Grace Michaelson

Bloom Where You’re Planted? or Christ-Mimicker?

Mar
25

I here a lot of people talk about the idea of feeling free now that people have learned to be themselves.  Heck, I have even fallen into that, at times.  The idea of freedom in no longer dancing with societies games of cat and mouse is appealing. Waltzing around the big pink elephants in the room, such as our agendas and hidden struggles that we don’t want anyone to know about for fear of getting caught or outed in the middle of society, can be very time-consuming and for some people anxiety-inducing.  No one, these days, wants their deepest, darkest secrets found out and spread all over town by the town-gossip, so we suffer in desperate silence hoping some compassionate soul will come up to us and help us find away to free ourselves to live openly as our true selves, right?  At least that’s how the movies depict it.  That’s not the truth of society.

This morning I was thinking about this subject.  I have tried to live free from societies nuances and games of cat and mouse.  All that has done for me has created a lonely life where people back out of my life, uncomfortable with all the honesty.  This has led me to believe that I am simply not a people person and I don’t do well with human interaction.  I have become very black and white and cynical about today’s society as a result of this hurt, but lately I have realized that the problem may not be societies problem alone, that I may be causing just as much of the problem with my black and white thinking.

I have made no apologies on this blog in regards to my Christian Faith.  Lately, God has been leading me to passage after passage in regards to loving people, especially loving Christian believers.  So how does one like me, a black and white thinker who keeps alienating people by her honesty, learn to integrate into society and love my fellow humans?  This has been a quandary to me for some time because I don’t exactly know how to maneuver around in the subtle grays that society is comfortable living in.  While people are enamored by my genuine writing style, when confronted with the genuine, black-and-white person that I truly am, most people can’t take it.

So, what is the answer to following my faith and loving humans, but still being “true to myself”?  I believe it is being a Christ-Mimicker.  I don’t believe that once you are a Christian you have the right to continue trying to live “free to be yourself”.  As much as I want to live my whole life as I want to, my life is now Christ’s.  I am to live it as Christ would have lived it.  So, what am I to be like?  I do so hate the WWJD movement.  It is a cliché that really dumbs down what we are to truly be in Christ.  So please don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that we’re supposed to go around wearing WWJD plastic bracelets and preach on the street corners and make a total annoyance of ourselves.  What I’m trying to say is, mimic what Christ did while on Earth.  1) He found time to be with His Father every day, 2) He did what His Father told him to do every moment of every day.  That means he was in-tuned to the Father’s will. He tapped into His Power, 3) He socialized with the unwanted, the needy, the “sinners”.  He didn’t preach at them, he was among them.  He loved them. 4) He didn’t demand others to accept Him as Himself or therefore he snubbed them, but He was also comfortable with others going the other way if they couldn’t accept Him for Who He was.  He didn’t own other’s feelings, He let them have their own thoughts and feelings, and that was OK. 5) The most important:  He stood up for the Truth.  There comes a time when gray is not OK.  When black and white wins out.  When Truth must stand firm.  That is why it’s so important to always be in-tuned to the Father and no when and where those times are and when it’s OK to be gray and when it is time to stand up for truth.

Social Anxiety and Backyards

Dec
23

I’ve been dealing with Social Anxiety for a very long time. Being at the PRC this last month has thrown me into a social environment and thrown me out of my comfort zone to the extreme. I’ve been using every single coping skill, whether good or sometimes bad, to get myself through this month, just so that Caleb could get the full benefit of the program.

One of the things I do for myself is paint pictures for myself so that I can distinguish for myself what is mine and what belongs to others. So during this time, I have been thinking a lot about backyards. I look at myself like I’m in a backyard. My feelings, my thoughts, my judgments, my decisions, and my actions are weeds or flowers in my backyard. When I use a good coping skill I pick the weeds in my backyard, if I use a bad coping skill then I let the weeds grow.

Some people, like those of us who are socially anxious, don’t know how to stay in their own backyards. We worry about what others think of us, or what their judgments are, what their feelings are, etc. So we go over to their backyard and start pruning their flowers and picking their weeds and don’t tend to our flowers and our weeds start getting overgrown.

This picture has helped me a lot over this month. Every time I was thrown into a situation where I became really anxious about if someone was thinking negatively about me, I would say to myself, “That is their own weed.” Then I could go on with the situation using some deep breathing or some other good coping skill. After all, what can I do if they actually are thinking negatively about me? Nothing. In the past, changing my behavior around negative people has only always made them more negative because then they know they have more power. In the end, it’s just best to be yourself, weed your own backyard. I like who I am. If you don’t like who I am, then you’re totally screwing yourself and missing out on are really nice person. And that’s the truth.