Some of Bee’s Testimony’s – The Need to be Accepted

Forward (beo)

This is a draft chapter from excerpts of my book, “Between God…..” I choose to leave the rest of the title blank until the entire body of work has been completed.

I write from the perspective of my experiences with the prayer and expectation that through my identification of my own inner struggles; and thought process and behaviors that someone can be released. What’s more important is that if you see something you can identify within your own personal situation; glean knowledge and ask for assistance from the Almighty, and prayerfully your season of struggle will be short because of spiritual understanding surrounding your situation.

Cultures vary across nations and within individual sects. However, one thing is apparent throughout any culture; and that is the majority of people within that culture strive to be accepted. Western social construct typically emphasizes individualism while Eastern social constructs strives towards group membership. Basically Westerners seek autonomy and look inward (inside themselves) while Eastern Social constructs seek to adhere within the group. An example of this would be that the group concerns would be first and foremost rather than the individual’s desire.

There are many theories when one speaks of societal impact upon a person’s personality; theories of dissonance, peer pressure, implicit and explicit attitudes, pro-social behaviors, aggression, prejudice; it would appear the theories are endless. Yet I think we all realize that there is a desire to fit within a certain circle within our society particularly within Western cultures. It would almost appear paradoxical for ‘we’ approve individualistic natures; yet at the same time when one doesn’t adhere to the actions of the pack, then they are typically condoned. Or if one goes against the nature or thought process of the pack, that person is often pressured to adhere and or change or eventually they are put outside the pack. For the terms of this component we will identify the pack as circle for so many identify with the terms ‘circle’ or ‘inner-circle’. Mind you whatever term is identified or used, more often than not certain behaviors are associated with the social constructs.

I am appreciative of the season that God has been allowing me to walk in as of late. Each test, trial and situation is bringing me to places of importance that I might share with others. Whether we understand it or not…we are all on a life journey and we all need as much assistance as possible. With that said, I am grateful that this particular chapter is written for THIS season of my life. At the beginning of July, I spent a bit of time in Florida with two of my favorite people in the world; Sean and Debbie Cort. The time spent with them was wonderful. Words can not describe all the information gleaned, given, shared and expounded within that short time period. I believe that as our journeys continue to cross paths, that that same information will explode and grow beyond the depths of our own finite understanding.

God has a sense of humor because there were days that information seemed to leap out at us, while other days we had to dig for understanding. There were moments of pause out of wonder and other moments of pure praise and worship and nightly prayer often shifted the reality of where we were in the natural into a transition in the spirit. This experience I realize will be duplicated; it was the initial beginning of a process that will be continued. Too often each of us struggle within our inner circles never migrating outward to seek out understanding and assemble additional knowledge for our life journey. God gave word to me that when I am in bereft places and need knowledge and solitude then I am to go to where Sean and Debbie are; hence, Sean that house is coming because I need a place to lay my head in rest when the ministry becomes too much to handle. When I’ve pulled off situations, spirits and recessed dark places off other folk and can not find my way to the surface of understanding of that moment.

Today is Monday, August 03, 2009 and it is with clear understanding as to why this chapter needed to be written. No one else can write it for me, but prayerfully can identify with me. I was in conversation on yesterday morning with a friend of mine and was told that I needed to take responsibility for my own actions. This is something, I was taught all my life, but when it comes to certain areas of my life, I am just beginning to realize that often I regress and forget this concept. He is a very wise man and I am appreciative of his role in my life. So as I was riding this morning at dawn (this is my prayer time) I began to think upon some of the things he and I discussed. The Lord began to take me back to my youth which I have been doing as of late and I came to a conclusion about my life.

There are many theories of transitioning from childhood to adolescence like Piaget and Freud; but there is a specific psychological construct that speaks to identity and or role confusion and diffusion by Erik Erikson.

{The search for a personal identity also includes the formation of a personal ideology or a philosophy of life that can serve to orient the individual. Such a perspective aids in making choices and guiding behavior. A personal identity influences the adolescent for the rest of their life. If the adolescent bows out and adopts someone else’ identity or ideology, it is often less satisfactory than developing their own. The adopted ideology rarely becomes personal and can lead to foreclosure in adolescent development.

The positive outcome of the identity crisis is dependent on the young person’s willingness to accept his past and establish continuity with their previous experiences. The adolescent must find an answer to the question: “Who Am I?” Other questions that must be answered include: “Where am I going?” “Who am I to become?” There must be a commitment to a system of values – religious beliefs, vocational goals, a philosophy of life, and an acceptance of one’s sexuality. Only through the achievement of these aspects of ego-identity can it be possible for the adolescent to move into “adult maturity,” achieve intimacy of sexual and affectional love, establish deep friendships, and achieve personal self-abandon without fear of loss of ego-identity (Muuss, 1975, p.66).[1]

Basically the two paragraphs above are stating that children must make the proper transition into adulthood with clear understanding of their life circumstances without suffering an identity crisis. All behaviors and situations have to be categorized properly, or there is a possibility of a disconnect of emotions and or healthy behaviors within the child if a traumatic situation arises that the child must internally process.

