1) An adult who forgets how emotionally traumatic teenage years can be. I can see now that in the larger scope of life no one will care if I wore tennis shoes or all star converse to high school, but at age 15 it seemed like an issue of epic proportions. The same goes for eating food that was ‘uncool’ at the lunch table, or forgetting to shave my armpits on days I had gym class. Although later in life I can see it really didn’t matter at all, at the time I felt like my world was crashing down around me. I pledge to remember that emotional distress and try to be understanding to the seemingly ridiculous emotional overreactions of the teenagers around me. Things just seem like the end of the world sometimes at that age, and until the prefrontal cortex finishes growing (mine still has a few years to go by the way, our brains are still growing until age 25-27), it may remain difficult to see things in proper perspective.
For those of you that are not familiar with brain anatomy but are curious, a visual and a brief overview of the prefrontal cortex can be found here: http://www.brainexplorer.org/glossary/prefrontal_cortex.shtml
2) Someone who continually creates my own drama, complains about it to anyone who will listen and then enjoys basking in any sympathy and attention offered as a result. I have nothing against those who have genuine issues, and am happy to provide a listening ear. I however refuse to be one who continuously drags others down with issues of my own creation. Some issues will happen; and there is nothing wrong with asking for help with them. Other issues can and should be prevented before they occur. Thankfully, concepts like mercy and grace are present to remind me to show compassion to those who do not hold themselves to this same standard. They still need love and acceptance, just like everyone does. I am not excused from giving that simply because I find their behavior frustrating and unnecessary.
3) A busybody. I have nothing against being open and honest, or even being frank in many settings. But there is a difference between being frank and prying for information into private matters and then spreading it around the family, the neighborhood, the church, or the whole town. I very much dislike those who make a habit of gossiping about things in other people’s lives that they disprove of. If we are going to gossip, lets make it about something positive, shall we? ” Do you know what I heard the other day about Suzie? She took her wheelchair bound neighbor to the store to get groceries. Don’t you think that was a thoughtful thing to do?” And leave it at that. There is no need to spread negativity.
4) Someone who is too embarrassed to be spontaneous, playful and downright silly sometimes. I dislike people who get too stuffy for their own good. There should be no shame in using our imaginations, giggling until we cry and exploring this big world with an expression of wide-eyed wonder. These are things from childhood that should never die. They make life more fulfilling, friendships richer, and the parents more able to connect with and understand their children.
5) An individual who refuses to use their gifts because I feel that they are inadequate. Though I think this is something we all wrestle with from time to time, I believe we are all specifically gifted to bless others at specific times. Our seemingly inadequate gift may be exactly what someone else is needing; and if we choose to withhold it, that other person looses out. I am on a journey learning to trust God to supply me with what I am to give to the world. In my weakness He is strong, and what he gives me will be enough to meet the needs I am appointed to. I must choose to have faith to use my gifts, giving what I have to Him and trusting that it will be enough.
This is a pastel painting I did a few days ago. I often feel inadequate as an artist, but I have recently decided to take up my pastels and paint anyway. I believe that even just the enjoyment of painting is a gift, and I shouldn’t waste it.