(This is a reply to Marcy’s last comment that got out of hand. I guess I’m working through some of these ideas in the non-work environment.)
I never delete anything unless it’s known spam or using some really abusive language. (I did take down my most popular post because it was attracting too much foul language; and I have edited obscenities out of comments.) So I didn’t delete anything anyone had written in the comments: I just hadn’t gotten to approving comments. You should be whitelisted as a previously approved commenter, but something happened on the backend.
I totally agree with acknowledging your unmet needs. And if you can see why they are not being met, you can reframe your situation which may lead to less stress. It won’t make all things better but it can help us to have realistic expectations of others and what they are capable to giving us.
The Brave New World feeling comes from some core unspoken values that permeate (especially) American thought. Because many of our beliefs — including those we have integrated into our religious beliefs — reject any idea of Nature in shaping us, we feel we must reject any ideas that imply that we have a Nature inherent in our creation.
For me, I only care about freedom and liberation. These ideas can liberate. “The greater the [giftednes], the bigger the curse,” as one of my colleagues says. When we accept the differences and understand at what level another can accept and understand us, and accept that this situation is no one’s fault, we can move forward in grace to fuller relationship.
Is it really all that different than the Biblical teaching that some are given “greater” spiritual gifts, and at the same time there is no slave nor free, Jew nor Gentile, male nor female — all are one in Christ? The Good Book says that our differences matter in our life together but fade to nothingness at the cross and the table, where we are nothing but fully adopted sons of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
An example: A friend of mine is bigger than I am. I have to accept that I will not always understand him, or be of any use to him. At times it can be tiring to be with him because he can talk fully at his level, and that just doesn’t fit into my little mind. I can reframe this situation and not get upset or feel threatened by him. He in turn can breath out his frustration when I don’t understand him. I know that he loves me and seeks my best, as I do him. We can encourage each other in Christ, accepting that sometimes our encouragement can go astray. In Christ we have fellowship, because we are brothers. And we accept the limitations of our differences.
So they aren’t minions or subordinates, just people with a different gifting from our Father. Some are given 1 talent of silver, some 5, and some 10. We are rewarded not for the quantity we produce but for putting to work fully what we are given.
Everyone, everyone should enjoy dignified work and relationships. If you recognize who you are, you do not have to denigrate those who do work you would find demeaning, and restore their dignity as fellow creations and bearers of the very image of God. And if you’re bigger than them, you have the greater responsibility for dignifying and respecting their work and lives.
Virtue is not attached to “bigger” in this sense. Hospitality can be practiced by us all, and perhaps I’m arguing for a deeper understanding of how we can be hospitable to each other. Knowing who you are can help you understand and accept the hospitality others give you. Another friend is extraordinarily gifted. He speaks of his shame at getting angry at people in a previous church. They really tried to understand him, tried to offer hospitality, even though he kept trying to stuff too big of things into their minds. He now understands what a great gift that was, that they continued to love him in spite of that.
Joe seems like an incredibly gifted therapist, and he must have brought a deep insight into your life. You were blessed to work with him. I pray that you find one again who can get you.
Blueberries in woman’s hands. © donatellasimeone. Via Fotolia.com