Friday, October 19, 2012

Am I grasping? Am I rejecting?

What am I grasping for? I see I have a need to feel secure. So in an effort to feel secure I grasp for things.

One of the meanings for the word grasp means to take hold of or seize firmly. This is what I mean when I say that I grasp on to things or ideas to feel secure. When I can not seize firmly for some reason then I feel out of control or insecure.

One obvious way that I have done this in relationships has been to argue a point until a person flat out tells me to stop, or I have worn them down to the point they pretend to share my perspective or till they actually do see what I am trying to say. If I cared a great deal about something, I could be down right unkind in this pursuit. I no longer desire to grasp like that at someone else understanding me. Thank goodness I have very little desire to control a conversation in this way anymore.

Why has this changed in me? I've seen how sinful I've been in the past while grasping as I communicating with others. I've hurt people.  I've also learned to trust the Lord to persuade if that is His will in a situation. I think I took way to much responsibility for that in the past. In many situations, I now see this as God's territory more than mine. It's one of the ways we know if a movement is of the Spirit or not. If it is, He truly is the one doing the persuading. So I've learned to watch for someone wanting to hear my perspective on a matter.

The trick for me is discerning when I'm not speaking up for good reasons like the ones listed above and when I'm not speaking up because I'm just to afraid of the consequences of sharing my perspective on something. I've been so aggressive with people in the past that I can be afraid to let myself loose for that reason. Will I be unkind again? I'm also tempted to people please as well, so if I want the relationship to stay status quo and I'm afraid that speaking up may change that I can be tempted to remain silent. The only solution I know so far to this is that I pray and ask the Lord to show me if He wants me to speak? If I notice I am afraid then I need to remember to take that to the Lord as well. Why am I afraid? What do I need to step out in faith and share my perspective? Do I need words? Do I need compassion? Do I need to be willing to trust navigating what might be hard for the other person to hear? Do I need to be okay with awkward?

Another observation I have is this. When you learn about a topic there is a whole language and context that goes with that topic. A topic can create a micro culture. I find myself in this place. I left one area, learned about a topic in another area. When I returned to the first place, there was a language and context barrier. At first, I felt completely without skill to navigate that. Since I tend to come to understand things through verbal processing the Lord has provided two consistent people plus additional random conversation to process this with. The first step was to try to put into words what I was coming to understand and experience. The next process was to speak about it with trusted friends and notice when I wasn't being clear. Now, it's translating back into words that make sense into my original context. Who knew you didn't have to leave and go to a foreign country with a foreign tongue to experience this? I certainly didn't. I'm not trying to be vague here. I'm talking about my journey with Jesus, the authors that focus on Spiritual Formation and the affect of all this on my life. I think it applies to all kinds of topics and cultures with cultures. This just happens to be the area of life I'm experiencing this.

As I was thinking about grasping today, I had brand new thought. What am I outright rejecting because I want to feel secure? What or who do I reject so that I can feel validated and secure? Oh boy, that could be revealing?

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