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Sunday, July 30, 2006

books i need to read

  • "How to Relate with Women Who Don't Need You"
  • "How to Force Yourself to Believe Something"
  • "What a Good Church Looks Like"
  • "Discipline and Self-Motivation"
  • "Why We All Need Friends"
  • "The Necessity and Danger of Gradual Transition: Why the Missing Links are Missing"
  • "Seven Steps to Becoming Yourself"
  • "Fifteen Steps to Understanding Yourself"
  • "Eighty-Three Steps to Conquering Yourself"
  • "Overcoming Dark Nights of the Soul"
  • "Three Easy Ways to Answer Life's Ceaseless Questions"
  • "How to Ask for Advice"
  • "The Difference between Satisfaction and Complacency"
  • "Discerning Selfishness from Valid Needs"
  • "Self-Denial and Self-Fulfillment: A Healthy Paradox"

i'm annoyed that i'm not sleepy right now. will someone please ignore this post, so that i have an example to follow, so that my mind can relax for once, so that i can avoid going insane with curiosity and feelings in insufficiency/inadequacy?

thanks.

Friday, July 28, 2006

before i forget

i know it's strange, but i really don't need to blog. the things i've learned recently, they're already a part of me. there's not really anything to work through. i haven't gone through anything really painful, i haven't made progress on any old dilemmae or arguments, and i haven't broken up with anyone. =)

there's nothing to think through, in other words... just a few things to take note of.
  • solitude energizes my creative side... conversations sometimes fuel it
  • i need people to tell me, and show me, who i am... every person needs this
  • i will enjoy spending the rest of my life teaching, whether i get paid or not
  • i need discipline now, just as much as i ever have
this doesn't feel like a real blog post... but it feels good to post it anyway.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

of friendship, Love, and purpose

Laura S. ~

you won't like this letter at first, because it will seem like i'm only doing it out of obligation. but seriously... if a friend of yours was worried about something, wouldn't you want to do something about it? if something was bothering her, wouldn't you want to help? at the least, that's what's going on right now. take away my purpose in life, and my weirdness, and all those other things that make me a little bit unique, and you still have that part of me that's come out naturally through building trust and relationships with people: i care about you. i don't have to believe in God, or in me, in order to care about you. i think that's part of our original design that, in many cases, has survived the Fall. you are valuable to me, and i don't want you to worry. your happiness is tied with mine; i don't need this extra commitment in order to express that.

i've already told you that i would still hang out with you if you were happy and didn't need me, but it's also true what i said about you enjoying my company. the day you stop enjoying mine is the day i stop enjoying yours, because what i enjoy most about you is that you enjoy me. to use an analogy: you already know and understand that i'm attracted to people who are attracted to me. well, it's the same way with friendships. i enjoy people who enjoy me. that's one of the reasons (but not all of the reason) that i like to pour myself into empty lives: because that's where i'm appreciated most. yes, i'm committed to people who need me because of my values and religion and obedience to God, but that's not all of it. that's a commitment of my soul; this enjoyment of people who enjoy me is something natural, heartfelt, instinctive.

that being said... these are some of the things i enjoy about you.
  • the way your laugh comes out of nowhere
  • your sarcastic sense of humor, which is one of my most defining traits as well
  • the way you've become brighter and fuller and more open since eleven days ago
  • your honesty, with yourself and with others (even when it gets you into trouble)
  • your strong awareness of the deep things of life, which we have in common also
  • the way you can't not be gracious. people step on you alot, and you can't hold grudges against them; that is a Divine quality that reflects the very heart of God
  • your subtle accent, which sometimes brings back good memories
  • how you order me around. some people don't let me serve them, and i would much rather they accept my gifts. you don't have that problem
  • your introspective aspect. not every 19-yr-old girl understands herself as much as you do. that's a gift, even when it hurts
  • your search for True Life, which drives you even when you're lost and feeling hopeless
  • your strong opinions. you're not wishy-washy, and you're not a chameleon
  • how you can admit your faults. this can lead to humility, one of the most vital and attractive qualities any person can have
i have only discovered these things in the last week-and-a-half. please trust me enough to let me find the rest that i know belong in this list. most importantly: please don't stop enjoying my company. whether that involved asking for advice, strength, and support, or whether it means sharing with me something good you have that we can both enjoy (like laughter or closeness), please don't stop. even if you become happy and boring, i'll always enjoy your company if you enjoy mine. i look forward to the rest of our friendship as it grows; i look forward to individual growth for both you and me; i very much look forward to being next to you (even if you're far away at the time) as you discover your talents; and i look forward to heaven, where we'll both enjoy God and each other more than ever before, and forever.

don't forget that it's not only my duty and honor to Love you; it's my privilege and blessing and joy as well. these all go hand-in-hand. don't forget that people were made for each other as much as for God, and that includes you and me. whether or not i am committed to you, i'm here for you. i'll do my best to remember it as well.

