Saturday, November 15, 2008

Self-Preservation Can two walk together

I have never been good at preserving myself. Preserving my heart from hurt, that kind of thing. If for instance, I'm walking down the street and I see someone whom I know has been gossiping about me, when we finally are face to face I will say "hello." Yes, hard to believe but hey, I'm a minister's grandkid. I just don't want to wound the Other, and I give the Other the benefit of the doubt even though I am aware that the other might be quite dangerous. That means for the moment it takes my subconscious and innate brainwashed habits to kick in, I will inevitably choose to risk being hurt rather than hurting the other person...even when I know the risk is quite great that I WILL be hurt.

It's a little like "wise as serpents, harmless as doves" added to weird childhood upbringing that makes me give weird folks the benefit of the doubt. It's not a particular way to be -- to always choose to risk hurt to the self rather than hurt the other-- but it's part of my personality. Or rather, it's been a part of my personality until now.

Case in point: we Christians know the verse: "Can two walk together unless they be agreed?"

God used it to speak to his people, and in all the places of the Bible there is this essential element of AGREEMENT. Sometimes it's just about likemindedness, sometimes it's about covenants. Whatever it is, the Bible makes a big thing about being in agreement with someone who is walking the same road with you.

Well, I had to part ways with someone. Honestly, there was just too much kneejerk disdain going on. Okay, I'm a Christian and she isn't. But she was downright relentless. I let it go for a long while. But it was as if she had this deep-down desire to see me -- and all Christians-- as shallow, hypocritical, judgmental. And not that I'm not some of those things. But dang, I'm not ALWAYS all of those things. And for the most part I do have a live and let live attitude towards folks -- Christians or otherwise. (Unless someone asks me a pointed question.) Honestly, my best friend is an Arab-American Muslim New Ager. My close friends are gay wiccans and gay secular Jews. I am pretty easy-going. I just didn't want to hurt this person who was always hurting me.

So yeah, a parting of the ways has resulted. Kinda upsetting because this person has become a good part of my life. And I'm not angry with her, just tired of being relentlessly targeted and analyzed. Nothing worse than saying something and someone thinking AND SAYING, "oh, you're being judgmental."

So what exactly was the final straw? I said, "Sarah Palin reminds me of the kind of peppy cheerleader type in high school that didn't have a lot of non-normal friends. She might not have been cruel to them but she would be hanging around with the sane types. John McCain reminds me of some aged bosses I had, folks who would always put an extra snap in their step so they could look virile and manly. Barack Obama reminds me of many rich educated blacks I've met who thought they were better than me."

So she slams me on the Obama thing. Hey, it's my experience. If we can't judge life on our experience, why did God give us memories? She doesn't mind me picking on Palin or McCain, though. Interesting, uh? So, because I'm a Christian she thinks I'll be horrible. Kinda like those folks who think an Arab American is just waiting to bomb the US. Why do we become friends when it's apparent certain friendships are going to be hard on us?

But politics aside, I think I've finally grown to understand self-preservation. I am hoping I don't swing to the other side of the pendulum and start becoming paranoid and hurting folks before they hurt me. But...hey, I'll be 49 in a couple of weeks, I have got to learn to make healthy choices. Not just in eating but in what I allow to eat me. <<-- oooh, i like that nice little word play. -C
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