VENTILATE: 1. To provide fresh air in a place that has been contaminated; 2. To circulate air through or blow on, as to freshen the air; 3. To expose or submit a question or problem for full examination and discussion.
(Matthew 11:28-30) [Jesus said] “Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls… For my yoke is kindly and my load is light.”
Part One – The Contamination
Maybe I’m just having a bad day….or week….maybe a month….maybe it’s just been a few moments, but I have a real need to ventilate my brain and heart.
Lately, I’m remembering that since childhood, I often feel so disgusted and frustrated with humans. And nowadays, even though it’s easier to differentiate who is worldly versus who is in the truth, I’m still realizing we are ALL so imperfect! It’s shameful, that the most intelligent beings, created in the image of Jehovah, have become so “contaminated” from the centuries of inherited sin and influence of the ruler of this system of things.
Perhaps the worst part (in my opinion) is our weakness of self-absorption and selfishness. It is so easy to get caught up in our own little worlds and issues, especially when emotion is attached, which is just about everything, until we become aware and rip the ego-cord and humble ourselves.
To my disgust, the issue of promises and so-called friendships and associations is what SUCKS right now. People who say they are going to do one thing, but don’t follow through. People who claim to be something, and come to find out, they are far from it. People who have good intentions, but as I have always said… “Good intentions don’t mean shit!” And THAT’S the truth!
I don’t care how kind, loving or forgiving a person you may be, if your “yes” doesn’t mean “yes”, then why bother saying anything at all? Oh yea, people are great at saying “no” or “maybe” and just not bothering with the effort of committing to something. Or worse, they don’t say anything at all and no response is just as loud an answer as not following through with a “good intention”. Hey, I’ve done it a time or two, and I’m SURE everyone else has as well!
It’s all very manipulative and full of deception in my book. It’s about betrayal and a general lack of loyalty to anyone but themselves. Yet, a quiet, forgiving voice in my head whispers, “But they don’t know any better, Deb. They’re just human.” Great…that doesn’t make me feel better! It’s all about those “shoulda-woulda-coulda’s” again….Gee, it be nice if…but it’s NOT reality.
I am weary of forgiving again and again. My patience has worn beyond thin regarding my ability to tolerate incompetence and wishy-washy-ness and worst of all…ARROGANCE.
I find myself getting quickly frustrated and so tired of being treated like a doormat. I know…that’s me subconsciously participating like an idiot, but my awareness is at an all time high these days, so I am resolved to NOT participate any longer. But communicating my refusal in a kind way to those treading heavy? ……….leaves something to be desired at the moment.
I can’t handle the stress and how it manifests itself in my body. My physical well-being is quickly deteriorating and that quickly affects my emotions. I see the old cycle of my life beginning again.
Even with relationships, local and long distant, I question how sincere these people are. I miss my cat – THAT was a friendship I understood and could rely on. I miss being dearly loved by someone – THAT is a feeling I will always remember and pray that someday I will be given that gift again. But these “relationships” I have right now? What are they really? Friends, acquaintances, business associates, family? I don’t really feel like I belong anywhere right now – that’s some “thing” off in the future somewhere when Jehovah’s kingdom is finally fully in place here on Paradise Earth. Perhaps by then, I will have a greater understanding of who I am, where I belong and what I’m supposed to be doing that will fully please Jehovah.
Patience, Deb….patience. You can endure this! You MUST endure this and trust in Jehovah!
The waves of emotion…like the waves of the sea, everflowing…
or the current of a river, going round every bend, over rocks, filtering silt and sand…
No, the best description right now is the roller-coaster – I can’t handle the speed and sudden shifts in direction, but I sure like the wind whipping through my hair! Oh, I am a twisted puppy.
This is the kind of life I got away from three years ago, or so I thought. I swore I would NOT get myself into those “doormat” situations again. And yet, in seeking a modest income and desiring to help others attain their own success under the theory of “win-win” for all involved…I am feeling their feet tramping on my soul and taking the life out of me. DOORMAT NO MORE!
But even with my own “good intention” (some call it “goals”, but let’s get real here…what’s the difference?), the follow-through of ending these relationships while maintaining a positive association (preferably distant and/or reduced to rare occasion) is far more difficult and stressful than I could ever imagine. And lets add maintaining my health, which is critical because I know how bad I can get from stress – I CAN’T HANDLE IT ANYMORE. I spent too many years going 1600mph and working 16hrs+ a day, trying to please and provide for others, both on a personal basis (friendships and family) and in business (clients and partners). Anyone living that pace will suffer burnout (ie near death) – which I am not proud to admit I have been through more than once. Go ahead, call me STUPID – or better yet…DOORMAT! Let this be a warning to you workaholics and people-pleasers (ie co-dependents) – the consequences are GRIM.
