Tuesday, March 6

conditioned

Conditioned. To a coach, means in shape, fit, toned. To a stylist, means silky, smooth, healthy hair. To employers, a condition might mean a circumstance, or an agreement. To a mom, it might mean something more like they finally grew out of diapers. Conditioned can mean a multitude of things, and different things to different people.

Lately, I have been getting used to the physical conditioned. I'm enjoying the early morning workouts with hubby, the good I feel right after the burn, and the muscles that are shooing away all those calories for me when I am not. I'm noticing (took long enough) that being conditioned comes with a price of hard work and commitment; a can-do attitude, and the willingness to keep trying.

I also started noticing the conditioned I feel in marriage. I thought, for some odd reason, I was fully prepared to share each and every day with another human, get them to know all my thoughts and expectations, and to clean up the smelly boy germs. (I mean that in a sweet, loving way.) Wrong-O! I had no idea the  mindset that being married asks for; the openness, the giving in selfless ways, and the being prepared for things less than perfect. And, as my mind and heart catch up with the heavy, albeit, blessing of a load, I find that I'm being conditioned to love in different ways, think in different ways, and act in different ways. The me I am beginning to find, was tucked in there all along, but had no idea what any of this meant when she was single.

But the conditioned that I find most troublesome, the hardest to defeat and change, is the conditioned that our hearts acquire. You see, I have somehow become a "people-pleaser". Somewhere along the line, I conditioned myself into believing that if I give people what they want, act how they think I should act, or give all the right answers and smile all of the time, that they'll probably like me.

I'll be liked?

How awful.

How awful to believe that the only way you'll be liked is by being who someone else needs you to be. How awful to believe that you and your own hard work are not enough, that you have to do and be a little more.

And it is not that I don't enjoy being friendly with people, smiling often, or take pride in a job well done and in working hard. Those, and even making people happy, are all great qualities; qualities that can rarely be taught, qualities that derive strait from a God-created, good heart.

But then, there’s the guilt. It is the guilt that says, "If you don't do this, they'll be mad," and "if you don't look like that or act this way or say yes to everything, you won't have any friends left, Alyssa." And really, where I discovered such hateful thoughts?

And where did the coaches, or managers, or bookies of the Saints get conditioned to believe that if they didn't harm other teammates, competitors, humans, for crying out loud! they might never win, may never be successful, may never get the fame they hoped for? To read it, to hear someone else talk about the evil lies planted in their hearts, is almost disgusting. The hairs on the back of my neck actually stand up when I read the articles and comments about the Football Bounties. But is my lie any less harmful? Probably not.

Expectations have been the gasoline in my fire of guilt. Expecting that things will always be perfect, expecting that my marriage or job or life will look like someone else's, expecting that I will be treated exactly fair by the people I treat fairly, have all been little fumes that flicker and tell me something must be a bit wrong with me.

I don't know much about this little lie, but here is what I do know; God did not make anything wrong. He did not goof up somewhere along the way, miss a vital instruction in the assembly, or forget to leave out the "normal" gene. In fact, He creates everything perfect. He created me, you, all things glorious and perfect. It is this world, this broken, lost, confused and misguided world that starts to bring in disease, lies, hurt, shame, guilt, and fear. God made the Earth perfect, and a perfect place for us (I mean, just look at the mountains and the sun today; they were made for one another), but it is the sin of the world that has thrown us a little left of center.

He tells me I am loved, He tells me I am His, He tells me I am human. I am human and it is alright to not be perfect, to not have it all figured out, and to not be 'liked' by everyone around me. He tells me that it is not by works, but by grace and faith that I have been saved, and will continue to be saved. I cannot do anything to find more grace or more love, because I am already given grace and largely loved by the Creator of All Things Good.

And so, the pattern stops today, the lies lose effect today. Today is the day you choose to ask who you are to Him, what you mean to Him, and to tell those lies to pack their things, and go. There is no room, in this heart of mine or yours, for lies because your heart and mine are spoken for. 

(It should also impress my husband that I blogged about sports today. Just sayin'.)

1 comment:

  1. I am impressed. :) This is a fantastic blog anyway, but the sports reference was a little extra nugget of gold ;)

    I love your heart, and I love you.

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