I Haven’t Seen

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One must alter his or her
perspective in order to see
things not normally seen.
I have to look at you from the
eyes of freedom and try not to
tear the walls down with
my bare hands.

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Perception

It has taken a long time for me to realize that I can’t control anybody but myself. And sometimes even that’s not true.

Along with the small list of ailments and disorders that I get to have fun with every day of my life, I also have to deal with sort of a generalized anxiety. This acts either as background noise to my day and makes me a little high strung or it acts as an electric hum that sort of sits in the top of my stomach and makes me extremely high strung and nervous about, well, everything. I’ve been given medication to manage it which is really great because it actually doesn’t have any adverse affects other than it calms me down and allows me to think calmly and usually much clearer. It slows me down without slowing me down if that makes any sense.

But, anyway, we were talking about anxiety. It really comes into play with people because, as friendly as I may be, I don’t think I’m the greatest in dealing with people sometimes. I often feel I’m really bad when it comes to meeting new people because, to be honest, I spent a lot of time growing up as a loner. I’m an introvert with some extroverted tendencies. I can engage in conversation but when it comes to meeting people or introducing myself to someone new there’s this buzz in my gut that starts asking questions about how I’ll be perceived and if they’ll think I’m weird. They’ll be polite and then they’ll walk away wondering what my problem is.

I’m getting help for this. My first appointment is today, actually. But what I’ve been trying to learn or teaching myself is that I can’t control the reactions of other people. I’m kind of an odd bird. I read a lot of books and use big words in when I talk and usually the person has to stand back or I there’s a chance I’ll hit them while gesticulating, especially when I get passionate or excited. Yeah, sure, some may perceive that as a bit strange but it’s not really my objective to manage the perceptions of others. It’s a lot easier for me to be myself and let people see me for who I am then to try and make them comfortable.

I have this problem a lot at work. I had a supervisor who wanted me to go around to the members of my team and ask them what their perception of me was. I stared at him blankly for a minute, acted like I was going to do it, then proceeded to go back to my desk and do my job. It’s easy to do this at work because I have talked to everyone in my department at least once and have talked to probably everyone in every one of our call centers at least once. They all know how I operate, they know how I do my job and they know I’m good at it. You don’t need any more of a perception than that. So, needless to say, I ignored the request of my supervisor.

This does not translate well to the real world. My anxiety is much higher in places filled with people I don’t now. At my very small Bible College I have managed to become friends with a small number of people. But there is a slew of new students that I just don’t understand. With anxiety it’s really easy to fall into the trap that you don’t belong especially when you’re eight years older than the people you’re around. But even with some of the people, especially the staff, I wonder what they think of me and sometimes I get real concerned whether or not they take me seriously.

I have to remember that I can’t control the perceptions of anyone around me. I know who I am and that should be sufficient for me to communicate with others with my own personal flair and tone.

Sometimes, that’s a lot harder than it sounds.

From NE to TX

At the time I’m writing this it’s about 7:24 PM.  In about 12 hours I will depart from Papillion, NE for a missions trip in Dallas, TX.  I don’t have a whole lot of details right now as to what we’re doing because, apparently, this trip tends to be a little unpredictable.  Of the few details I have been given I can tell you that I will be staying on the campus of Wycliffe Bible Translators for the next week and will be doing work with Pioneer Bible Translators.  I’ve been told in the past its usually menial tasks and manual labor.  I’m not particularly concerned at the moment.

It’s amazing how some things have changed in the last 9 months or so.  If you would have told me just the vague info I just listed above I’d probably be near hysterics.  But I think God has been working on me a lot with that so I’m leaving it in His hands as much as possible.  Sure, I’m worried about some minute details but I’m not going to give them air here because I don’t even want to think about them.  I’ll lose my grip and focus.  To those few who actually read this, please keep my team and the rest of the students in yor prayers for this week as we all go out on our respective trips.  Especially pray for those who went to Croatia and Honduras this year.

In oher news, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’m still trying to flesh out this concept that I have in my head.  It started kind of like my previous post on motion.  Right now I’m trying to put together something about what I call looking at the [E]ternal rather than the [Ex]ternal.  Just basic ideas right now but I figured I’d share a little bit so I didn’t forget all of it before I got the chance to flesh it out.  The main focus is that we as Christians need to look at the [E]ternal and stop worrying so much about the [Ex]ternal.  It’ll involve a lot from Jesus’ ministry that flew in the face of what were then considered social taboos.  Just a thought but it’s got me excited to start really working so maybe I’ll have something by the time I come back at the end of the week.

Shifting gears, I’ve been working out all the details of renting a house here in Gretna.  Oddly enough, my friends and I were looking for a house to get us off campus for next year at NCC and my good friend and pastor of York E-Free church was renting his old house.  There are some  interesting things about this location.  One, of courses, was that it belonged to my friend and then pastor so I had hung out there a bit.  It’s actually just a few houses down the street from the house I grew up in until after I graduated High School and it’s also just across the street from my current pastor and very good friend Ben.  So, I’m pretty stoked about all of that.  The guys I’ll be living are the same guys that have helped me maintain my sanity the last few months after almost everything in my life went straight to hell.  I honestly cannot wait to get moved in but I am not looking forward to the moving process.  There’s just so much work involved I can’t even stand it sometimes.  So, I started moving in a bit at a time and have just some larger furniture to move.  Joy.

All things considered, life could be a lot worse.  🙂  I’ll write some more when I have time.  For now, here’s a couple of songs I’ve had in my head lately:

Rancid
“Fall Back Down”
Indestructible

New Radicals
“Someday We’ll Know”
Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too