Well there was a very important postscript that occurred to me right after I wrote the previous post, Deserving You. It was very important because it added a big injection of humility into what was otherwise a somewhat self-righteous post. Additionally it came to me while I was praying, so that added extra credibility to it. Unfortunately though I’ve been procrastinating and forgetting to add the postscript, to the point where I have now forgotten what it actually was.
Something that is both true though and necessary to say is this: it occurred to me that it is also true that God is the only person who can give me the necessary love for my husband. I tend to take it for granted that of course I will love him in a way that will fully and adequately meet his needs. However, a thought recently occurred to me: that simply because you are attracted to someone does not of itself create a commitment to care about them and their needs and their life. It is so easy to reach out to take what you feel that you need from a relationship, but it is a lot harder to truly be invested into giving your all to serve your spouse. (After that period of exaggerated niceness when we initially try to win one another into our lives!) So by the grace of God I hope that I will always be able to look up to God to ask Him for empowerment to love my husband.
Also – headphones!
Well in a bid to try to remember the elusive postscript, I have just reread “Deserving You”. When I wrote it, I was trying to not make it sound as though I think that I am so amazing, that no-one deserves me. And yet, on rereading it, that was exactly the impression that came across. Ouch. And then this analogy occurred to me: this is what my life/writing has been like over the last few years: It is like when someone is wearing headphones while trying to speak to someone – and they honestly cannot appreciate how loud their voice is until they take off their headphones. It is only by hearing other people’s voices that we can adjust our own accordingly. And that is exactly what my life has been like! If I am honest, I have not really been surrounded by other people’s voices that I can use to adjust my own voice. So, metaphorically speaking, my voice has just been rising louder and louder and louder, and because all I hear is that my own voice all day every day, I simply cannot appreciate just how loud that voice is, and how it sounds to other people! So in short, I really need to get out more, and start speaking to people! Truth be told, I’ve been aware of that need for a quite a while now. (That is, after a certain exaggerated reaction to a certain male someone!)
And then this also occurred to me: that it is so easy to cultivate all manner of prejudices and stereotypes about other people – but going out there and confronting these stereotypes through meeting actual people is the quickest way for these stereotypes to die. This is what I want to happen for myself. I want all the groundless ideas I have allowed to build up in my mind to quickly evaporate. This sitting in front of my pc all day lark is erm…not always a lark!
And yet many people don’t want that for themselves! They cling on to their stereotypes and prejudices almost desperately. This is why they refuse to go out and let those stereotypes be challenged by actually getting to know some of the people they would be prejudiced about. This is why they prefer to sit around with other people who share similar prejudices, endlessly reinforcing these prejudices through their conversations, and building one another up and negatively encouraging one in these destructive ways of thinking, until they finally reach that level where they feel compelled to go out and take action on those prejudices, sometimes violently.
And from my own experiences, and from observing others, I have found that surprisingly, it is also easy to start forming prejudices even about people or people groups that you have happily interacted with in the past. It is like the power of imagination is able to overcome the truth of the memories, so that you easily release yourself to making angry generalisations, even when you have known people in that group, of whom those generalisations are simply not true. I guess that this is why it can be easy to forget all the positive things that your spouse may have done for you over the years, and to instead fixate on everything that is wrong now. Or even to magnify a few issues until they seem overwhelming. I think that the way to overcome this negativity is to constantly confront it with the truth. It is definitely not true that everyone who is from the country —————– is bound to have the negative trait of ————–. The surest way of being forced to see that is to go out and meet people from a wide range of different countries, with a variety of different life experiences.
So in short, concerning myself, I really, really need to find a way of escaping the lure of this pc, meeting and consistently getting to know a very wide variety of people from a very wide variety of backgrounds. I really need to deliberately build this into my life as a matter of urgency, to have a constant flow of fresh experiences to overwrite things that happened years ago. Church has always been my way of meeting people, but now I’ve embraced a new approach to Church which minimises my involvement in Church activities. So now the challenge is to find something which works for me and also blesses other people, that is, makes a positive impact on other people’s lives.
Photo of Headphones by NovelRobinson on Pixabay