Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Journey Continues

Isaiah 40:29 (New International Version)
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Last Friday I wrote about the assertiveness training course I attended on Thursday, which was all part of God's plan to give the windows of my soul a thorough spring cleaning. The world is looking much different since the unexpected results of that day.

I laugh every time I think of the moment when our instructor, Schelley, told the class to divide into two groups--those who under pressure go into "passive mode" and those who under pressure become aggressive. It was a defining moment. I got up and "crossed the floor" to the smaller group that confessed to aggressive tendencies. As I did, I heard voices in the background saying, "Belinda--you're going to the wrong group." But I knew--I was headed in the right direction.

My self image was gentle, with a strong inner core. Frances says it's steel in there--but nevertheless--it was a nice self image--gentle but strong. When I crossed the floor though, I was owning something less flattering. I was joining the "pushy people." Strangely, my friend, Susan, was being urged by the group, to go across to the pushy side, but was staying firmly in the passive group. She knew too, where she belonged. Instantly that explained a lot to both of us about why we've wrestled with some painful moments in our friendship!

Another friend and coworker, Irene, was at the training (a fellow pushy person). She talked about the perceptions people have of who we are. How wrong they can be--and how wrong our own perceptions can be of who we are!

So, just like Schelley told us to do, I've started an Assertiveness Journal to keep until we go for the next class on May 23rd. So far God has given me assignments to practice with every single day. I'm newly self aware to all the times I ignore people's signals and overstep them. Writing about them helps me to solidify new ways of being.

On Saturday I called my brother and Mum in England and told them about my insight. Robert said that he imagined I'd now be sitting around the house in the Lotus position with thumb and index finger tips touching. Today I called them again and he asked when my next Anger Management class was. Gotta love that British sense of humour! Dear Mum, who was listening on the extension--since Mum's stroke we always have a three way conversation--said, "I'm a better person already!" She wanted to join in the quest for self improvement.

Our weaknesses are usually strengths taken to extreme. My strengths of passion and enthusiasm are what I need to "civilize."

Prayer: Dear Lord, I'm praying--not just for myself--but for my fellow classmates too--all 39 of them. I pray that you will use this training as a vehicle to make a difference for good in our lives--at work and personally.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (New International Version)
9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.


Dave Hingsburger said...

What a tough decision to have to make ... I'm a passive person who forces himself to be aggressive ... I was having a discussion at work with Jon Dionne and as I was going into a meeting with someone I was really angry with I was forcing myself to stay mad and motivated to deal with the issue ... I told Jon that inside I wanted to just 'cut and run' that confrontation was very difficult for me. He was shocked. You are right, public persona don't necessarily have anything to do with private reality. Interesting post, I am still trying to decide which group I belong to.

Leann said...

sorry I got behind again.the pictures are awesome.sweet kids and the dog is a sweetie to.I love good dogs.they are a real blessing.
I have to go to the Lord alot with things.He is so helpful to lead and help me keep going.
I get to the point some times when I say Lord it would be so much easyer if you would raise someone else up who can do this so much better then me.
but he says if he wanted someone else he would have called someone else.
keep me in your prayers.I have a few people who are reading my blog who do not believe .and some times tough love is called keep me in your prayers.
God bless and have a great week.