There has been a conversation wrapped around my last post Spinning, one of the more prominent questions that has risen out of this conversation has been, what defines us? Some say everything, some say only our choice at that very moment and some, well, they stay anonymous.
So, let’s get to it, what defines me [us]? To answer this question very generally, I would say, “everything!”. To answer the question with a little more focus, I would say, “the events that make us question ourselves or the people around us.” And lastly, to answer this question specifically, I would say, “there are positive and negative actions that happen to us and around us that force us to create an opinion on that action and decide whether or not we will follow that pattern.” I think that it is important for you to know why I chose to answer this question three different ways and that is this: Some people are satisfied with the first, general answer, some with the slightly more focused and others by the specific and ultimately, however your brain works I want you to track with me.
My anonymous friend said that I should not be defined by my pain and I just simply find that impossible. It was presented in a way as to say that there is the ability to separate ourselves from our pain and that just isn’t true. Well, it isn’t true if you have made a decision to feel emotion and allow life to effect you. It is almost like saying, “time heals all wounds”, a saying that is so misleading. Either of those theories present an option to at some point, typically when you have reached a said state of emotional maturity, you will no longer be hurt by your losses, hardships, downfalls, struggles and experiences.
Be honest with your heart for one second… Time or “emotional maturity” have never healed a wound, it may have hardened the soft vulnerable places around it, causing the pain to be less penetrating but that my friends is not healing. You can not break a bone and allow time to correctly heal it unless you go through the agonizing pain of setting the bone. If you are not willing to go through the initial pain of setting the broken bone and you instead make an attempt at crossing your fingers hoping the bone will independently become straight and heal will you surely find out that the only way to have any chance of actually healing, you must re-brake the bone, set the bone and then allow time and healing to take its course.
There are millions of people who roam this crazy little planet with a life time of hurt built up inside of them, all fooled into thinking that their problems are not worth discussing [to someone “qualified” or not] and so the pain rots and seeps out of them until they lash out and break the hearts of the people closest to them, those whom they long to love the most become the whipping post for pain they did not inflict [and maybe it is pain that they inflicted however they are being mistreated long after the initial situation].
I am defined by the following:
- My parents divorce.
- Parents’ drug addiction and alcoholism.
- Grandmother’s faith in Jesus.
- Mom’s death.
- Dad’s death.
- The abuse from my parents.
- The abortion the I followed through with.
- All of the hearts that I have manipulated and mistreated.
The ways that these things define is both positive and negative at times and it is my responsibility as a man and follower of Jesus to handle these situations appropriately in order to stop the cycle of pain. The cycle that has run through generations of my family will stop with me.
I will break the cycle.
I am hopeful that my most defining attribute is my faith in Jesus Christ and the man that I am convicted to be, however, without being first defined by so many other pains, it is possible that I would not take so seriously this life that I have been blessed to lead.
You too are defined by your pain, no matter how “big” or “small” your pain is. I encourage you to be honest with your heart, if you struggle with depression, anger, anxiety, sadness, apathy or you just know how to put a good mask on you always seem to be “ok”, please don’t let these define you… It is going to hurt, you will probably cry, you might be gossiped about and your defense mechanism is going to come out x10, but it’s worth it! Whether you are a Christian or not, you were not created to be enslaved, ultimately, I believe that Jesus is our only true shot at freedom, eternal, fulfilling, freedom but, that doesn’t mean that some level of emotional freedom is not obtainable.
I am thankful for all of you and for choosing to be involved!