Although a couple posts back I seemed to have tied my emotions all up into a neat little package, needless to say nothing is quite that easy. After all this thing is a journey no matter how often I try to make it a destination. During the past month or so I have been battling with anxiety like I had not felt for a long time. This fear and dread continued on and off even after I came to the realization of what was driving it. Last week I asked a couple friends to pray for me. And the feelings began to lift. I do not believe I merely have suppressed them, but they seem to have dissipated.
I believe that a couple things came together in addition to the prayers that have kept this a lasting sensation. One is that I became honest with one of the relationships that is important to me telling him what I knew he did not want to hear and set an appointed time to make a decision that I have been wrestling with for a very long time. Second is that I got together with some guys who heard one of the significant stories of my life and helped me process through both the emotions that I had buried deep and some of the twisted beliefs that seemed to have driven me in my situation. I was a wreck sharing it, but it was a very good thing to just be open and honest in a loving community of men fighting together for our hearts.
Through this I have come to realize in a greater degree how much I define myself by what I believe others believe about me. And when what I believe they believe about me is contrary to what I want them to believe I feel exposed and frightened because they obviously see that I am not what I want them to believe I am. I most likely put up a fight attitude or possibly a flight response. And what I am fighting or flighting is not truth in this case but merely what I believe others believe about me that is contrary to what I want them to believe about me. Even my definition of who I am has not been based on any reality, good or bad, but on this crazy believing. When this dynamic is at work, do I really know who I am?
I am reminded of what Augustine of Hippo a Christ follower in the fifth century AD wrote: "Our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee, O God". This is my prayer today.