Monday, May 17, 2010

It's been brought to my attention that my journals need a little work lately. I would agree with that assessment as I didn't even care for the last entry I made and I wrote the darn thing.  This week is about change, not just doing the norm, not just 'feeling good' about something, it's about actual real change.  People can read about me in my journal but they really only know what I choose to let them know. Even at that it can be manipulated so that unless someone's very clever or taking time to read between the lines what's written appears mean one thing while the writer intentionally misleads the reader. How often do we do that in our every day life? We say the right things, we act how we're expected but when it really comes right down to the nitty gritty how much of that is honest and how much of that is a cover to distract from who we perceive ourselves to be?

In a journal entry it's very simple. I can say something like, "Things are looking up at work and I'm really excited about the changes that are coming. It will pick up." (I actually feel this way, but I need a relevant example.) It's what we leave out that is the deception. The concern that maybe the changes are going to be too many and too difficult, good changes but can I keep up with them? What if one questions whether they can support some of the changes that are being made even while admitting they are probably good? How long can one do deceptive lip service and get by? It's the things we keep inside and hidden away from others that really cause the deception. We hold onto them out of fear, because we've become comfortable with them, because to let them out into the open means change, means we have to become different, we are seen differently, what if the people we are seen as after exposing our secrets is NOT the person others want to see?  And can real change occur without the divulging of certain things we hold secret?

I try to say something positive the every kid I work with through out the day. Last night at bedtime one of the boys who had wanted to go to church was unable to because we had neither the proper number of staff nor a vehicle that would hold everyone legally. To be honest, he made the decision to not go after we discovered that there were just too many of us to be able to take everyone. It turns out he could have gone because another boy opted out as well, but it was a bitter/sweet situation where we had 7 of 10 boys who wanted to go to church but then had to make them choose which one would not go because we couldn't accommodate the large number. It made me sick to have to make someone stay at the house. This boy struggled throughout the day. He had mentioned the week before how he doesn't go just to see the girls but he also like the Word. It was very difficult for me to have him stay back. He was agitated, it showed in his face and his actions but he never once let it get the better of him. Using drawing, writing, and shooting hoops he somehow managed to get through his day without a blow out. This is progress for this boy. I don't understand the mind of God but I do trust that there is always a greater good. By days end this boy had turned off his lights and crawled into bed on time without staff having to say a word. He's always threatened to lose control in the past when I've complimented him about his behavior so I've jokingly told him for weeks now just how "awful" his behavior has been during the day and he grins and knows it's a compliment. This night I knocked on his door and said to him, "I really don't know what you think you're doing or how you managed this but today you've had a really, really, really, really, really.....excellent day." Knowing this could cause him to get upset because I'd stated it in the positive I was ready. What he did instead was turn his head away from me, but I could just see the huge grin across his face, and looking at the wall he quietly said, "Thank you."

I guess this is the kind of change that needs to happen. One that's not just words trying to convince others of what's good about us, what we want people to know or think about us. It's the kind of change that shows just who we really are inside and out to everyone we meet. Admitting our shortcomings and failures and trying to do the very best we can no matter what, but never ever deceiving people about who we are.

I'm not there yet.


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