So it wasn’t ALL bad…

I realize I can be incredibly negative about Christianity. Actually much of the time lately I have white hot unmitigated rage… I chalk it up to transitioning out of a faith that I literally dedicated ten years of my life to. Recently my partner mentioned how he found it fascinating that it didn’t just slip into the background now that I was out of it. The reason why is because it was such an incredibly intricate part of my life. It literally effected every day, who I was friends with, who I wasn’t, how I spent my time, what I read, what I researched, how I reacted to EVERYTHING around me, etc. It’s really hard to just accept that something which was that big a part of your life is now gone, and not just gone… now considered something you were deceived by. It isn’t easy letting go and moving on.

But it wasn’t ALL bad. Even though it grates a little to admit that lol. So I’ll post on a positive, one that has stayed with me. I was thinking about it this morning and I realized there ARE some good things I learned lol.

In Christianese there is this thing called “building someone up”. As is building someone up in the Lord, or building someone up in the faith, etc. Basically the gist of it is encouraging someone. Actively pointing out their strengths and encouraging them so that you build up their confidence in that area, encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone and giving them confidence, etc.

I still think it’s a lovely concept and one I regularly still practice in a non-religious kind of way. It has such a profound affect to build someone up as opposed to tearing someone down. I also find if you do this regularly the persons reaction is beautiful. New found confidence, acknowledgment of something that are good at in life instead of focusing on what they aren’t, the pleasure they find in being not just seen but seen well and if really lucky, a release of guilt and shame and low self esteem.

I actually do this most often now without even realizing. It started with always making sure, no matter what our last encounter was like, that I told the people I love that I love them before saying good bye or good night or whatever. No matter what. And also randomly throughout the day. They should always know I love them. Then I realized I would be thinking something lovely about them and wouldn’t say it – but whenever a frustration came up or an argument it is too easy to fling negativity at each other. That’s shit. So now when a lovely thought pops into my head I blurt it right out. “Yanno what I love about you? You do _____________ and I really love it because ________________ . You should see peoples face light up. Or that little surprised smirk of pleasure.

That’s just a natural thing I do and even at that I want to do it more often. But I must credit Christianity for teaching me to actively “building people up”. When appropriate comment on things about them on in their life that IS good and positive and let them now it. Not bullshit false praise or anything like that but genuine encouragement. My best example is one of my best friends. That woman can literally find a positive attribute to anything in life from a screaming baby (Ah sure, but doesn’t he have a find pair of lungs!) to a hemorrhoid (Isn’t it great that you had to take 2 days off work and got to relax?). No word of a lie. And it’s so GENUINE. I’ll never forget when I had my child and a family member who wanted to hold her got pissy when I refused and snapped “God you’re so possessive of her!”. I mean never mind the fact that I had just given birth 3 days previous >_< but sure, cut a new mum down! My friend came over a week later, witnessed the same behavior and replied "It is gorgeous how attentive you are to her". I nearly burst beaming inside. What a difference perspective and wording makes.

I am not as positive as my gorgeous friend by any stretch of the imagination but I do love giving to others the same sense of whatever it is being encouraged gives one. So when I genuinely notice a positive, even if it is connected to a negative I make a concerted effort to point it out and encourage them. It's just that life is so quick and ferocious to tear us down every day and there is so much to feel less than, a failure in, guilty for, etc that life is too short and if I can make someone feel the opposite of any of those then I'ma try.

And I learned the concept from Christianity. And even though it's a rare few beautiful souls I learned this from in my lost faith when you see it practiced it is a wonderful thing to witness. So it ain't ALL bad ~_^