My friend  and I were talking about how society on a whole feels the need to be accepted and identified within a circle. Each of us desires to be loved, but so many are not willing to work for the love and that level of transparency in relationships that gives equal opportunity to both people. Marriage is a commitment and takes work of both partners. I have been married before and as I look back it is with understanding that the commitment level of both people was not equal. I am not one to run away from relationships, whether in marriage or in friendship, but there comes a time when dysfunction and I can not co-exist; boundaries must be set and if the situation has not changed and I am given permission, I’m out. Please be aware this component comes after much praying, fasting, understanding and lying prostrate before the Almighty. My strength is situated in Him.

The most recent traumatic event in my life was my impending marriage of July 2009; but only one of us was walking in the position of true commitment. One of us made choices that put the other person in a place of not being able to make preferable healthy choices. Thus here I stand, grateful that God has shifted my season once again and has allowed me to become whole, sane and clearly focused for the next phase of my life. I am now just beginning to understand that I dislike it when situations and or people take my choices away from me. There is something powerful about being able to make a choice. The reality is most of us don’t always make the proper and or healthy choice. More often than not the choice is based upon emotions rather than a mindset. Even in our relationship with God, He gives us a choice. Joshua 24:15 speaks of a choice to follow after the one true God….but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Making choices allows us ownership and prayerfully participation in the consequences. Many times if the situation/circumstances is more than our mental mind can handle; so often we check out emotionally and mentally creating a domino effect of unpleasant choices.

A few weeks ago while reflecting I began to link some of my current situations and understandings. It became quite clear the two normal, non-dysfunctional relationships growing up with men were with my grandfathers. Following that process, I began to understand that the majority of the other relationships were dysfunctional; and it appeared they were always taking from me rather than giving to me. This was powerful. I could now attribute, link, reflect, dissect and reconstruct to understand some of my life decisions. Both grandfathers were loving, kind and left me a legacy and code to live by. Yet I now know they could not protect me from life and the circumstances I would encounter. I was able to enjoy both of them until I turned 30 when the Lord saw fit to remove them both from me within a year of each other. It was a difficult period in my life.

Even now there are moments that become overwhelming when I think of my loss. There was a connection between us that is indescribable. To top that off, the two of them were best friends. I don’t believe most people were aware of the depth of their friendship. When my maternal grandfather was sick and in the nursing home, my paternal grandfather would visit him regularly. In fact when my maternal grandfather passed away, it was my paternal grandfather who was sent to give me the news. Our state council meeting was going on and I received word my grandfather wanted to speak to me. As he sat me down, he placed his hand on my shoulder and gave me the news. As I began to cry, he said, “Belinda, we all must die at some point in our lives. Even I have to go eventually”. My response to him was, “Granddaddy I understand that, but that does not make it any easier”. Unbeknownst to me then, he was sick and was trying to warn me of his upcoming demise.

I don’t think either foresaw all I would go through before and after they were gone. However, my paternal grandfather did prepare me with a few words of wisdom before he departed. So I am honored that he prepped me before he left this earth. We spent many hours in conversations before his death; for I was home with my second son Josh, while he recuperated from his illness. I give you that glimpse of my relationship with the two of them so you might understand the level of my loss. As I reflect back, I believe he was aware of some of my impending circumstances. He was a Man of God who discerned many a situations. He believed in protecting and exposing his family all at the same time. He protected us when necessary and just as swiftly when we were wrong he executed judgment.

I don’t think I ever shared with him that fateful night when a relative made a choice for me. His (my cousin) selfishness opened up many doors in my life that more often than not left me struggling to hold on. Don’t get it twisted. I am a fighter, a survivor, but as I stated my strength comes from above. Yet I realize that so many of my decisions should have produced a different outcome. On the other hand, it is with understanding that my life is in the hands of the Master and I am a living example of His love and grace. I must remain transparent that others through my test and trials will be able to survive. I remember a few years ago calling one of my friends to tell him that because I was coming out of my tests and trials, the same would follow for him. That person was Elder Sean Cort and needless to say, he was not as excited as I was (it was to early in the AM for him…LOL), but that was ok because God had given me revelation and I was running with it. It was then He was teaching me that often I would be the forerunner for the deliverance of others.

