Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Humble, Young Man, Humble

It's crazy. This journey of mine happened to fall in line with the new year starting, which makes this look like a New Year's Resolution. This would be my first resolution set and I've been able to keep at it so far; granted it's only been a couple of weeks. What I can say from starting this blog & journey of mine is that I've put forth much effort to humble myself. When I say humble, I don't mean becoming a pushover or a "yes-man", but just being a better person. The results from this change are astounding. I mean, I've reached out to some good people and they've reached back. I've hung out with friends, had people over for New Year's, had meaningful conversations that came effortlessly; I love this.

Pride was my problem; well, one of them. I was too proud for too many things. I didn't want to lose an argument, give in, speak first, get criticized, learn from someone else, listen to learn (instead I just listened to react), and many other things. What was I doing? I was ruining my situations. Instead of fixing a problem right there in the moment, it lasted hours. Instead of salvaging an afternoon out, I incited more anger. This unhealthy practice is the reason my relationships just did not go well for me. I'm very fortunate to have had good, quality people placed in my life. It's like God was doing me favor after favor, sending me great, loving people that loved me more than anything. And by people, I mean friends, family, girlfriends, even teachers. As I look back, I've been so blessed. As I look closer, I see how I squandered some of those blessings.

The worst thing to do is to get in your own way. It's like I was the king of this. With some family members, I would literally find reasons not to reach out to them. It could be something they did to someone else, that has little to nothing to do with me; but it worked in my mind. I find my justification and I run all the way to the bank with it. I saw it was a problem when I was able to start saying that I had gone years without seeing some family members. The same thing with some friends. Now, I know that everyone won't be my best friend, but every person has a purpose in our lives. I was brushing off people right and left for no reason at all. Granted, everyone isn't meant to stick around, but I made my circle so small because my "pride" told me I didn't need them. My "pride" told me that they were friends with this person and I don't really mess with this person so I'll just cut them all off. What? It doesn't even make sense. I took grammar school thought processes to adulthood and it did nothing positive for me.

My intimate relationships got hit the hardest. I had girls who showed me so much love and appreciation. I can't even do it justice by attempting to explain how much they felt for me. I'm not saying it wasn't mutual, but my pride even got in the way of that! There would be times where I would turn off, emotionally, because my pride made me think that apologizing was a sign of weakness. I would do something wrong, find a way to make the cause of the issue be to the fault of the girlfriend, and then place blame and show apathy to the situation. This manipulative process was my safe zone. I know there lies a deeper issue and that's what my journey is about. Why do I cause pain, then place blame on the one that received the initial pain? It's like, I'm punishing you for being the one in pain. That wasn't right. I know that now. You don't do things like that to people you love. That isn't love. That isn't compassion. That isn't friendship on any level. When it comes to times like these, I need to take a step back and look at the situation. Am I the one in the wrong? Why does she feel like this? What part did I play in this? Has this happened before? How would I feel if this were done to me? In situations like this, exercising love breeds more love. Show compassion which leads to empathy which leads to care which leads to actions which leads right back to love. LOVE is the best thing out I promise! Love can mend the toughest of situations. Love can strengthen even the most fragile foundations. My pride was hurting the love I gave, which ended up hurting the love I received.

Humility speaks louder than Pride. Pride is just a large distraction, but it's really easy to drown out by even the smallest example of humility. This is what I want to be known for. This is how I want to be loved. This is how I want to love. This is how I WILL love. This is how I need to love. I need to give without expecting anything in return. This is listening without even looking like I'm judging. This is responding rather than reacting. As a man, it's easy to get caught up in pride. Men are supposed to do this and do that and take care of it all. Men are supposed to drive to the store when it's cold outside. Men are supposed to get out the car to go in to get the food. Men are supposed to be the shoulder to cry on. Men are supposed to carry the world on his shoulders and the groceries in his hand. There are many factors, both cultural and systematic, that enable this idea of being a "man" from childhood. I'm not saying men aren't supposed to be men, I'm just saying that pride comes from more than one source. I suppose I'm learning that it also takes a man to know how to take his responsibilities and expectations and find a balance for them. A man should be able to keep himself in check and not take all of these external factors for granted. It's amazing how much faith are put into men. It's up to a man to take the responsibilities with humility as Jesus did. I don't want to get religious or anything, but that's just the model I look to when I think of compassion and humility.

I really am thankful for the people in my life right now. Those who have left are gone for a reason, and those to come will arrive when necessary. I'll be patient.

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.

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