Realizing that I am naive and I am a hypocrite.

I started my first full time job this past week. As an INTJ, I started to make mental notes of everything that was happening. I couldn’t analyze them completely, thought, because I hadn’t had time alone to process things. In the bits and pieces that I was able to process I started realizing that my adoptive father’s statement that I was really naive was true. I also started seeing my hypocrisy in things that I thought about and probably stated in the past.

I saw my perspective change as the week progressed. I saw that employment is more complicated than what I thought (which was nothing because I didn’t have to think about it). I started seeing how the job would affect my capacity to do my own things, my capacity to keep certain commitments that I had in my church. I realized why some people in my church were so limited in what they could do. I realized that I was going to embark on the same type of behaviors that I had internally criticized. I saw how I was going to have to deal with my shortcomings as a person. I saw the imminent reality that I was going to have to treat myself in a more crueler manner than what I did with those people in my church.

Let me be clear: most of this conflict happened internally, so the only people (other than myself) who suffered were the versions of everyone else that exists in my mind.  Yet I feel bad, because I reacted out of ignorance and without mercy. I feel that a mental process is going to be required if I am going to be mentally okay. I don’t think that accepting my shortcomings as a human is enough to right my wrongs or to stop myself from treating myself with cruelty. Yet I know that recognition and confession of my shortcomings is a part of the process.

There is much I need to learn. As I go through the different stages of life I realize my past limitations. I realize how off my thoughts were from truth. I realize that every time that I say that I know and that I’m wise something new emerges that shows me that I am not. I may never be able to say that I’m wise and that I have knowledge with the certainty that that is true. I might always be naive and always be a hypocrite, but I know nothing.

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Disappointment and trustworthiness between Dad and I.

On this past week, I helped Dad (adoptive father) with a children’s ministry camp he and his wife coordinated. Well… I tried. I don’t think that I really helped… other than take pictures of everything. I am biased, though, because I am my worst critic. All I see, all I see first is every time that I failed him. All I see is every time that I disappointed him.

I think that I was more of a disturbance than a benefit. I was trusted with setting up the camps sound system on the first day. I failed miserably. I could state all the things that happened that I had no control over, but I know that I didn’t do the task correctly. The next day, I had to attend other matters and I couldn’t make it to the camp. I was told how efficient they were. I saw that my absence seemed to be better than my presence. So I made the decision that I was going to keep a distance and not try to help out with sound system. I decided to stick to the only thing that wasn’t done on that day: take pictures. On the next days that I attended, I saw how things ran smoother without me, something that I already knew. Yet Dad wanted me to help… even when I failed the first time.

I don’t get it. I can’t understand why even though I screwed up so many times in the last 5 days he still finds me trustworthy. Didn’t I prove that I am not? I know that I am not trustworthy. Why can’t he see it? Or is it that I am not seeing something that he sees?

What I am certain of is that trustworthiness has more to do with the person that is trusting than whoever is being trusted with something. Whether disappointment occurs has more to do with how the person who is wronged sees things than with the person that is doing wrong.

I don’t know whether Dad was/is disappointed in me for my actions or not. I might never know, because I don’t plan on taking about it. I am disappointed at myself and I don’t see myself as someone trustworthy to get things done right.

Stress

Stress is a well known bodily  response for me. I, therefore, go through a lot of anxiety. I don’t always go through hard situations, but my response tends to be one of stress. A response that I don’t manage well. I, as an INTJ, keep everything inside. I choose not to externalize stress because of the need/desire to be cool, even though it means that my body feels the stress physically.

Recently, I have gotten through a significant amount of stress. I have had to make important decisions with regards to my future. All that stress that I was holding inside made me susceptible to a specific type of pain. Now I have to keep my propensity to get anxiety in check, calming myself down as need be.

I kept my feelings of anxiety to myself, because of a thought that it is a sign of weakness to show stress and not be calm. Now, I realize that my action of putting a facade of calm even in the midst of extreme stress has made me weak.

I know that something has to change. I can’t just keep the same habit of stress suppression.  I have to find a way to release stress and really keep calm. I don’t know how to do it… not yet. Hopefully, God will help along the way.

When an INTJ is considering saying “I love you” to someone.

The World is ending.

Okay… maybe not. But it is a big deal. When an INTJ thinks about saying “I love you”, there is a significant amount of energy exerted. The action is one that follows an immense amount of reflection.

When an INTJ considers whether to intentionally say “I love you”, it  means that they have received a sign from their subconscious that they are approaching a level in a human dynamic that may earn that privilege. This is scary for an INTJ, because it means that they have to question whether the person that they are considering to say “I love you” to is the exception to the long-standing rules of restraint.

