Here I sit, with tears in my eyes. The pain is too much to hold them in... but the pride is too much to let them out. What's right?
Is it right to cry? Isn't it a weakness? Isn't it an insult? How is it relying on God, if you can't even hide tears?
If you let out the tears, and others see... what then? If you can hide the emotion, then nobody else is bothered, and the only place you have to turn is to God. Right?
But what about tears being a natural relief? What about them helping/soothing? God gave the ability to cry for a reason. Is it a sin not to cry?
Is crying really the issue? I think not. Rather, the issue is pride.
It seems there should be nothing left of pride with all that has happened. There always comes a breaking point... and I reached it months ago. Why this pride still?
When you're sweeping the floor, merrily singing, thinking about the next job that has to be done, and you look up... right at a picture you had forgotten was there. A picture you wish you never had... yet could never do without. The picture of a dear friend, from years ago... the picture of a face that was ever bright, and happy. A face that ever beamed life, and enthusiasm. Eyes that were full of innocence and truth. That face that is now covered in guilt, and shame. Those eyes that once spoke truth and innocence, are now dead, and empty. The face that was the picture of life and youth; now looks ten years older, and has a deadness to it. That picture is of one who was the living example of honor and truth.... that picture is all that's left of them. And it brings memories to mind that nearly kill you from the overwhelming pain of loss.
Suddenly the tears well up, and blind you. It was sudden, and unexpected. But it's showing weakness to allow those tears to fall. So there you are frantically blinking back the tears, and hurriedly going on with your work, trying to forget... trying to act as if nothing were wrong.
Is that right? Is it being strong? Or is it being stubborn and prideful?
I'm ashamed to say... it's being stubborn and prideful. Sure, we must be strong for others. But being "strong" (properly called "stubborn") when there is no one to be strong for? That's pure pride. It's pure idiocy.
Good grief, even Jesus wept! He wept over the loss of a friend! He cried in front of people!
It's not wrong to show emotion, if it's honest grief, and not just putting on a show to get sympathy.
It is possible to cry, and still be strong. Crying strengthens. It's a "pressure release valve".
You can only build up so much pressure before something explodes. And honestly, you have to pity the poor person that happens to be there when it blows!
It's so much better to quietly release some of the grief, than to hide it all away, just to "blow up" at someone later on.
I used to think I would be an exception to the rule. - Well, I'll be tough, and not cry, no matter what. It can be done, and I'll do it. - Hog wash! It doesn't work. We're all the same.
Pride is stupid, and I am if I retain it.
Pride (in me) stems from fear. I'm always fearing what others will think. What others will say. But what does it matter? All that matters is what God thinks, what God says.
That's not to say we should just live our lives how we want, and think; Oh, well God knows my heart, so it doesn't matter what others think. No. That's not it at all. We're to live according to God's word, and be honorable, diligent, truthful, faithful. All of those things. We are to have a clean conscience before God. But our lives are to reflect the image of Christ to those around us.
In all that's happened, I've been blaming myself for things beyond my control. Things that were never my burden to carry, and I've been carrying them. I've been trying to do God's job!
In trying to bear these burdens that were never mine to bear, I've been basically telling God that I can't trust Him to deal with it. Which comes back to pride.
When I realize that I can't bear these things, then I feel a total failure because I couldn't do it. And I have trouble forgiving myself. And since I can't forgive myself, I have trouble accepting forgiveness of others. I don't feel worthy of forgiveness.
I know what I am. I don't deserve forgiveness.
God has been bringing me to the point where I see I've got to forgive others, no matter what it is. I can't hold it against them. It's not right.
So why do I hold it against myself? Why do I not forgive myself? Doesn't that go right along with forgiving others?
Here's why I don't forgive myself. Because it seems totally selfish to think of self at all. It seems totally wrong to say/think anything good about oneself. So, therefore it would be equally wrong to forgive myself, because that would be something good towards me, and it's not deserved; it's totally selfish, so it's wrong. (Don't ask why on any of that. I've already traced the thoughts back this far, and it's absolutely annoying how stupid it is. There is no desire to find just how shallow it really is)
As a dear friend pointed out. That's an insult to God. That in itself is wrong.
It's extremely humbling to trace your thoughts all the way back, and find just how shallow you really are. It's extremely annoying to find just how silly it all is. But if we don't get to the root of the problem, there will never be any fixing it.
Oh, to be humble, and willing enough to let Christ do His work in me.
I've been SO blessed to have friends, who when they had every right to walk away from me, and shun me for my stupidity, and lack of wisdom; chose to forgive me.
This one thing that was said, is something I, myself have said before... but never could expect to hear myself. "Please know that I completely forgive you, and I hold nothing against you."
Isn't that what God does too?
Something a friend said that really struck me... "I've come to realize that many people esteem me much higher than they would if they saw what was in my mind."
With a God like Him, and the sort of friends He sends, what is there to fear? Why let pride rear it's ugly head? God is so good to those who love Him. :)
Now, having said all of that, if you'll excuse me, I believe it's time for a good cry. ;)