Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stuck on Step 4

In my previous post I mentioned that God has been doing some cool things for me lately, as far as helping me deal with some emotional clutter. I'm sure I'll allude to this a lot in the next couple of months because it such a big part of my thinking right now. I'm not sure how to summarize it all... The bottom line is that there were a few key areas of my life where Satan had taken various memories and experiences and relationships and he twisted them, and I was operating under a distorted view of reality. Which I think he does in everyone's life... He shoots some lies our way and we believe the lies. And then there are experiences that reinforce those lies, and eventually, brick by brick, they become strongholds that imprison us.

The first step in breaking free is the ability to see the prison. It reminds me of my communication classes with Prof Ross - how does a fish know what water is? It doesn't, until you take him out of it. You can't break free of a prison if you don't realize that you are in prison. Praise God for revealing all of this and for bringing it to my attention! There you have it - the first step.

The second step was to process this information. To soak it all in. I am a very introspective person, who also happens to spend an hour a day in the car by herself driving to and from work, so most of this drive time was consumed in thinking and processing and analyzing. Sort of like my own private therapy session. I came to realize just how many areas of my life had been affected by this tainted view of reality. Suddenly I had a whole new view of myself, and a new attitude towards a lot of things.

The third step was applying this new attitude to my actions. This was a lot like someone who has had terrible vision for years and now finally has glasses with the right prescription - they put the glasses on and think, "Ok, now I need to go back and take a new look at things and see what I've been missing." And maybe they would discover that for all these years they hadn't been reading the labels right on the spice jars, and no wonder those cookies never tasted good because they had put CUMIN in them instead of CINNAMON. Can you imagine how good those cookies would taste, now that they had all the information and could actually follow the recipe?

Alright, this is a rather silly analogy, but really, it's a good picture of what has happened in my house. Except that the thing I had hanging over my head wasn't a cookie recipe - it was my house, and my ability (or my perceived in-ability) to keep it picked up and clean and organized. Seeing things in a new light has given me the ability to find solutions that I never saw before, and suddenly what used to be terribly complicated is rather simple. And I can find joy in my house, where before I only found guilt.

So now, on to the fourth step. I have a new attitude, a new way of thinking, a new way of acting. And somehow I have to apply all of this newness to my relationships. Relationships that are years old and have settled into a pattern that everyone is used to following. A pattern that I am used to following. I feel like my Katie-bug, when she was learning to walk. For most of her life she was used to crawling - it was her pattern, her way of getting around. When she started taking steps she had to figure it out, which meant that she spent a lot of time falling on her tushie.

I hate falling on my tushie. Which, by the way, I literally fell on my tushie last week. Slipped on the ice on our steps. And now I have a lovely reddish/purplish bruise the size a baseball on said body part, which is outline in a nice yellowish/greenish glow. (I know you feel enlightened by that knowledge. I'm so happy I could share it with you!)

I write about all of this because I've been confronted with this fourth step several times this week. I find myself reacting differently to people, and having a host of conflicting feelings about various situations. If I fall into the same pattern and react the same as I always did, then what good was it for me to change internally? On the other hand, I don't want to lash out and go to the other extreme.

Or, in other words, I don't want to mess up. I don't want to fall on my tushie. I don't want to admit that maybe, just possibly, I am NOT perfect. (Sorry to burst your bubble.) I just want God to magically transport me into a new dimension where everyone has gotten to know the new Erin so I don't have to go through the work of figuring this out on my own.

Which brings me right back to the title of my blog. ::sigh:: It's not about the destination, it's about what I learn on the journey. Embrace each step. Even the steps where I slip and fall.

Bless you if you've made it this far! I'm not sure if it all makes sense, but I do know that writing it out has helped me to gain a new perspective. I think I'm going to like this blogging thing. :-)

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