Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Things I Have Learned About Myself

There are things about myself I've always known. Over the past few weeks I've become more aware of those things and learned some other things. I suppose when you are held over The Refiner's fire, you realize what your are made of. This is a post that I will probably (hopefully) update from time to time as we are always growing and always learning new things—even about ourselves. These are some of the things I know now...

I am an observer by nature. When I am not engaged in conversation with someone, my attention drifts to the people and things around me. In fact, I most often tend to observe as if it were a default setting in my being. I watch people in their environment. I see patterns across groups. Sometimes this is a gift, others it is a tragic flaw. Being an observer often lends itself toward understanding others, toward empathy and compassion for people across cultures and settings. Still, by virtue of observing, you become an outsider in most situations--the fly on the wall. It leaves you feeling very disconnected, always watching but never belonging. The eyes peering in through the other side of the window.

I cannot stand dishonesty--in any form. All I have witnessed of dishonesty ends in hurt. I have watched others and felt the pain of the shock myself. Dishonesty is not only lying. Dishonesty also includes embellishing, misleading, and omitting. No misleading. I don’t like being made to think something that is not entirely true. No embellishing. I do not like when people add onto the truth, that makes it a lie. Having 3 animals at your house is not the same thing as having a zoo. No leaving out. Maybe that’s why people have to swear to tell the “whole truth” in court. If it’s not the whole truth, it is also a lie. I would rather know the truth that hurts and bear it bravely, than to hear a lie that is meant to spare my feelings

I do not like superficial. Things on the surface always seem gross to me--the gunk on the top of water. Or else they are overly sanitary and neat, a "plastic soul". I like people who are real, conversations that are real.

I don’t like finding things out secondhand. If it’s something I should know, I like being informed. If someone doesn’t like me (or something I did), I’d rather know than have them pretend.

I am fiercely loyal, but I expect others to be also.

I like to be the best at the things I do and the things I am. I don’t believe everyone is equal, nor should they be. Sometimes that’s just how it is—there are people more gifted in areas than others. They are the best in their field. In my field—I like to be the best. Maybe it’s an oldest child thing; maybe it’s just a personality trait of mine.

I like people to have expectations of me. By that I mean that I like for people to expect me to show up, to remember their birthday, a big event, etc. In some strange way, I suppose it makes me feel important for people to expect me to be there for them.

I like quality time. I do not like to be forgotten or left out—it makes me feel like I am not important. Spending time with people, having them remember me and talk to me about things that are important to them makes me feel like I matter. Words are nice when paired with time and touch, but without they are just garnish.

I do not like things to be average. Much like the verse in Revelation (3:16), I do not like things or people to be lukewarm, in between, neither hot nor cold.

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