Part Two – Getting Some Fresh Air and Cleansing – VENTILATED
(Job 37:21) ”When a wind itself has passed by and proceeded to cleanse them.”
So I retreat once again to prayerful meditation and pondering, waiting for Jehovah to speak to me in some way I will recognize, understand and know just how to say the right words and take the right action that will please him, and not necessarily the humans. Most of all, that is what counts…my relationship with Jehovah, maintaining honor and glory for HIM and not for me, pleasing him by doing what he wants me to do and not taking these ugly situations into my own hands.
The toughest part in this is letting go. This seems to involve a great deal of patience that I surely don’t have and searching in God’s word, I find solace in his truth, which Jesus spoke and the Apostles were inspired to record…
(Luke 18:27) “He said: ‘The things impossible with men are possible with God.’”
(Mark 10:27) ”Looking straight at them Jesus said: ‘With men it is impossible, but not so with God, for all things are possible with God.’”
The truth is, I find that most of the things I do in my life I surely couldn’t handle or do without Jehovah’s help – it is NOT humanly possible. He is with me 24/7 and I find myself talking to him continuously and wishing he could answer out loud. I get so lonely sometimes, just wanting a friendly, like-minded person to talk with. Yes, he answers me silently and through actions around me and from within me. I’m getting smart enough to listen when he’s “talking” to me and it’s very humbling to realize that I am NOTHING compared to his almighty power and undeserved-kindness and mercy he continually grants me. How can I ever live up to his standards?
I would much rather go off and let my tongue loose on so many people right now. At first, I find it very exciting to return to my old self of going nuts, yelling and screaming, and sometimes resorting to violence. It was an adrenalin rush, I admit that, and the temptation to get that “high” again, even momentarily is strong, but I am resisting with all my strength and prayer for holy spirit to pour upon me and keep me on the narrow path of righteousness. It’s altogether too frightening to think about returning to my past or old habits and patterns of living. The consequences are VERY real and I have personally been there, done that far more times than most people could imagine. It’s disgusting in many respects and I am repulsed at myself for even thinking such animalistic and worldly behavior and thought patterns.
So I discover that sometimes, what I think is a distraction, is actually Jehovah’s way of teaching me a little lesson. Take for example, me writing this “venting” letter to myself, which is a great “exorcise” in releasing emotions for anyone (just ask all the people that are doing blogs nowadays or folks that are taking those popular writing classes). Then somehow I find myself outside photographing blue jays eating bread. I don’t even remember what brought me outside in the first place…was I getting something in the kitchen and suddenly had the urge to take some moldy bread outside to feed the blue jay waiting on the deck railing? And then, the lesson on “patience” started…
Okay, the birds are not used to me standing four feet away from their food prize. But they get impatient waiting for me to move (poised to take that perfect shot) because they are greedy. At that point, they don’t care if the sound of my camera’s shutter is somewhat disturbing because they MUST have those pieces of bread! Funny, that sounds like some of the people I’m dealing with! You just have to find that right “bribe” or shiny, sparkly thing that attracts their attention in your direction and viola! they are “eating” out of your hand. But as soon as the goodies are gone, they return right back to their selfish little worlds of ME ME ME (can you hear the blue jays yelling?) and the frustration of dealing with them returns.
More lessons on patience…I decide I need to move the bread crumbs to a more scenic location in the shade where I can sit down (been standing for about 15 minutes now). Unfortunately, the blue jays are pretty full from eating the cracked corn I spread out earlier this morning for the peacock, squirrels and pigeons (no turkeys this morning). How long do I have to sit here for that perfect shot? Are you silly birds going to eat any more bread? Now my patience is wearing thin and I know I need to get back to finishing this letter and getting some work done. The birds buzz my head…the hummingbirds are curious why I’m sitting out here…but not one blue jay seeks the bread. Oh well, perhaps this is where I “let it go” so rather than continuing to sit here, I move to shoot a few shots of the birds and squirrels eating stuff below the deck. I toss the remaining bread crumbs. Of course, they go for it right away and I snap a few more shots before I head back inside. Did I learn patience on my part? At the very least, I became AWARE of my patience issues and laughed inside my head about Jehovah once again “teaching me a lesson through illustration”. I am cooled off now emotionally, so I can finish this letter with a bit more kindness and forgiveness.
