I woke up this morning full of low expectations for myself. I met and sometimes exceeded those expectations.
I feel pretty far away from God right now. I know that in God’s eyes my sins are no better or worse than the really heinous sins of random evil people in the news.
I struggle with my efforts to transform myself into a righteous man. I don’t want to be simply good enough, or not-as-bad-as-so-and-so.
I want to be great, but not in any sense of the word as it is known by humans. I want to be great at being full of love and an aching, groaning heart for those who are in pain today, because they woke up this morning and discovered their realities were torn to pieces.
There is grief, and then there is that weight that just shuts you down until you can’t move. I think that I can still become full of God’s love.
The effort to get to know human beings as individuals seems to be a nigh impossible task. At first glance, you think, what could be easier? But then, you discover that most of your understanding of most people is on a level of seeing them as aggregates of certain stereotypes. Of course, most people willingly copy each other within their particular cohort, but that shouldn’t be a reason to not try to get to know others on a 1-1 basis.
It is easy to dismiss any given human being if you can safely put them in neat little boxes. The key is to make more than just 2 boxes–saying that there are only two kinds of people will crush the illusion of people not having uniqueness. So, with 5-10 basic stereotype traits, you can pigeonhole almost everyone, and not have to worry about getting to know anyone.
Why would you not want to get to know anyone?
Getting to know someone as a true individual means that you will be changed in the process–changed in ways that you were unable to foresee or imagine. This means you are letting go of that sense of control you felt, and that is probably the worst part of it.
Even if you are a complete nobody, like I am, you can carry yourself as if you control most of the world, if you are able to safely keep yourself from having to really get to know anyone at all.
When a real person’s real self starts to connect with yours, you feel like you are giving something up and becoming beholden to an other for the rest of your life, or even eternity. Wouldn’t it be better to go through life not getting mixed up with anyone? But, that is the quickest way to find yourself in a true hell of loneliness, because hell is only other people if you are still busy lying to yourself about who you are and what you need.
It’s been a difficult truth for me to face, but the truth is that I want so very badly to have several friends who I can call upon to come over for dinner and drinks–people who are close enough to me that we can talk religion and politics without ending up at each other’s throats. Friends who will come by if I need help moving a piece of furniture. Folks who exchange Christmas cards and invite us to dinner parties of their own.
I look through the old cards of my parents, and I see that my parents had friends like these at one time. What happened? Children arrived, plus my mom became so insufferable about her faith, that nobody could talk to her without her judging them for not walking with the Lord the way she thought everyone should. My dad stopped caring about having friends over, and so, within two years after moving to Missouri, we became the sort of family that never did anything with anyone. We even stopped visiting my dad’s family, and only visited my mom’s family once a year.
In the process, I developed into the kind of person that simply doesn’t know how to go about making friends unless they were drinking friends.
It’s quite strange, actually, to be stuck in this persona that appears to others to be antisocial, strange and excessively shy and introverted, while on the inside, I am hoping and begging for some insight into how to go about making new friends and getting more involved in the community.
The meds I take now prevent me from ever getting too depressed or angry about it, so I no longer feel like I can even trust my own feelings.
Damn, but here I am writing again like it’s my own special pity party.
Believe me, I do try to experience a sense of gratitude these days. I am grateful that I am still pretty healthy and haven’t had any really tragic or sad things happen to me in almost ten years. It’s been almost ten years since my mom died, and it was eight years between H’s death and hers. Most of the time, my life is simply baffling, not tragic. I was always baffled when women seemed interested in me, and equally surprised with the interest ended abruptly.