Friday, January 13, 2012

20 Things I've Learned Over The Past Year

1) My suspicions about having an anxiety disorder were true. When I joked that I was ocd, I unknowingly was correct. And depression is nothing to be messed with.
2) Telling somebody to "just get over it", "be happy", "I think you're pretty" (when it's not your spouse) or any form of Christianise saying, no matter how genuine it is, is not helpful to hear when you're at the bottom of the barrel.
3) When I go to the doctor now, they say things like, "You're a healthy, young adult" instead of telling me my cholesterol is high or how I should really try and lose some weight. (I'm not dissing them. It's their job. Except for my old gyno - he was just a jerkwad) It's just really interesting to hear.
4) Running a 5k is always better with family.
5) Because I finished the 5k without passing out, it motivated me to take greater risks.
6) It's incredibly humbling to take meds/therapy/excerise to even out the serotonin levels in my brain.
7) It's even more humbling to realize that after beginning the meds, it began to control the amount of anxiety attacks and all of the really weird quirks that I never realized were a) not normal and b) associated with ocd.
8) And if things couldn't get any more humbling... when I still have those hiccups. When I see glimpses of the woman I loathe emerging again. When I have an anxiety attack for "no reason", when I say something mean or stupid or thoughtless, when I can't stop obsessing for days over a dumb comment or look I think may have been projected at me... It's humbling and it makes me feel worthless and that I've let me friends down, as they can tell/feel 'I haven't really changed'.
9) That being said... Hiccups happen. Life happens. Don't panic too much.
10) I have rediscovered a deep and meaningful love for my husband, even more so than before.
11) That I am wildly blessed to being getting paid to do what I love. And even more blessed knowing Isaac gets paid to do what he loves as well. To have two people be able to share in that at the same time... there's probably a higher likelihood of winning the lottery.
12) Bridesmaids was so so funny. That an ensemble of woman could make a fantastic movie and be hilarious without being ditzy or leaning on their male counterparts. So proud.
13) I decided I wanted to go back to Jos and hang with some friends.
14) After a lot of soul-searching, I've sorta redefined my theology and faith and how Jesus intercedes in my life. None of it's bad. It was painful getting here... but I am so thankful for the journey. And I'm not stupid enough to think that it's over.
15) Friends who allow you the time to just "breathe" and rediscover your faith and yourself without shoving a bunch of crap down your throat... those are life-long friends. Those friends count.
16) Being a "leader" or being "involved" in whatever ministry is just something that I used to do, it's not who I am.
17) I've decided it's okay be a leader in your field and be a Christian, but that is completely different than being a leader at your church. And I am 100% down with that.
18) I think Jesus probably likes that I'm somewhat recklessly pursuing Him.
19) Sometimes I hurt people, even though I don't mean to.
20) It's okay to fail. Still hurts though : )

Sunday, January 8, 2012

manipulative beliefs

Several months ago, a group of friends and I were having a discussion about various things, when someone asked a question (I'm paraphrasing here) about how to be in leadership and convey personal ideas or beliefs that their company may not be totally down with. I'm afraid none of us were much help. (My brilliant answer was to wait a long time and then revisit the idea. Granted, I was pretty in the dark about what they were talking about at the time, but still. Dumb answer.) Other responses alluded something to the effect of essentially tricking the receipts into believing the ideas. Think, boiling a frog... Knowing the hearts of my friends, I know that they weren't intending to sound manipulative, but it took me aback. I realized A) I never wanted to work under someone who operated under that mindset B) If I'm choosing to be honest, I'm sure I've probably been a bit of a con in the past - with good intentions - but still... C) I don't want to operate like that in the future. I never want to feel like I'm con-ing or manipulating anyone into believing something. Beliefs can't be forced. Just like you can't make somebody love you. They have to come to that decision on their own. I'm reading several books right now that helped me reinterate this truth - unChristian by David Kinnaman (president of the Barna research group) & Gabe Lyons and Signs of Emergence by Kester Brewin. Similar concepts that end up taking different paths.

But one thing remains true - if you want somebody to respect you and your beliefs, you've got to just be yourself. ESPECIALLY when it comes to Jesus. I think almost everyone (Christians included) is on high alert when it comes to sincerity. 'Believers' are awesome when it comes to being angry, political, judgemental, loud, brash, ignorant and pushing our agendas. We are not so well known for just letting things "breathe". To allow people to come to their own conclusions as well as allowing them the space to question certain beliefs without practically excommunicating them. When will we learn that good leaders (no matter what the business) lead by example and not by shoving things down people's throats?