Sunday, July 3, 2011

Acts of Faith: On Pity Parties and Looking Back

***long post alert***
         I think I can finally sit through and sift through my thoughts that have been running faster than the speed of light. Sometimes I think I have it – like bam! there is a trail of thought that I can place on paper – but then it withers away faster than a lily placed in the sahara dessert. I believe in writing down my thoughts – the ones that make my belly churn and my mind toss and turn through the thick of the night. And so not being able to write down for weeks what I’ve been thinking or what I’ve been experiencing has been exhausting to say the least... a good thing to take a break but still  exhausting. My friend D and a stranger both said similar things to me over the past two weeks – something about not letting the fire burn out. There is nothing more encouraging in the world than hearing words you need to hear at the right moment – kinda like how the saying that a “stitch in time saves nine” couldn’t be more true at that instant in time. Their words made me realize that I had to stop it. Whatever it is I am going through, or what I think I am going through is no excuse to belittle a task I believe I’ve been called to. I write. People sing, people dance, people do sports, people knit… and I write. I hadn’t done that in weeks. Not even in my journal… not even in my love letter book to Him… it was like I was trying to sit still and hope the world would stand with me in my stagnant stance… but alas the earth keeps spinning on its axis. I’ve forgotten that I need to keep on regardless.
         And that thinking brought me to another realization about something else I do while the world keeps spinning at its bottom – parties. Yes, I party. I revel in them and specialize in throwing them. The special kind of course – pity parties. Oh they are so elaborate. I chug down my comfort food, turn off the lights and look for reminiscing information that makes me go down pits of memory lanes that would do nothing more than badger my precious time. I hold and host pity parties that leave me empty. It goes on in a continual cycle to – a triggering thought that would lead down to many incidents that happened years or months ago… I could even throw in a couple of comparisons here and there – why don’t I have this? Why is my life this way? And so on and so forth… you KNOW what I’m talking about. The downwards spiral of self-deprecative cocktails we serve ourselves at the climax of our solo pity parties. And I’ve been doing this for months… actually years. I’ve just been very good at deceiving myself into thinking it was something else. I’ve become adept at blindly ignoring the gracious good that has circumvented my life and instead laid so much emphasis on the bad that has occurred or the withouts that I live with.
         And in the midst of all this, I still get the sunrays and the silent breeze of the beautiful night blow past me. I still get my daily bread… with the occasional steak too! I still get the love of family and friends and the will to want to continue on. I still live. And it is still written that I should “give thanks in all things for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). But it is hard… throwing self-pity parties comes easier than giving thanks. Hanging onto withouts sometimes comes much more natural than trying to see the bigger picture. No matter how bleak things may seem, I definitely don’t have it as bad as Joseph did. I mean jealous brothers, sold into slavery, attempted seduction, lied against, thrown into jail and who knows the much more he may have had to face. And despite all this, never once is it recorded that Joseph had pity parties or acted as though his circumstances shook what he believed about himself or the God that he served. Okay so he is human, he probably asked questions and wondered… but when it came down to it – when faced with the temptation that he deserved much more (like sleeping with Potiphar’s wife) he fled from that. Before fleeing, he even says he can’t possibly do such a wicked thing in the sight of God. I can’t say I flee from the invitation to think I deserve much more. Infact, I love leading myself down the aisle that I should get more – that slippery slope of ingratitude mixed with self-indulgence that leads down the valley of self-pity.
         No more. I think I reached a ceiling where I need to reproach myself… ‘defy myself’ as Rev. Martyn -Lloyd puts it. This will not be natural to me – as I already said, I love going down the inviting steps to that party. This means a shift in how I think… think of myself… the people in my life… and a shift in picking what I chose to focus on – the good instead of the bad and the past. So when self comes to visit as she is so prone to doing these days to pinpointedly talk about what I lack, I will blast her with what He has done instead… and what He is continually doing, subtly working in ways that craft me for His glory… even if that crafting process means I discover more things about myself that are ugly… it just means I need to learn to continually learn how to give him all of me – the ugly parts as well. So here is to having a different and new kind of party – thankful parties…. Gratitude get-togethers! Join me?
*** In other news – I think I am back, for good. I think I can think and write now – coherently :) and ooohhh... I started graduate school!!! I started my first rotation in a lab that works on Parkinson’s. I’m having a nice time so far. And I’m looking forward to moving to my home institution to take my classes for the year… so apartment hunting etc has been fun! I’m also really thinking about starting a neuroscience blog that will chronicle research related stuff and graduate school stuff… just an exploratory idea… ooo well.
         So please tell me, How are you?


  1. im great :)
    congrats on grad school, btw this font is so confusing lol

    i throw pity parties a lot too, *sigh* working on it
    goodluck with apartment hunting :)

  2. thanks :D i should use this font less. lol.

  3. The speed of your thoughts is given to you by the Holy Spirit, if you are in constant communion and yearning to be in His cradle. There is no way you can catch them, as they are for you, alone--transforming, grooming and creating in you, a new person-a better person. Through all of the growth and transition, your parties are leading you to where you need to be, for without the death of the old you, the new you cannot come forth. You are blessed and are destined to share your thoughts with others--those thoughts that are discernible and coherent--those thoughts given to you for other followers of The Living God.  Continue to write and share. I like your writing--it is from the soul. Blessings...