After an INTJ has deemed fit to admit that they love someone, then comes the second hard part: actually saying it to the person’s face. This ain’t easy, given that the correct timing might not come for a while and that the first time that the INTJ says “I love you” it will be a disaster. It is torture for INTJs to say things that they are unaccustomed to speak. Sometimes, we are willing to go through it because we know that it’s right and necessary to do so.

When we say I love you, we INTJs expect appreciation. The version of hell that is in our minds froze. The world in our minds have changed… as we knew it. Our minds explode.

When we INTJs  say we love you, we hope that you are patient and compassionate. We don’t have a lot of practice saying it. We are going to be self-conscious in delivery. Know that when we finally decide to say that we love you, we mean it.

What to get the person that apparently has everything…

  1. A hand-written note.
  2. Some weirdly random thing with a statement of what you envision them using it as.
  3. A gift card?
  4. AA batteries… can’t go wrong with that.
  5. AAA batteries… can’t go wrong with that either.
  6. C Batteries… You never know.
  7. D Batteries… In the 4th battery gift session.
  8. Car jump start cables thingy.
  9. One month of Netflix?
  10. A cell phone cover.
  11. A book?
  12. A pen?
  13. A Lion eraser.
  14. A Sharpie.
  15. A hand-made piece of art… that you did yourself.

What am I called to be by God.

I don’t know the full extent of my calling. I don’t want to know, because I might ruin it. Even though I don’t know my purpose yet, I know what I’m called to be right now… at least, I think that I do.

I’m called to be a leader. I’m called to be a force of calm and stability in the Youth Group and in the church. I’m called to lead people when no one else can do it better than me. I’m called to be a mentor. I’m called to be okay with being outside of my comfort zone for the sake of other people’s gain and healthy development.

I’m called to keep being a musician. That won’t change. How it will manifest itself might. It might be that in a couple of years I won’t be the main drummer in my church. It might be that I will have to take on a musician developer role. But my calling to be a musician won’t change any time soon.

I’m called to speak the truth in my church. I’m called to give God’s messages to my church without fear and with the right amount of humility. I’m called to watch out for the sanctity of the altar of my church and to speak up against it’s tarnishing. I am called to watch for what goes on spiritually in my church and share the observations.

I’m called to share the things that God has taught me over the years in my church. I am called to use the intelligence and the wisdom that God gave me for the benefit of my church. I am called to benefit others. I am called to be responsible for how my actions affect others. I am called to be the spiritual adult that God confirmed in me.

I’m called to be like Jesus… not be Jesus. I am called to allow God to sow in me Jesus’ character and have that become intermingled with the personality that God put in me when He created me. I am called to use my personality strengths in the accomplishment of my calling and to allow God to perfect His power in my weaknesses. I’m called to be the best version of myself that I can be… a task that can only be accomplished in Jesus.

Being on the other side of the piano after a sermon is over.

Last weekend I was in a Retreat that my church’s Youth Group Organized. I usually serve as a musician. At any post sermon ministry session, I’m playing the piano for at least 30 min. and I have to not be totally present in what’s going on on the other side because my piano playing has to be on point. Then there is the fact that I have to hide my sometimes real desires for prayer because I have to serve. I’m not complaining. I am just stating the facts.

On Saturday, July 2nd, a preacher came with his musician family. This meant that I didn’t have to think about being a musician after the sermon. I never took this as a excuse to not do anything, as I took the roll of paper towel (that I started to bring after finding out that the Director never plans for it and ends up using toilet paper) and administered it to the Youth.

It felt weird being on the other side of the piano, because I’m not used to the task. Yet, it felt like I needed to be on the other side once. I needed to understand that role. I needed to take a break from being the musician and just sing out to the Lord. I needed to take on a different role in leadership. The break felt healthy.

I realized that it’s not that easy being on the other side. I realized that one needs practical training to be able to respond to it well… training that I don’t have. I realized that I got distracted at times (as it happens to me in music) and that distractions on the other side can lead to real injury, because of the more physical nature of watching out for falling people or people dancing in the spirit. I also realized that if I as a leader stayed in the wrong place long enough people in the pulpit would interpret it as I want prayer. I am not going to deny prayer if God has something for me, but in that position I am not going to look for or expect prayer when other people are waiting for it.

I would be on the other side again if the situation calls for it, i. e. there are other musicians there. I learn other skills and have certain privileges that I loose in music.