A few nights ago she was telling me about this Christian book/video series she's been working on all summer called "Boundaries." Maybe you are familiar with it; I've heard of it. She says to me, "I'm going to risk hurting your feelings when I tell you this, but when I saw it on this video, I thought about you."
OK, what is it?
"They were talking about this lady who came in for counseling who wanted to lose weight, had tried most everything, but just could not lose the weight. The counselor, who had actually known the lady as a friend for evidently a long time, told the lady that food was not her issue. Her issue was this: she was a liar. According to the counselor, the lady had lived her life not saying no when she really wanted to say no, not expressing her true issues and concerns in order to keep the peace, and not doing the things that she honestly, in her heart, wanted to do," Linda said.
The you're a liar phrase caught me so off guard that I really didn't catch the specifics of how the counselor related that lying-problem to food and the lady's weight-problem. I'm sure it had something to do with setting boundaries, an unhealthy desire to please people, stuffing down your emotions with food, blah blah blah...
Oh, shut up, Linda. Why do you always have to make my weight your business? You've got enough issues to work on yourself! I thought to myself.
I sweetly replied, "Oh, what's so offensive about that, Linda?" (CHA-CHING!....What was it she said about lying and not expressing your true thoughts in order to keep the peace?)
So I've been thinking on this. Am I a liar? Me? Really?
No. Surely not.
Tonight at church after Bible study class was finished, a lady told me that there was a box for me upstairs in the sanctuary. I went up to the sanctuary to get the box to whom we will now refer to as "Big Box."
There were a couple of the band members on the stage getting ready for band practice. After we exchanged our quick "Hey, how are you" greetings, I picked up Big Box and headed toward the door, dreading the trip back downstairs. Band member Brandon, who is, by the way, one of the sweetest guys I know, says to me "You need some help?"
"Oh, no thanks, I'm good," I said.
CHA-CHING! Liar, liar, pants on.....
Well, you know the rest....
So what was that all about? Brandon offered to carry Big Box. Yes, I wanted help transporting Big Box. Why could I not say so?
Big Box and I finally made it downstairs to the first floor via the elevator. Soon I was approached by Tyler, equally as sweet, who offered to carry Big Box to my car. This time I let him.
Now what was so hard about that?
This issue of verbalizing what I feel or think is hard for me. In my mind, the line is blurry between being true to myself and being self-absorbed. We don't always need to say what we are thinking, right? We do need to run our words through some sort of mental filtering system before we speak, no? What's so wrong with keeping my true thoughts and feelings to myself in order to keep the peace? What's so bad about just performing a task myself, no matter if the task is difficult, in order to not interrupt another person?
Because it's really frustrating. Wow, it truly is emotionally frustrating. And I've been doing it my whole life, as long as I can remember. It's like trying live my life with a perpetual Big Box in my arms.
I wonder what God's Word says about that? I have some good ideas about, but I can't say them...yet. I suppose we'll need to study on that subject a little more.
That Linda... I wonder how she'll feel about this subject? I guess I'll never know the real truth about what she's thinking! She's such a liar!