So what did I learn from that little “bird session”? First, for me, I have to be patient in order to succeed (that elusive perfect photograph AND some peace of mind). And I have to stop stressing myself and give my heart issues to Jehovah and trust he will grant me a dose of his holy spirit to cleanse me and provide me with power to get through my challenges.
(Philippians 4:6, 7) “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”
I have to be quiet and still.
(2 Chronicles 20:17) ”…stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah…do not be afraid.”
Okay, I can use that in dealing with these humans.
Second, the reality check is people are not much different from blue jays – they are easily distracted and attracted to things that touch on their immediate needs or desires. Lately, it has become very apparent to me that even my Brothers and Sisters in the truth are just as imperfect as the worldly folk and “shame on them”, especially the ones who have been in the truth for years, because they should know better! Oops! There’s that word again…”should”…the warning light goes off….imperfection rears it’s ugly head once again. So forgiveness “should” follow? Practice makes perfect, and easier said than done, so make it real and JUST DO IT.
It’s so easy to take care of others in physical need, but when it’s a need such as friendship or sincere business, it becomes less obvious. That “sense” of cooperation, consideration and self-sacrifice is not as apparent when it’s a need. We miss the message (ie hint, signal, alert) someone may send out, and silently abuse one another without realizing it by our actions or LACK of action.
So many of the Brothers and Sisters who have been sheltered from the world have trouble comprehending what it truly feels like to be betrayed or harmed regarding such things as addictions, adultery, violence, and persecution by the broken legal system or government. It all sounds good in theory and on paper how to “be”, but sometimes, until you experience it firsthand, how can you truly be aware of it and competent enough to take proper action? And how can you “judge” any person when you haven’t been in their shoes?
Oh, the surprises and tests some of these people will get and then the thinning of the harvest will indeed show who are the weeds.
There are times when I feel like the nice, worldly people I know seem more trustworthy and loyal than my Brothers and Sisters. Perhaps it’s because that is a life I am still more familiar with and therefore, more comfortable with even though I know it is not good or healthy or the path to my salvation. So as I gather myself back into some semblance of order and calm, I find comfort once again in the truth. In the end, we are all imperfect humans and we can only count on Jehovah through his son, Christ Jesus.
(Psalm 146:3) “Do not put your trust in nobles, nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.”
(Psalm 118:8) “It is better to take refuge in Jehovah than to trust in earthling man.”
As we get deeper into the tribulation and end times, the very core of our humanity will rise to the surface and be exposed. We are ALL imperfect beings and it’s up to each one of us to get our hearts right and change our lives to live in harmony with Jehovah’s will. That is why I choose to stick close to him and minimize my exposure to this decaying system of things. At least those who have learned the truth and practice it are more likely to have the right heart condition.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14) “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the [true] God and keep his commandments. For this is the whole [obligation] of man. For the [true] God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.”
Who’s heart is truly in alignment with Jehovah and will receive his gift of everlasting life?
ONLY HE KNOWS the time and who is right-hearted. I believe we’re in for some major surprises.
I may sound vague and generalizing right now, but it’s because there is an overload of thoughts and personal experiences racing through my mind. I had to open up my mind’s door and “ventilate” my condition for just a little while.
The emotions I am working on “detaching” are beginning to feel less disturbing and hurtful, but at the very least, I have the privilege of sharing my thoughts and feelings with Jehovah. All I can do is pray and supplicate to him and ask him to PLEASE remove the thoughts and especially the emotions from my existence so that I can endure my life and move forward.
Forward….ever moving forward and trying NOT to take those nasty step backwards because of the inability or unconscious unwillingness to “let it go”. Of course, as soon as I wrote that, the “unwillingness” became a conscious matter and now I have no excuses for my MOOD.
It’s a matter of acceptance of fact and truth, and deciphering what is real to me (which may be an unreality in itself, but it’s real to me right in this moment). SIGH – it’s true….reality is personal – it’s unique for each person. Whether someone else believes it or not doesn’t really matter. Think about it. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes…it’s not possible! But Jehovah does it all the time and for that…I am so grateful.
Ahhhh….gratitude is an attitude that cleanses everything. Did you know that if you think of a minimum of five things to be grateful for, it is impossible to continue down a negative path? Try it sometime – it works!
If you managed to get through all of this, you may be wondering…what did she just say?
Deal with it – this is my blog and I get to say whatever I want. Maybe someone will learn from it, maybe not. At least this process helps me to learn and draw closer to Jehovah. I hope you do!
(James 4:8) ”Draw close to God, and he will draw close to YOU.”