The Good, The Bad, and the Road Rage

I am a firm believer in acceptance. I am all about diversity.  So much so, because I am so diverse within myself.  My moods often change from one minute to the next!  I mean, I've never been really big on conformity.  I love long as I am in charge of it.  😁  I am drawn to unique, different, diverse.  It's part of why I love my job.  I am all over the place, stretched out over 3 counties and 20 schools.  I see different people every single day, and often times I am in multiple different places within one day.  Never too long in one spot (I was not good with the whole classroom gig, same place every day 8 to 4.  That was way too rigid for me.)

I just love diversity.  And I love people.  I mean...collectively, I hate them.  But individually, I just love ALL people, and I want to give them a GREAT BIG HUG!  I love all people...except...the ones who are in front of me, behind me or beside me in my car.  Now that type of person I just CAN NOT tolerate.

YOU GUYS!!!  I have developed a terrible case of road rage.  I'm not even going to admit what I did in response to the lady with the resting (you know what) face, who plunged right through while I was trying to merge onto the highway.  The injustice of it, after all.  Injustice brings out the worst in me.  Especially if it has to do with line cutting.  Oh. My. Goodness.  There was this terrible construction as I was trying to transition from a school to my internship one evening this week.  Of course, being the upright, law-abiding citizen that I am, I immediately merged to the right lane when I saw the "left two lanes closed" sign.  Unfortunately, about one hundred thousand Jack Pipes used my integrity against me, and I spent about 5 miles at a crawling pace while they barreled on past to the goal line.  I refused to follow their selfish ways to benefit myself.  However, when the final merge was clearly in sight, and the giant 18 wheeler (who I was using to block the left lane) merged in front of the car I had allowed to merge in front of me.  I completely lost my (you know what).  So, I swerved that little Fiesta right into the middle of both lanes.  And you bet your (you know what), I single-handedly held back the unjust for the last quarter-mile or so.  So...take that, cheaters!

I haven't always been so pious, you know.  I was a hot mess in my teens and early twenties (no witnesses requested!).  Around mid-twenties, when we had our first child, I started figuring I'd better get my (you know what) together.  I started searching for a deeper purpose.  I found apologetics and a whole wide world of hope.  And I spent the next 12 years purifying myself.

It was an important time in my life.  I separated myself from all things impure.  Well, I mean, I tried to.  That's a really hard thing to do, when the very being within you is naturally impure.  I separated myself from secular music.  I stayed away from anything remotely inappropriate on tv (still wishing there were some decent shows without all the verbal and visual offensiveness, but we are all about that right now, aren't we?)  I set myself apart from all things secular, and that left me without one single, secular friend.  Now, maybe that was an important transition time for myself, but in retrospect, there was a great big lack in diversity and a whole lot of suppressing going on, as well.

At some point, someone...I can't say who...sparked a little glimpse of who I really am.  A reminder of the beauty of the fire that is within me.  The self that makes me sing.  And it was like I just came alive again.  I could really and truly breathe again.  I had learned to appreciate the beauty I saw around me, but now...I was experiencing a new appreciation for the beauty within me.  The diversity.  The odd little quirks.  The clumsy, obliviousness.  The bubbling, joyful excitement over the littlest of things.  The humorous sense of irony.  The nerdy love of language.  The quirky desire to create from natural.  The extreme love for people, and the ability to see the beauty within them.  The hypersensitivity to others' emotions.  (Now that one has gotten me into trouble a couple of times.  Apparently, it can be quite offensive to others when you sense the emotions they are trying to conceal!  Especially when they are your peers and not your clients.  😘)

It was an awakening to embracing the fullness of self, while not denying the ugly, less desirable aspects.  Instead, I give myself love and grace for those innate flaws, and I take on the purity offered me, in spite of them.  And it makes me EVER so much more graceful with others, when I am so graceful with my own self.  💖

And that grace has allowed me to expand my world, and my world has become so much more beautifully diverse.  And I have met people I would never have met, and I now have a voice in the lives of so many others.  And sometimes that is not easy!  I am reading Real Christianity by William Wilberforce during my morning Bible reading time.  And in it he says, "behavior is the best standard for estimating the strength of religious feeling...Are we really taking advantage of every opportunity to be useful to God and others?"

He is arguing against the theory that religion should be deplete of feeling, since feelings are so unreliable.  Because feelings CAN be so fleeting.  Is this passion I am feeling in the moment for real?  Is it lasting?  Is this just an in-the-moment craving, or is it a real desire for life giving sustenance?  And feelings can be so intense and tricky.  I try to not put much stake into them, until I notice a consistent lingering.

But, then, we can't quite ignore them altogether, either, can we?  Sometimes, our passions and our emotions are our most beautiful (and productive) aspects.  And sometimes they are great big hugungous warning signs along the road with a gazillion forks and curves.

Well, anyway, the part I really liked about Wilberforce's statement is the challenge.  "Are we really taking advantage of every opportunity to be useful to God and others."  And I would say that my opportunities have increased exponentially in the last few years.  And part of that is just stepping out of the house, but part of it is also stepping into myself.  But all this giving and serving is not always easy.

I used to get really frustrated with that corny (I thought) phrase about serving others to make yourself feel good.  Because, as far as I had experienced, that was a load of (you know what), since serving others just made me more cranky and irritated.  However, I realized that I was serving with the wrong heart and with expectations of reward or reciprocation.  And here's the deal.  That just doesn't work.  Because a lot of times, the people you serve do not appreciate the service.  Sometimes, I give everything I've got, and I never hear a word back.  And that can be a really painful and lonely place.  And it really really hurts sometimes, when I am giving and serving out of my own motivations.  And if I'm giving out of my own motivations, or for the sake of receiving, I will almost ALWAYS be disappointed and rarely satisfied.

I have found, rather, my fulfillment in serving, when I placed my motivation to serve in God.  So that everything I do, large or small, is a giving and a serving to the God, not to earn something in return, but in response to the greatness of His love for me.  And oh how he loves me!  🎶 Every day, I find new things that bring me joy and gratitude, and each one, I attribute to His love.  I am so loved.  And that is all I ever longed to be.  💕  Loved.  Really, deeply, truly and wholly loved...the good, the bad and the road rage despite.

Have a happy week, my friends!  You are loved, Sincerely, 

Your Dear Little Homie