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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

gathering crumbs from under the table




I missed bread last week. Actually, I have missed being on the computer at all for most of the past week or so. However, even though I am late, I don’t feel comfortable letting the bread pass by for another entire week.


Although computer time was severely limited this weekend, I did find myself entertaining various bloggable thoughts. Through the passage of my second-born’s birthday, assorted family issues, and the daylight savings time associated jet lag, my mind has been awhirl with ponderings. I can’t really separate these thoughts into the respective good and bad columns, since the alternate sides are so tightly wound – forming a single braid.

When I was younger, I was much more emotionally intense than I have been in recent years. Strong passion was a hallmark of almost every moment. Raw patches developed from the constant exposure forced upon open wounds. Instability was ever threatening to take the dominant role. Other people’s hardships often acted as a rudder at least as powerful as personal experience. This constant battleground of emotional upheaval gave rise to a need for spiritual balm.

I learned through the years to deal with the intensity. Like ground cover wards off erosion, placing a small patch of apathy on the rawest of spaces limits the extent to which I am affected by my own and other people’s hurt - the sharp edges of those griefs are less likely to cut deeply. But apathy is emotional kudzu. Planted to keep the nutritious soil and tender green plants from washing away by pounding wind and rains, it soon covers patches and weaves a net of protection.



It doesn’t stop growing. Before long, it sends creeping vines onto bordering soil. The whole garden is overwhelmed by their intrusion. Flowers and shrubs…walkways, benches – places of beauty and comfort – soon disappear under a sea of green. Apathy may creep more slowly, but if not guarded, it too will overtake all that is good and strong. Even when kept in check, some of the more intense emotions are dulled.



Spiritually, I have to believe that God has a better way to deal with emotional overload than apathy – a way which holds no danger to the blessed giftings which are enshrouded in an emotional heart. The question is, am I able to trust Him enough to hand Him the garden shears?

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6 Comments:

  • Oh my! Excellent analogy. I've added your blog to my feed reader.

    And I so much enjoyed your company on my blog. Thanks for the great insight.

    ttyl
    pam

    By Anonymous MarillaAnne, at 9:44 AM  

  • I, too, was a very emotional person when I was younger but I used a different defense than apathy to deal with all the strong emotions I was "suffering" from. I became the ultimate person of sensibility. I was analytical, judgmental (not necessarily in a bad way--the judgment, that is). I ended up becoming more stable emotionally, except maybe for my husband ;), but I also was missing out on my creative side, dulled my idealistic side, didn't take risks. Slowly, I'm trying to become reacquainted with my emotional side, to embrace the good and learn how to handle the difficult side of it all.

    I agree with you that God does have a better way for us to deal with our sensitive, emotional souls which allows us to be "more" of who he intended us to be instead of "less".

    Excellent baking this week, t!

    By Blogger Mary-LUE, at 11:02 AM  

  • Oh wow......

    Wow.
    Wow!

    I don't know that I could claim to be an 'emotional' person. I know somewhere along the way I decided that 'off switch' needed to be thrown if I was to survive.
    I didn't trust G-d, didn't trust people....and darn sure ought NOT to have trusted me.

    .......and now I have food for thought from a beautifully expressed analogy......

    WAS it apathy to avoid becoming that which I 'hated' and saw as 'weak and sniveling'?

    Hmmmmmmmm......

    By Blogger Mel, at 11:14 PM  

  • Warning: this may turn into a monstor comment (a.k.a. one which is longer than the original post).

    Pam, why thank you on all counts! I am greatly enjoying your SWB posts (and others too). You even inspired me to go to the site and start on the chrocological Bible read-thru. I've always wanted to do it chronologically, because I have no head for dates that can't somehow be tied back to people I know personally. :)

    Mary, I do the analyzing thing too. I have very distinct sides when dealing with issues, and the analytical portion of me is incredibly pronounced! The apathy tends to come in when I choose to set limits on how close I allow myself to become to people, stories, and the like. I actually have to limit how many blogs I read and how often I watch the news for fear of becoming too emotionally invested in too many things at one time! The sad part is, sometimes that means I hold back from becoming close to people.

    Mel, yeah, THAT off switch. That last question is a pretty interesting pondering point. To turn off some things means stopping the generational progression of certain negative family traits (or learned ones). But, at the same time, does turning the switch off throw out the good with the bad? I firmly believe that each trait has a positive and negative side (i.e. stubbornness/determination). When we man that switch, do we use the dimmer to tone down the bad while keeping the good? Or do we merely turn them both off because our hands aren't skilled enough to make such precision decisions alone?

    Goodness, is that a tangent or the same topic? :)

    -t

    By Blogger atypical, at 1:49 AM  

  • ...can't believe I spelled monster wrong.

    By Blogger atypical, at 1:50 AM  

  • LOL I can't believe that I MISSED that you spelt monster wrong.


    In my case, throwing that 'off' switch helped me survive everything going on around me and to me....but it didn't stop me from becoming 'that which I hated'. I set out to prove I was nothing like 'those people'....and ended up JUST like 'those people' in many, many ways.
    I 'owe' a debt of gratitude to those who helped me find that 'on' switch......or maybe they helped me to learn to stop pushing the button see that it wasn't a button at all.
    It's a dial (!!) and I can turn up the intensity, and dial down, anytime I desire.

    Hmmmm.
    I like THAT analogy!
    Only, wisepersoninmylife won't. LOL He'd probably tell me to keep my fingers OFF....and just BE where I am.
    Whatzheknow! LOLOL

    By Blogger Mel, at 1:15 PM  

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