A situation recently culminated this whole understanding of how the need to be accepted often drives many of us into certain situations we would avoid at all cost. There is a level of co-dependency; the dominant person in the relationship creates the atmosphere of the relationship; while the submissive person follows. This might be construed in many ways, but for the moment I am referring to dysfunctional relationships. First I began to understand that most of the men in my life disappointed me on so many levels from my father to my children’s father to my ex-fiancée as well as others. Please understand not all of my relationships were dysfunctional for I have many close friends who have been there for me; I am not speaking of them, but the vital relationships that are important; those that surround my children and myself. Over the past eight years when there was lack; God sent provision. The peering into my childhood allowed some insight and it was if a light bulb went off in my head.

Then I began to remember how many of my cousins assisted in additional dysfunction by taunting me about my looks and weight. It is with understanding now, I realize they were mean and vicious and clearly had their own personal struggles going on. Hurting people hurt other people whether it is intended or not. The only time in my life when I was small was around age six. There was a picture of a skinny little thing: and it was me. After that, I was short and stocky until around 19. I was the last developing female in my circle. It probably didn’t help that I was a tomboy and hung with the guys and preferred to hang with the guys. Well one young cousin mentioned I had no shape. Oh Lord, that suggestion has been ringing in my head for years. I took her thought process and made it my own and took ownership of it. So in spite of what everyone saw on my outward appearance, within I saw something different. Oh, I could play off the confidence like nobody’s business and had a whole lot of folk thinking I had it together. That was then, this is now. Now I understand who I am and who I belong to and have begun to walk in my proper position.

Ok, I can hear some of you now, stating that is crazy to hold onto another’s thought process all these years. Why didn’t you ignore the comment? Remember this is about the need to be accepted. Staying and making decisions in the circle and attempting everything in one’s power not to be ostracized. Here’s another powerful concept; this need was now translated into my dating and relationship stage. Remember Erikson’s theory, one must transition dealing with life situations as an adolescent and must adhere to manage the changeover to adulthood.

My children are important to me and I value their presence in my life; but I have to be honest my marriage was living hell. It consisted of dysfunction on so many levels. It is by my God’s goodness and grace that I stand in my right mind and am neither in an insane asylum nor in jail. I have watched the ex-factor exact abuse at me in front of my father without the proper response from my father. I now wonder was this a level of acceptance on my father’s part; his desire to keep a peace which clearly didn’t exist. I will not take ownership of his nor the ex’s behavior, but I will take ownership of my own and will no longer accept dysfunction.

The situation that arose recently assisted in my understanding that clearly and inherently whether I was willing to admit it or not, I want to be accepted. Not on all levels, but it is clear there are issues surrounding certain types of relationships; and these relationship constructs. I am often deemed the rebel, but trust me now I do have a cause. As a teenager, I was a handful, often terrorizing many with my quick wit, and my sharp and vicious tongue. There are scriptures that speak to guarding one’s mouth and that the tongue is a weapon that can cause destruction. Luke 6:45 tells us that out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. One of my mentors mentioned to be about my behavior of my youth and for me to go back and assess what had happened to me to cause a pleasant child to transition into a hellion on two feet. At this moment I can only surmise on certain understandings and am still asking God for revelation. I have however, placed a watch over my mouth and am very careful in how I respond. Mind you the quick wit and tongue are still in my possession, but God’s gift of transformation has assisted me in balancing many thought processes in regards to my response. Oh but every once in a while, we still need Jesus for a quick touch (LOL).

The component I do understand is my relative started this process; but I am putting an end to it. So for every moment the enemy thought he had me, I stand to let him know he does not. I will not seek the need to be accepted in relationships at my own destruction. I now understand that many of the choices of behaviors surrounding me growing up and within my marriage and dating relationships were the behaviors of the person in that particular action; and they need to take ownership of said behaviors. I am not a product of dysfunction and I am responsible for me and what and who I choose to let into my circle. Healthiness is attracted to healthiness and seeks out the same. While dysfunction seeks healthiness but can not maintain its status quo.

Psychology is the study of the mind, but God created the mind. When we desire wholeness and seek His face and after His righteousness things began to fall into place; and He allows us to understand where we are in our current season and will send us direction in coming out of our dysfunction. I no longer want to be accepted by those that are not in the same path/circle as those that are striving for God and will make proper choices. I will continue to seek after my God’s face with the expectation of reaching higher heights and deeper depths within His presence.

Matthew

6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Chapter dedicated to Sean and Deborah Cort – August 2009

Bee

LEGAL: This original work is copyright protected and may only be reposted or redistributed in its entirety including title, author, content, and copyright information. Any other use or reproduction in full or in part must be pre-approved and authorized in writing by the copyright holder, Belinda E. Oliver

References

Aronson, Wilson, Akert. (2007). Social Psychology (6th Edition). New Jersey, Pearson/Prentice Hall

http://www.psyking.net/id183.htm   retrieved 8/3/09


[1] Aronson, Wilson, Akert. (2007). Social Psychology (6th Edition). New Jersey, Pearson/Prentice Hall

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