sleep well tonight. God bless you as you rest, think, hurt yourself on my furniture, laugh at me for being a dork, steal my siblings, and prepare for the next chapter of your life. i know that He will.

unworthy
isaiah james

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Samishii

i down-dated the look and title of my blog because this fits my current chapter. Samishii means "lonely" in Japanese... and i think there is no chapter of my life that would be better suited by the title.

some of the reasons i'm lonely:
  • i refuse to date
  • my closest friends live furthest away
  • i'm incoming (the opposite of outgoing...)
  • i've been growing less socially independent, personality-wise but not lifestyle-wise
  • i live two halves of a life, not one whole (because of college)
  • i don't care very much about myself
  • i no longer have faith that God interacts with His world today
the first bullet point only makes sense; it would take (or has taken??) many blog posts to expound on. the bottom line is that Love rules, dating drools. except that Loving other people can often leave you lonely, because you are only motivated by the needs of others, and not by the needs you have yourself.

the second, i can't do much about. i wish i would bring them all here to live with me. Heather A., the Jay, Squeeks, King Andrew. also: i guess some of my closest friends are far away in terms of time, not just space. Bekah, KT, Jeremiah, Llaura, Brandon. i used to be close to them, but i'm not anymore. i must accept those who are separated from me by distance, but i think i'm too complacent when it comes to those separated from me by time. i think i can do something about this... i think blogging about it more often will keep me moving on it. i'll give myself an update next time i post here, probably.

and that leads into the third point. i don't think it's bad to be incoming, but with me it's a fault; or else it's tied up with one of my other flaws. whatever it is, i just don't make much effort to have relationship with anyone unless they need something or someone. that's mostly the case. as point the fourth says, i've been needing people more, in my heart. i don't understand why that is. isn't that backwards? shouldn't i be growing stronger, more independent as i mature? "no, isaiah, it's a paradox of life that sometimes weakness and dependence is strength and maturity." whatevs. *sigh*

point five: again, i can do nothing about it. i must go back and forth no matter what. i have loved ones (and loving ones) both here and at school; it'll be another year before i'm done with this partitioned life. i can accept it.

the 6th is interesting. i'm not sure where the flaw is, on that one. isn't it right to care about others more than myself? the problem is that sometimes there's nothing i can really do to care for my friends, because they are happy and don't need anything, or because there's nothing i personally can do to help them, or to bring them joy or fulfillment. during those times when no one needs me, i feel that that's when i need others the most. i haven't figured it out yet, but i think i'm making progress. i think the best analogy is that i'm starving myself for no reason. wow.

and lastly... the worst one of all. my foundation for absolutely everything has been crumbling for months, and i don't understand why. i mean, i know the arguments and logical sequences in my head, and i know that when i add everything up and take the leap of faith, for some reason i never reach the ground. i understand that even if there wasn't a God, people would believe in Him and rely on Him. i see that people have faith in the power of prayer and in the truth of Christ's love, even when they're not experiencing it. it seems like belief in an immanent, involved God is really what makes people fulfilled and satisfied... as opposed to God Himself doing it. in other words, if a person believes God forgives them, they feel forgiven and redeemed, and would feel that way even if God didn't!!

it sounds like a stupid, ridiculous way of thinking when i compress all of my thoughts into one tiny paragraph like this-- i've spent months thinking through it, and i'm still searching for any flaws i could exploit-- but if the theory that God isn't involved with us today holds up under my ruthless scrutiny, my tenacious search for some evidence that legitimately challenges my thoughts... then my life is forfeit.

i cannot force myself to believe in something that is powered by belief. all of a sudden, the Christian life, for me, is full of magic tricks instead of miracles. as long as you believe in the magic, it works. just like the magic boots story, or the magic sword, or whatever it was. the person's belief that the magic existed was what granted him victory; it wasn't the magic he wrongly believed in.

i know that God is Creator, and that Christ is Lord and Saviour. i still look forward to what He will do in the future. but in the meantime, a God Who simply waits for the Final Day, is a God i cannot Love. not because i choose not to, but because He is absent. Deus absconditus. i can't worship, because the good feelings i might have are just me enjoying the music, and it's hard right now to worship just because He deserves and commands it. it might as well be an absent father asking his children to show him affection from the other side of the country. after years of growing up believing that He wrote them letters, they finally found out that the letters were written by their mother, who 'had faith' that their father loved them. either that or she just wanted them to believe it so that they would grow up with the 'influence' of a loving father.

i hate how my worldview has changed. i explained it all to God months ago when i first realized what had happened to my faith, and i know that He understands what's going on. i just don't have any hope of hearing back from Him, since any message that comes to me seemingly from Him could really be from anyone at all, even from myself as my sub-conscious tries to save me from despairing completely.

that's why my name is Samishii.