Love blinds. Emotion blinds. Ignorance doesn't know and apathy doesn't care.
"Can beauty come out of ashes?" - Ashes, Celine Dion
I have so much at my fingertips directly from my heart but it's so difficult to get that out on a page.
You can't wake someone who is pretending to be asleep. And I know that, so I don't know why it makes me so angry when they won't wake up. I suppose it's not my job to keep people awake, to keep them on the straight and narrow. I'm not God. But when does my personal responsibility end and theirs begin?
What do you see?
"Everything. That is my curse." - Sherlock Holmes
It is better to see everything and feel it all than to be ignorantly blind and not have to suffer seeing anyone else's pain.
Maybe they are blind because they wouldn't be able to handle sight.
Can alcohol and sweet food bear your burden? Or do they hide, for a little while, the ache, the pain, the feelings, the want, the desires you are too afraid to endure? How does numbing heal a wound if you just let it fester? I can't bear your burden if you aren't vulnerable.
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2
I've had to do hard things. Everyone has had to do hard things. You just have to be brave enough.
"If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small." - Proverbs 24:10
Do you think you can cure your inner longings with yourself? Like trying to chase out darkness with more darkness.
"But Jonas had experienced real sadness. He had felt grief. He knew that there was no quick comfort for emotions like those." - The Giver, Louis Lowry
There's no quick fix to the heart. Maybe pain is a good thing. It wakes me up. Like falling in a dream will jolt the conscience back to reality. And I see what I don't want to become.
Feeling the pain of loneliness makes me realize that, no, I don't want a desperate relationship, a lonely marriage, a life filled with regret.
Feeling the pain of unfulfilled desires makes me grow more discontent with worldly solutions and want more of what is holy.
Feeling the pain of silence forces me to seek to listen to God's voice,
Feeling the pain of distanced friendships makes me value all the more the people who are here now.
Feeling tired makes me value my time more and appreciate where I've spent it.
Feeling pain makes me stronger because I've faced it and haven't tried to numb or ignore it.
"I don't have a machine heart." - Kelsea Ballerini
I see so much that is not right. Not pure and holy as it should be. I see it within myself and I see it in others. You can't be truly and honestly comforted in the darkness.
Pride, or more accurately, self, blinds more people than love and emotion. You can't see because you don't want to see. You don't wake because you want to believe you are asleep. You try to fool everyone into believing what you want them to believe about you while you're pushing down the truth within, making the biggest fool out of yourself.
It's dangerous to hide the truth. That's why being around genuine people makes you feel so vulnerable because you know they see right through your pride.
"There is a condition worse than blindness and that is seeing something that isn't there."
You are delusional if you think convincing yourself against the truth will reward you with what you really want. Motivation by lack will always result in more lack, not fulfillment.
What are you really seeking?
It occurs to me often to question my own motivations and reasons. Like trying to solve a mystery, constantly on the lookout for hidden agendas and twisted perceptions.
"Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
You are not your own. You belong to God, and His Holy Spirit resides within you. What a glorious thing! To be motivated by the fact that the living God has chosen you as a holy temple for his Spirit, therefore choose wisely and act holy. That takes a lot of God-given wisdom, an open heart, eyes to see, ears to hear, a will to understand.
You can't love what you fear. You can’t trust what you are afraid of.
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of love, and of power, and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7
Sometimes doing hard things requires a certain level of trust.
Growing up, my parents had given me some advice and/or instructions that I did not always understand but it was up to me to trust that they loved me and they knew what was best. Looking back, I can see how they were right and had I ignored their advice, I wouldn't be in the place I am now.
One of these situations, I had taken a liking to a fellow at the church we had been attending. He and his family had been through some rough times and I really felt for them. He actually had a girlfriend at the time (and I think that relationship was a close to the edge of ending) but that didn't stop me from messaging back and forth with him often, and sharing some of the stuff we were going through. My mum knew about this and how much I had come to like him, but gently showed me some of the things that I had chosen to ignore: I liked him out of sympathy, he already had a girlfriend (you'd think that'd be a pretty obvious one), what kind of father would he be to our children?, his maturity level, the dreams I would give up for it to work. A whole lot of stuff.
It's amazing the things/issues/sins/insecurities you will justify to control a situation to be in your favour and for your own personal gain. That wasn't love. But I blinded myself to what I could already see because what self wanted was bigger than what Christ wanted. I don't even think God got much of a look-in with that episode except as a nice li'l topic to talk about.
That's also what you call spiritual blindness. It blinds you to the truth, it blinds you to God's word, it blinds you to His spirit, to God himself.
The truth, because justification and defensiveness. God's word, because in my infatuation, anything can be twisted to maintain the illusion. His spirit, because of the previous two, the resistance to His promptings lessens and I can't hear. To God himself, because I have committed idolatry by placing me, myself and I upon the throne as God.
I've had this frustrating topic floating around in my head for weeks now, looking for solutions, looking for answers.
Spiritual blindness.
How can I avoid it? I won't always have time to realize where I've gone wrong, where I've messed up, where to find the signs to get me back on the straight and narrow, or time to find someone who will actually persistently tell me the black and white truth until I get it. I can't waste time not following Christ.
And that's what scares me the most - wasting time.
I regret so much that I can't change. But a mistake repeated is not helpful to anyone.
I guess this isn't so much about not making mistakes - I'm getting better at knowing how perfect I'm not - but about learning from them, to gain wisdom from experience.
The main points that I've come down to, after a lot of different conversations, prayer and a lot of thinking, are these few.
1. Prideless Honesty
To be honest without pride is not always easy, but it's confronting your deepest beliefs and cutting to the core, which is the only place to start. Fabricated honesty will only get you fabricated answers to your fabricated questions - if you are only asking people who agree with and wholeheartedly support you. When you don't really want to know but you ask anyway and get answers that you don't want to hear from people who /don't/ agree with you, you're just asking for an I-told-you-so when you eventually figure it out. BE. HONEST. Admit what you really think/believe. It takes a great deal of trust, a great deal of self awareness and self confrontation of things you'd rather avoid, but you will be grateful when you look back and see that you have maintained honesty through it all. "Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death." - Proverbs 21:6
2. Wise Mentors
It's the last thing you will "feel" like doing, finding people who will challenge you spiritually, mentally, etc, on every level. It's easy to be with people who support everything you are doing, especially when they are on the same page spiritually and emotionally, but you become the average of the five closest people you hang around. If you want to be a better person, hang around people who are better than you and place yourself strategically where you are able to be advised, mentored and confronted.
3. Keep Seeking
Keep reading. Keep praying. Spiritual eyes lose their sight when their focus is not maintained upon Christ and Him crucified. Go to the scriptures without idols in your heart. Again, this takes self awareness of what you are actually seeking - Christ, not self. It will take longer to walk through the valley of spiritual blindness if you have nothing to work with. "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." - James 1:21-22
4. Know Yourself
This probably should have been one of the first ones on the list. But they all work together, from what I've experienced. Know yourself. Know the reasons why you act the way you do, figure out what things you are afraid of, find the cause of your defensiveness towards the truth, get to the roots of the symptoms delaying your growth, ask yourself why you are so resistant to your gut, the spirit, your innate knowing of what is right. Know yourself. This can only be truly sought through with God as your guide. Otherwise you'll run yourself in circles with no answers to your humanness. You can't fix humanness with more humanness. You can't fix dumb decisions with more dumb decisions. You can't save time by wasting more.
This life you have to live is so precious. Don't waste it on yourself. "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." - Matthew 6:3
"we cannot change people,
we can only love them.
hopefully we love hard enough
that they want to do better,
not for you, but for themselves." - Alex Elle
And finally. God redeems. Mistakes we do make, mistakes I have made, things I've done, the things I /haven't/ learned from, the things I'm yet to learn... there is grace - and it is poured out upon us continually as we learn to learn to learn. I'm ever grateful for that. To know that God will never give up on me. It makes me want all the more to live a life that is righteous and holy, permeated with such unconditional love. Remember His grace today, and be encouraged.
"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." - Luke 6:38

