Saturday, February 22, 2014

Should You Do Things For People You Love?

My friend, Dean Leysen, posted a video a few weeks ago and it was focused on whether it is appropriate to change something about yourself because of someone you love. 


I surmised from this video and other conversations over the last few weeks, that I'd be comfortable changing certain things about myself for the people I love, to a certain extent.  If at any point, I feel as though a certain change will negatively affect my self-image, or alter my identity in ways that make me feel uncomfortable, I cannot make such a change--no matter how much I love the person asking for the change. 

As someone who tries very hard to please everyone else, it is natural for me to change myself in order to suit my family, friends and especially my partner, even if it means I'm a bit unhappy.

In the past pleasing others meant wearing a lot of makeup, weaves, relaxing my hair, trying to change my skin color, losing a lot of weight very quickly through crazy diets and workout routines, etc. At one point, I had changed so much physically that I didn't recognize myself when I caught a glimpse of face in the mirror at a store. I actually thought: "That girl is trying so hard." When I looked closer, I realized I was seeing my own reflection!

Lately, as I attempt to live authentically (kinky chic lifestyle woot!), I can see how pleasing everyone is unwise and painful. 

For example, most of my siblings believe that the Bible (KJV) is God-breathed and they live according to the Bible. I love that about them and I cherish learning from them this discipline, commitment and faith.  This doesn't mean that I agree with them completely; I believe that the Bible is inspired by God, but I don't believe God stopped there.  There are other books, people, prophets, etc. that are inspired by God that are not included in the current, popular version of the Bible.

Recently, I tried to explain to my sister that my faith is more than just the literal translation of the Bible but also in discerning for myself and through my spirit, books that are written and people that are living today that enlighten--who lead, direct, inspire.  But I felt misunderstood.  I think my sister was worried that because I no longer attend a church regularly, I no longer had faith in God.  But I am actually closer to God now that I don't have to pretend in front of other people at church that I'm faithful and that I worship God.  This doesn't mean that I refuse to attend church ever, but I like that my new faith doesn't require a regular church to work.

Now, I feel like I no longer treat God as a vending machine... My prayers are not about simply receiving but about listening and connecting with my God.  This makes me feel more like myself! I want to commune with my God, not just demand.  I feel like I'm living like Jacob now--like I've always wanted.

As I live authentically, I know my decisions will bother some and I'm secretly happy that it will, because maybe it will encourage those that are bothered to examine their hearts and their lives more deeply.  Maybe it'll cause them to wonder if they are truly living as their best selves, or at least trying to live as their best selves.

At the end of my time here, I want to know that I lived as best as I could.  Not for anyone else, but between me and my God.

6 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean about church. People feel like because you don't go regularly, that means you no longer have faith but that's so far from the truth! I think it's brilliant that you are confident in who you are enough to just say no.

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    1. :) I'm so glad you understand as well. And I think part of this process is not having to justify my decision to anyone unless I want to. Faith is very personal, and I recognize that convention requires a body of faith (like a church), but I've never subscribed to living by convention alone ;)

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  2. But why don't you want to go to church? You haven't quite touched on that. You've just mentioned all the reasons why you don't think not going to church means you don't have faith

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    1. I appreciate the comment. In the seventh paragraph I revealed as much as I was ready to share about my experience with my previous church family: "But I am actually closer to God now that I don't have to pretend in front of other people at church that I'm faithful and that I worship God." While it may be different for you, going to church actually makes me less close to God because I spend so much time worried about the communion with others and devote less of my heart to worship. Be well.

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  3. Hey, I didn't know you had a blog! What else have I missed?
    I 100% support your journey of faith- you are Jacob, aka Jay and God is not limited in his ability to commune with you inside or outside of the church...but then again you know that. I look forward to getting to know k-chic. No false pretenses, only honest-to-goodness love between us- we wasted so many years not doing that. We should have a sisters only blog somewhere. My written communications are so much better...I think :)

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    1. :) I totally support a closed blog for just us sisters! I feel like sometimes I have questions and thoughts that I want to share with you, but when we talk, I forget all my concerns and I'm just enjoying spending time with you guys lol. The blog is old, but took on new meaning as I'm growing up :P I am kinky chic :D

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