I don’t like to be misunderstood. One of my friend’s knows this about me and at times she tells me things about myself with the caveat, “I know you don’t like to be told how you are, but…” It’s true, I don’t like to be told how I am. I don’t like it when people say, “Cari, you are this or that, you think this way or you act this way or respond in that way.” Just typing those sentences I feel my posture change and I get feisty.
Lately I’ve felt misunderstood. To be honest I’d love to be able to go prove myself and recount all the ways I was misunderstood and prove a case for the opposite, but that is not mine to do at this point. So, I am going to write here because it’s what’s on my mind as I tell my truth.
I care for people. I care deeply, not because I want to fix people, but because I love people so deeply that I so badly want to show people all the time how important they are to this world.
I do not always encourage or pray for people because I see a lack or a need or brokenness of any kind. But I encourage and pray for people because too often we only pray and encourage when there is need. I believe it’s important to act and prayers simply because I love.
I am awkward when I don’t know the expectation in relationships. I am very strategic in life, so if there are questions about where I stand, or who I am to someone, I become awkward and do not bring my free self, but a guarded self because I don’t know how to engage. When I know my role and where I stand relationship is remarkably free and easy and I’m confident and secure.
I may speak of my emotion or thoughts at various points, but those are emotions and thoughts are not the always the constant reality. Sometimes it’s just what I feel in a moment. It’s important to be able to feel and speak in a moment, even if the thought is a passing thought or emotion. Those things do not have to be defining.
I can handle the truth from others. Even if it is uncomfortable, I’d rather have questions asked and uncomfortable things spoken than to be in a place of unknowing. This is a new truth for me. I have often assumed that people see me and the relationship I have with them with the same eyes and same honesty as me. I am learning that there are times when two different relationships are happening simultaneously. The importance of honesty in every relationship, the importance of not pretending, is paramount. I’m actually quite thankful for this lesson. Assumptions are hurtful, even when they are positive. Truth always leads towards life.
I often look through people to their hearts, past the exterior of what is in front of me. This is both good and at times very challenging. I think there are times where I see someone’s heart and jump to conclusions. This would mean that I can make assumptions or speak to things that are only meant to be seen for prayer as opposed to be spoken. I’m continuing to learn.
I share successes or exciting things not because I need others to be impressed or I gain anything from them, but because I get so excited and just have to share.
I cry. A lot. Not because I’m overwhelmed or distraught, but because I express emotion through tears. Happy ~ cry. Sad ~ cry. Stressed ~ cry. Peaceful ~ cry. Frustrated ~ cry. See something beautiful ~ cry. Hear a sad story ~ cry. See Jesus ~ cry. This is part Cari and part Jenkins. I come from a long line of criers.
I want good for people and the world so much that I get very passionate about it. I don’t do this because I feel it’s mine to fix, but because the brokenness is real and I long for a better world. I long for things to be made right. I need to learn how to engage the sadness of the brokenness and let it go.
I do not have it all together.
Faith is not always easy for me.
I listen to Jesus, but sometimes I hear wrong.
I need people to better me.
I am constantly learning.
I fear pride and when I see it in me I grieve.
I get disappointed.
I’m not always strong.
I at times question God’s goodness.
I get mad at God.
I sometimes think that God created me just to use me, not to delight in me.
I at times think if I was just this or that, that my life would look different.
I love Jesus so much it consumes me.
I see everything … yes I actually mean everything …okay to the best of my knowledge… everything… through the eyes of Jesus and the metaphor of life in Him, knowing there are two realities. I live in the reality of this world and the Kingdom.
I hold joy and sorrow simultaneously. And I do not like when I am boxed into one or the other.
I hold faith, belief and unbelief at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive.
I am conservative and liberal at the same time.
I do my best to stumble towards Jesus, to be like him and I need help along the way. I need your honesty, questions, challenges, input and feedback to grow. I invite it.
I think I dislike being misunderstood because it shows me that the other, the one misunderstanding and assuming, didn’t take the time to ask me questions or really get to know me. Or, they got to know a me that doesn’t exist and never asked to see if their perception was accurate.
BUT… This dislike is entirely me focused and that is the most difficult part of being misunderstood. It reveals my pride. So Lord, today I pray the words of St Francis, “May I seek first to understand rather than to be understood.”
This is my confession.