Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cleaning House - Literally

I woke up this morning thinking it was high time I get on the organizational kick I talked about as a New Year's resolution.  I have a closet full of clothes I don't wear, a file cabinet full of documents I will never need, and my email and facebook message folders are completely out of control.

So, I am taking today to go through some things, get organized, make a list of things like account user names and passwords, important account numbers, insurance information, etc.  One of the things on my list was to go through my journals and decide whether I wanted to keep them or toss them out.  When I began the blog, it became, in a way, my daily journal.  Although I don't share a lot of what is personally going on in my head, on the other hand, I really do.  So I have not been handwriting my journals anymore. 

I always tended to write when I was feeling bad.  I have just started re-reading some of what I wrote and I can see that I used my journals as an outlet for my depression.  I kind of knew that already, which is part of the reason I was thinking of getting rid of them.  I mean, when my kids eventually have to go through my things, do I really want them to see the darker side of my personality?  So, I was thinking out they go...except...there's an awful lot of me in those journals.

I hadn't gotten very far, when I stumbled across something that I thought might be somewhat inspirational and blog-worthy.  Although I'm not religious in that I don't go to church and I am not the kind of person who thinks there is a man in a white robe with a beard sitting on a throne up there judging my every move, I do find myself comforted by some spiritual ideas.  For a time, I would turn on the Joel Osteen broadcast on Sundays and kind of considered that my weekly "church."  I didn't watch for the God part so much as the inspirational, apply this to your every day life kind of thing.  I actually took notes in my journals when I was going through a rough time a couple of years ago and today, I stumbled across these notes.  (Please note that what is written below is entirely from the Joel Osteen ministries site.)

Friends all around us are hurting people who need our love and encouragement.  Don't be too busy, or insensitive to the needs of those around you.  Be willing to be inconvenienced.  Be sensitive and pay attention to those around you, your friends, your coworkers, and your relatives.  Listen to what they are saying.
But we weren't created to live selfishly.  We were created to make a difference in the lives of others.

Love is seen in our actions.  Learn to give your time, your money, or an encouraging word.  When you show love, you are showing God to the world.
I remember when I sought these quotes out, because I was going through a very rough time with a person who I thought was a really good friend.  It turned out that she had too many issues for her to remain a good friend to me and the breakup of that relationship was extremely painful.  I had turned to the Osteen website for some words of comfort and found what I was looking for.  Validation.  It made me realize that it wasn't a bad thing that I tried so hard to be this person's friend and that if she couldn't reciprocate my need for her friendship, it honestly was not my fault.
I still do miss this woman in my life.  I was close to her and to her children.  We spent a lot of time together before she decided she needed a complete and total change and left me behind.  Her issues, not mine.

I've been told that friendships ebb and flow.  For a person with bipolar disorder, that's a hard concept because it is easier on us if things stay the same.  We thrive on routine and get upset when we think that someone is pulling away from us.  I know that for myself, I have "overtried" so many times.  I give and give and give to relationships when it might simply be too much for the other person to handle.  On the other hand, I see a trend in our society towards a certain "business" that is possibly unhealthy.  When we are too busy to stop what we are doing for a few minutes to have a conversation with a friend or take a walk or even to take a breath, I think we are doing something wrong.

Of course, no one is ever going to be able to be there for someone else 100% of the time.  But I think Joel Osteen's words ring true.  They come from the bible itself, which all of Christendom seems to think is the actual word of God.  I don't see a whole lot of people who are not so wrapped up in their lives that they make time for true relationships and human connections.  And I think that's a shame.

Aren't relationships, good relationships, the best reason for us to be here?  If we get lost in the "business" of our every day lives, then what will we have done for our hearts when we come to the end of our lives?

So, I guess the lesson is to make time for your friends.  It's hard to do, but the rewards are so worth it.


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