Friday, May 11, 2007

Solid Ground

The sweater was lovely. Its style was unique and the colour a beautiful green--my favourite-- but it had hardly been next to my skin for two minutes before the wool fibres began to tickle and irritate as if they were barbs designed to torture the truth out of some captive enemy agent.

I wanted to wear the blouse--I loved the look of it--but I couldn't stand the spiky remains of a label I had done my best to cut out--wearing it became an endurance test until with a sigh of relief, I took it off, hid it away in the back of the closet--and put on something more comfortable.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've realized that the people closest to me have lived with some sharp, pointy edges next to their skin.

In a class on assertiveness yesterday, Schelley, our instructor, told us that we need to know our strengths--be self aware. "We can only become successful," she said, "when we own the truth--when we're not embarrassed by the truth."

Years ago, I had taken assertiveness training and benefitted tremendously from it. I took the course in desperation, when as a new leader, I experienced anxiety and avoidance when it came to addressing issues. Since that time, I've thought that I was comfortably assertive. Yesterday I had an epiphany and realized that under pressure I become aggressive.

All of a sudden I could see how I've crossed boundaries, been judgmental, had bull-dozing tendencies, interrupted people and generally not been very nice. Not all the time--but enough that it matters!

I was sharing this insight with one of my team this afternoon. He nodded cheerfully in agreement--and helpfully added, "Remember the other day when....?" and recounted an interaction we'd had earlier this week. I was mortified and apologized to him. Then I apologized to Paul when I got home for being so edgy in some of my responses. I felt as if I needed to apologize to so many people.

Paul cautioned me, "Be careful, don't get carried away," and he was right. I feel as if I've done what Schelley told us we needed to do--owned the truth--got over being embarrassed by it--and now I can get on with succeeding--with God's help. I feel as if I'm on solid ground!

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are the best instructor in the world--the best teacher and counselor. Thank you for your loving shaping of my life. Thank you for the people you've surrounded me with. Please use all of me--my strengths and my weaknesses to glorify and honour you--I'm yours.

1 John 2:28-29 (New International Version)
28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.
29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.


Leann said...

I liked this alot.pray for me.I been thorugh alot lately and have found my cup needs to be filled again so I can go you ever feel like you are so dry you sqweek?boy lately I do.
I asked the Lord to take home some times cause I feel like a failor so much.
thank God it isnt what I do but what Jesus did for me that keeps me able to go on.
Im a strong person in some ways and not so strong in others.I speak my mind and some times it gets me in deep.
I forever have to question all I do.I go to the Lord and ask him to use what he can and forgive me for what he cant.
hopefully some of my screw up,s will help someone else see God dont throw the baby out with the bath water.if he did Id have been watering the flowers in the yard a long time ago!!!!
keep up the writing.
God bless.have a happy mothers day.(((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))

Belinda said...

Hey Leann,
Thanks for dropping by for a visit up here in Canada!

It's so easy to be discouraged when we focus on our failures--but seeing them is just the beginning of a brand new phase of life.

Let's join hands and go forward with God. He's not finished with us yet--the world is a wonderful place and you've got too many eagles to photograph and stories to write down to go anywhere yet.

Happy Mother's Day to you, too!
With love,