Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So I guess my Mother was right...

My Mom has told me for years that I am a snob. Of course, my response is, "How can I be a snob? I don't have a lot of money. I can't afford expensive things. I can't send my daughter to expensive schools and look down on those who don't."

Well, it appears that, after years of fighting it, I am, indeed, a snob. But it's not because I think I'm better than anyone...well, usually I don't think I'm better than anyone. It's because I'm insecure in who I am and what I do (or don't) have, and I'm afraid other people will judge me because of it.

A few years back, I spent a week with a counselor on Coronado Island. A couple of days ago, after attending a birthday party at one of Bella's classmates' houses, part of a conversation came back to me. The counselor asked me if I was a discerning person. After I answered that I was, and we talked a little bit about my type of "discernment", she challenged me. She said that my type of discernment wasn't something that simply saw people for who they were and accepted them anyway. It was a discernment bred out of self-protection. I'm afraid of getting hurt, so I size them up as either "safe" or "unsafe", and then I quickly either let them in or build a wall up between myself and that person so they can't hurt me first.

I'm guessing this is something I learned at a pretty young age because I had to determine who to be friends with based on whether or not they would accept me as the "fat girl". I had to make quick decisions and hope I was right so that they wouldn't turn their backs on me or end up saying hurtful things after I'd let them into my life. That happened a couple of times...and it hurt a lot.

As I think about it now, it's exactly what I'm doing as a Mom. Ever since Bella started school, and I have been faced with handling relationships with other Moms, I have put up wall after wall because I'm afraid that those Moms are like the girls who hurt me when I was a kid. If you've ever talked to me about the other families we're around at Bella's school, I'm sure you've noticed my snobbery. I judge them before they judge me...or I judge them FOR judging me.

...And it's not my place to judge anyone. In the grand scheme of things, it makes no difference where our children go to school...or what anyone thinks of me because of it. It doesn't matter if they live in a big house and I don't, or if they judge me because of it. What matters is that I stop acting like it matters.

I love my home...that is small and that I rent. I love the trees outside of our windows, and I love the people on the block I live on.

I love my husband and my daughter and they love me.

I like my dog most of the time.

And I know and love a God who is graceful and teaches me these things about myself so that I can continue to change and be more of who He created me to be.

My Bible is open to this verse right now--"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves."

I don't consider myself to be powerful. Let me make that very clear. I very much feel like a "fragile clay jar" as I write this. I am breakable, and I need a lot of care and protection to keep me intact. But I do believe I have a remarkable gift inside of me that people (and I) periodically get a glimpse of. My hope is that as I continue walking through life and seeing myself for who I am and who I can be, that Gift will be much more visible.

But first I have to start taking down some walls. And if you're a wall-builder like me, I'd encourage you to start doing the same thing.

Until next time...

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