys more frequently than others. And until recently I didn’t realize just how deeply the whys impact my thinking.
There are times when this is incredibly helpful. When it helps me to see and perceive things beneath the surface, the motivations, the reasons, it helps me to empathize. People have told me that I am good at asking the “right” questions… and for a while I was puzzled by this… I was just asking questions without thinking much of it. What does it even mean to ask a right question? But then, as is my nature, I started to think about why it may be that so many people have made this comment. And I think it may have something to do with the fact that I subconsciously dig into the reasons for emotions, actions, reactions, etc. and simply ask questions based on this curiosity. (my future career as a counselor perhaps?) However, there are also times when this tendency to ask why is incredibly dangerous and detrimental. It has led me to doubt the motives of people who have no ill intentions – people who love and care about me. (But why would he be offering to do the dishes? He must want something…. But why would she buy me a gift randomly? It must be because she must feel sorry for me… But why…? It must be pity, annoyance, frustration, anger, deceit, personal gain…) It has caused fights in my marriage, barriers in friendships, misread body language/comments/facial expressions/gestures/questions… Because when I doubt the genuine, pure motive of someone, I insult them.
I unintentionally say: I don’t trust you.
I say: I know you and see right through you.
“Cynicism is the sickness of my culture
We undress each other with an evil eye”
Cynicism by Josh Garrels
Unfortunately, because there have been numerous times when I have called someone out on mixed motives and then these mixed motives have been confirmed (if not at first, then later after some thought) it is extremely difficult to have any desire to try and alter my cynicism. And in doing this or saying this I am IN NO WAY SUGGESTING THAT I HAVE PURE MOTIVES. That’s just it. I see the selfishness, the greed, the envy IN ME. I see the bitterness, the anger, the hurt, the loneliness, the desire to be seen, known, understood, important, heard, right, happy, comfortable IN ME. Not all the time. I’m sure I just see a tiny tip of the iceberg of those things in me. But because they do exist in me I assume they exist in others as well. And sometimes I am correct. But sometimes I am so so wrong. And that’s when the hurt comes in.
So what do I do? (The question that is always asked at the end of these kind of realizations.) Where to go from here? Just because Love Always Hopes, does that mean I am supposed to ignore the reasoning for things? Do our reasons and motives matter? Is my asking why actually a form of judging others? Is it pure curiosity? A desire for empathy? An innate attribute of my personality? DOES IT MATTER WHERE IT COMES FROM?
If I help out at a food shelter because it will look good on my resume, does that negate the fact that people who were hungry now have full stomachs? If I sing at church even though I don’t want to does that negate the fact that I am singing? Does the why change the label: from selfless to selfish, from worship to deceit? Should our aim be authenticity? What does it mean to be authentic? Is it even possible to be truly, deeply, 100% authentic? Would that be a good thing? (Yes, your butt does look fat in those pants. And I am telling you this because it is true and also so you will give them to me. – harsh/rude/unfiltered truth? – authentic?)
Does the why matter?
[What do you think? Let’s talk. :) Comment below!]