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That’s when my pride 
rang the doorbell 
to my false humility:
all the guilt had piled on
the coals upon my head,
and all I knew was that 
I knew full well they couldn’t see
that their intention of praise and glory,
I had turned to shame instead.
So honestly I opened up 
my infected wounded pride,
and everyone saw to their surprise,
the angry child inside.
For I’d often take to beating her
when the golden idol flaked,
and giving her the third degree
for whatever was at stake.
But the mask was never guilty,
it was glad to hear applause;
whenever it would show its face,
the crowds would beg for more.
Yet I never thought to consider myself
an enemy to love;
my pride became the crowds I pleased,
not the audience above.
For as the whipping girl hides away,
and sees my hollow victories,
she shouldn’t have to bruise herself
to find the gracious me.
I know we all have better sides
that we use to gain approval,
but that little girl is really me!
How could I be so brutal?
So maybe if I’m a little kind,
and lay my weapons down,
maybe she could hold my hand
as I help straighten her crown.

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Selfish Love

Do you see the way your love is all about you?

When they say self love,
this isn’t what they mean.

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Break Perfectionism

I'm tired of being ashamed of the words I write that I know to be true.

Break perfectionism.

There are things you can’t do perfectly.

Do them anyway.

Break perfectionism by celebrating with the God who celebrates you, despite your imperfection.

Read out loud, though you stutter. (exodus 4:12)

Be honest about how you feel, though it seems silly. 

Write and share blog posts & words you’ve written even when you don’t think it will make a difference because you could be saying some things wrong and people will miss the point because you’re not articulating yourself properly.

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Prodigal Me

He sadly shakes his head as he watches me walk down the road;
Away from his heart, away from my home,

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Where do I find the rest I need

Not to satisfy my selfish greed

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Heart of Glass

Where are the cracks in your heart of glass

your failures and your flaws?

I'm only able to love what you show me

not what's behind those walls

Do you see this love for what it is

or as only gold for fools?

Do you think that showing brokenness

would be breaking all the rules?

But how can we love a perfect mask

when we know it hides a soul,

A heart with cracks and beautiful scars

that is worth the love and gold?

~ olivia jane

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