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Community Centred


Socialising is not as easy as it seems sometimes, with society made up of so many pockets that have their own culture, ways of doing things, and individual things to know about each person and how they communicate. It could take a lifetime to earn these slices of knowledge, or it might never happen. As I venture further away from the bubble and deeper into society, I feel utter confusion. As much as I try and shake it off, the constantly-changing rules and rules of engagement can be overwhelming.

Being part of a church has always been a struggle. Part of me felt like I was always the black sheep, not looking like them, talking like them, or having the security in faith as many who had known the church since their early life stages. I never wanted to trade my individuality for theirs, but I envied the ease in which they communicated and resonated with each other. How could I engage appropriately? I had a history of fumbles, embarrassments, and general faux pas. It became an impasse when I found that nothing I did changed how they interacted with me. Some had found a sense of entitlement to demand how I reacted to events, how I looked, believed, and interacted with people outside the church. Whether they were right or not, Iwanted to break away from these guidelines. The last straw was hearing the assumptions that were made about me, despite how much I'd worked at changing over the last four years.

I left. Two words that has affected everything I knew about socialising. To some it felt I had quit trying or had given up my faith, but it wasn't the case. It was hard to be a follower of the leader (Jesus) when his representatives made me feel so unworthy and unwanted. You can't feel love and worship if all you notice is the stares, unkind words and reprimanding just because things didn't go to plan as you'd hoped. I'm not saying everyone was the same, only a select few showed ''love'' in ways that caused my self-reproach. One cannot change or develop when they're feeling the pressure of stereotypes that nobody every amends.

I left for a fresh start. Find my footings in a community that could give me a fresh start and learn who I really was. People who were curious enough to be discovering who I am, rather than determining it. Starting again didn't mean I stopped caring about those I'd left, only that I needed space from expectations. Life has thrown me so many reprints and I was still reading through and assimilating them. The shelf was full -- there's no room for more books!

When I spoke to the pastor, he challenged my decision, hoping to entice me, but I couldn't. We'd been in that position before and I'd returned, only to find myself stuck in the same position. Growth stopped; faith reduced. I had to change it; work differently this time. I have vices to work through, one of which is co-dependence. Being part of a group that wants to take over my determining goals, making choices, and regulating my soul ties will only feed that. No, that's not the way forward. Even if it was just a temporary leave, at least returning would have broken those patterns and I could re-establish the rules of the game. Assertiveness would have its' time, but not right now. There had to be a re-creation of interacting and that can't be an immediate thing without contemplation, assessment and a re-focusing.

I'm not sure what the Lord has in store for next, only that He is in charge. I've never doubted this, just feared what my end would be. However, now I do not worry, as I don't have people constantly reminding me of my faults, corrections or needs of further development. It's not their responsibility -- it's mine. God will have his way whatever they do or say anyway. And all I have to do is submit for it all to work according to His plans.

There is an air of apology to my people that I had to do this. Also an apology to myself that I didn't do this earlier. Another apology to God that I allowed others to pull me further from him. As the wall between God and I falls down, my faith, purpose, and comfort will build up. That's the goal for now.

I've never said I know everything, or that I'll always do everything perfect. I've only ever promised to be myself. That's all anyone can ever promise. Change and development are just added extras that happen by accident when we are being ourselves, as we are able to be gently influenced by the nuances of life, love and self. These things can't happen under duress.

Launching Hope
Old Patterns, New Inspirations