My sister has been dropping some serious knowledge on me lately.
Actually, she always does, but she especially has lately.
I just got back from a truly wonderful camping/rafting trip with a bunch of friends.
The whole experience was very sweet and profound. I had more then a few wonderful conversations, made new friends, enriched relationships and encountered one (or maybe a couple) opportunities to grow.
Thus, I introduce to you a new little segment I’m going to call:
Lessons… from… Twyla!!!!
(Twyla was not on this trip, she was just my sounding board afterwards.)
So, lesson number 1 from Twyla.
“There’s more then one way to be high-maintenance.”
–So, my family slept in a tent all 4 nights. Which is totally fine with me. Except. Our mattress pads all had holes in them. . . and we forgot our pillows.
Which meant we were sleeping flat on the ground.
No cushion, nothing.
For four nights.
Now, I wanna be the type of woman who can hang in this scenario, no prob. And I can give myself a little credit that I did stay all four nights this way, on the ground; however, by the last morning I was definitely ready to be done.
Question: “Twyla, do you think I am high-maintenance?”
Answer: No, and also probably.
My sweet sister then explained to me that there are LOTS of ways to be high maintenance. I tend to only focus on things like personal hygiene and creature comforts. But that’s just a drop in the bucket.
In fact, often times the most “outdoorsy” people actually require the most maintenance. Like having very specific diets, or extreme clothing requirements.
“I can only hike in these specific socks. I just can’t handle anything less.”
(Maybe you don’t wear make-up but it sure takes you a long time to make breakfast…)
I have even known people who make outdoor adventures pretty miserable simply because they are so consumed with reaching a goal.
These folks can cause whole groups to hike in the rain, or well into the night, even creating rather dangerous situations purely because they were too driven to notice anyone else’s needs.
The point, I might be a little more high maintenance then Adam and the kids when it comes to sleeping arrangements, but Adam requires a lot more then I do in the way of entertainment.
I can sit and read for days. Adam gets stir crazy in a matter of hours.
See! Everyone is high maintenance in one way or another.
So, don’t sweat it.
Lesson number 2 from Twyla: Which was really the overarching lesson from the whole weekend.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Granted, Twyla isn’t the originator of this quote, that credit belongs to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, but still—my sister used it in our conversation right when I needed to hear it.
You see, I struggle with being shy. I’ve been shy my whole like, and although I’ve sorta gotten a hang of it now that I’m an adult, I still have the lingering after affects that constantly spring their ugly heads in my daily life.
For instance. Although I am no longer paralyzed by fear when it comes to carrying on a conversation, I am still insecure enough to allow little inaccuracies into my life in a way that shrinks my spirit, or lead me to believe distortions about my world that are simply false.
Adam used to have this power over me. He could casually say I was a “such-and-such” type of person and I’d just believe him.
Whether it was true or not.
I’ve recently become friends with a group of people who tend to be much more on the sensational side of religion then I am.
I say religion here because it’s exactly what I mean. We agree on faith, we just have differences when it comes to how our faith manifests itself into religion.
We all love Jesus.
We show our love differently.
This should not be an issue.
The problem is that I can begin to allow myself to believe that my faith is somehow weaker—simply because it looks different.
You see, that’s a lie.
My faith is strong, my relationship with God is good. This feeling I get that my spiritual life is somehow weak simply because of how it looks is a sham.
I should not, and will not, give my consent to that idea.
The biggest, most powerful influencers of my faith have all been people who thought, more then felt, their faith.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with either approach the danger is in rating them.
Just like there are many “love languages” when it comes to personal relationships, I believe there are many ways in which people experience the wonder of God.
For me it’s rational, tangible, and thought based.
For some it is emotional.
One does not make you closer then the other. There are ups and downs to both approaches.
(To be clear, no one said that one way was better, my shyness just creates these issues in my head. In the same way, no one called me high maintenance either. These battles are with me and my own insecurities, not with anyone else. I create my own drama internally. I’m awesome like that. . . super self-sufficient.)
Anyhow, just like being tired of sleeping on the ground doesn’t make me high maintenance, being rational doesn’t make me less spiritual. Neither is a truth I should allow to take hold in my life.
The old me would have. I would have allowed these deceptions to infiltrate, to make me insecure, hesitant, embarrassed.
But not anymore.
No one (including myself) will make me feel inferior. . . I do not give my consent.
Thank you again, big sister. I’m fighting for me, but you definitely help.