Another Mid-life Crisis

Yeah, how many stinking mid-life crises can one go through?  I have no idea, but another one is erupting for me in the midst of all this stuff going wrong.  

I'm having "it" again.  I'm standing on the outside of my life and looking in and wondering...what in the world?  What next?  I'm standing at a cross roads once and again and I don't like cross roads.  It means I need to find where to stand.  And sometimes I don't stinkin' know where to stand.  Do we always know where to stand, when to stand or when to cross over into the next phase of life even if you don't know what that next phase of life is?

There's too many things going on right now.  Too many bad things.  Yeah, things could be worse.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, yada, yada.  Cheer up, Charlie, right?  Bah.  I'm in a seriously broken mood and when you've got all these little kids staring at you, up at you, that see you in this place...do I even have the luxury of going "there", this place of feeling crappy about life and saying "why"?  They are all looking at me...and guess what?  They are going to get a heavy dose of reality.  Why do we shield our kids from reality?  The reality that one day, on certain days they are going to feel like this, too.  That there are bad things happening in our lives that we need to deal with in bad ways and in good ways we deal with these very difficult things.  What is so wrong with them seeing reality, seeing mess ups and seeing how we can deal with things?  How grown up people mess up, deal with things and fix things.

I'm not for keeping my kids lost in the clouds of life.  Yes, we need to point them out, too, those fluffy, beautiful times of life.  But life truly sucks sometimes, too, and they need to know that and it shouldn't be kept hidden from them.

So back to my mid-life crisis banter...

I want more from this life.  I don't want to be so spread thin that I don't have anything firm to stand on.  I don't want to go through this entire life knowing so many people that I never get close to.  I don't want my kids to throw away their creativity like I feel like I did as a kid with my eyes glued to games and television.  I feel trapped in isolation though I am around so many people.  What is up with that?  Feeling lonely even around people, lot's of people?  I feel left behind by certain people, too.  Just a feeling, but it's valid to me.  I've also been told that I expect way too much and maybe I do.  Maybe I need to change the way I think.

"Fearful child have faith in brighter days..." -Keane

You Are Young is playing in the background.  "Nothing is given except the ties that hold us together..."  Profound words.  The ties that hold us together?  What ties do I have?  Who am I tied to?  Who is tied to me?  Nobody truly needs anyone anymore or at least in this moment it feels that way.  In this world people are as disposable as last week's left over lunch.  God is supposed to be enough at all times.  His presence or rather His absence feels strong these days.  When He is present, He is physically absent.  Where is He?  I need a physical presence.  All I have is words on a page and my flippant, desperate prayers that fly out of my head into the abyss of time and space.  This is where I am.

I don't want to be here.  I want to be confident and strong.  But I am not.  Maybe tomorrow...       

Critical Seasons

Well, the snake of criticism of others has crept backed into my life with all of its sliminess.

Can I blame anyone?  I think I can and then, on the other hand, I think I can't.  I hear criticisms from all manner of persons and the main person is the one yammering on in my head and those words, those critical, supposing words roll out of my mouth sometimes and it's, well, very damaging to others. 

And I go through seasons of being critical of others.  There have been times when I really felt as if I had a hold on my mind and tongue concerning all matters critical, but here I am again and have been so many times along this journey...in the place of judgment over others, especially in my mind. 

Can we think whatever we want to think, when and how we would like to think it?  I guess we can.  We can do whatever we want.  But that thinking certainly shapes our brains.  If we are thinking judgmentally of others constantly it will totally guide and direct many, many moves we make and many, many words we say.  Scary, huh?  

And my love for people, all people, deters in this state, this state of not seeing the soul of each person deep within and being compassionate, whatever their plight, knowing full well, that I would surely never fully know or comprehend the many details that brings a person to where they are in the present.  We can't know it all nor can we be better than some or anyone.  Better?

I haven't allowed myself to really "think" that actual sentence in my mind.  "I am better than that person because of ______."  I have never thought in those exact terms, but my self-righteous mind finds ways to pat myself on the proverbial back for its thoughts.  Those thoughts are often congratulatory at the time they are thought.  Later they are condemning.  And I don't have to be religious, a church-goer or a supposed "Christian" to be self-righteous.  I can be fully self-righteous without any of these expounding planks on which I need to stand and I have been doing fine by myself without those things to blame. 

And here I am again for the billionth time...realizing where I am in my mind and wanting something else.  I want this season of being critical to pass and never to return.  For me that is a very ambitious idea considering where I came from, but nevertheless attainable, with time and patience.  This is what I want in life...to be able to look at others, all others on equal footing and to have sympathy, empathy, compassion or understanding for that person, to not make much ado about all those things I do not know or to fill in the details for myself in order to make sense of something or that person.  Yes, it's ambitious, but in my world it is expected and required, in my world with God.

I leave you with some thoughts a friend posted on facebook by Oswald Chambers:

  

June 17 2012
"Judge not, that you be not judged." —Matthew 7:1

Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it. The effect of criticism is the dividing up of the strengths of the one being criticized. The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. Criticism serves to make you harsh, vindictive, and cruel, and leaves you with the soothing and flattering idea that you are somehow superior to others. Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.

There is no escaping the penetrating search of my life by Jesus. If I see the little speck in your eye, it means that I have a plank of timber in my own (see Matthew 7:3-5). Every wrong thing that I see in you, God finds in me. Every time I judge, I condemn myself (see Romans 2:17-24). Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation. The first thing God does is to give us a thorough spiritual cleaning. After that, there is no possibility of pride remaining in us. I have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.