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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Anything But Ordinary: The need for faith, hope and healing.



Have you ever noticed that some people seemingly take great risks, step out on the edge, tend to gravitate towards the unhealthy or bounce around from controlling relationship to controlling relationship OR dramatic relationship to dramatic relationship.

Why do we do it?
  • Are we trying to outrun or 'escape' our problems?   
    • If I keep busy or seek the latest thrill or high, we won't have to face our issues.
  • Are we trying to medicate away our problems?
    • If I gamble, drink, sleep around and so on, perhaps I won't have whatever pain I have will be masked over.
  • Are we so used to drama that the mundane feels out of place?  The word familiar has the same root as family.  If we were raised and/or have always lived in a dysfunctional environment, we will not know how to react to 'normal' or  'healthy' relationships.  'Normal', healthy or 'wholesome' relationships could seem boring or stale.
  • Are we seeking approval?  Sometimes the attention we get from 'acting out' or 'being the life of the party' is better than a lack of attention.  That is if we are 'interesting enough' or 'fun enough' then people won't help but to be drawn to 'the party'.
  • Are we feeling hopeless or too damaged? 
    • If we feel like we have nothing left to lose, then it can free us up to engage in risky or dangerous behavior.  That is, if there doesn't feel like there will be much of--if any--of a tomorrow, what do we have to lose by living on the edge?
    • The problem lies when we wake up from the 'binge' or edgy behavior and realize in many cases that it has made things worse for us.

What forms does it take?
  • I've kind of touched up on it already but here are just a few.
    • Excessive drinking
    • Illegal or illicit drugs
    • Out-of-control gambling.
    • Acting out, sleeping around or porn addiction
    • Unsafe activities such as reckless stunts, reckless riding/driving, going to reckless places, reckless behavior with fireworks, etc.
    • Excessive thrill-seeking.  Sometimes, it isn't so much that a certain activity is bad per se, but if we do it excessively it can indicate a bigger problem.  Say sky-diving every weekened for example, could be considered excessive for an average person. 

Conclusions:
  • It is okay to step out a little, go outside your comfort zone, take a chance from time to time.  The whole point of this blog is not to suggest otherwise.  Were it not for people taking chances or risks, life would be dull and we'd have likely not accomplished some of the great feats/advances that we have.
  • It isn't so much how much we live on the edge, but more so the motivation behind it.
    • Is it for a healthy reason such as helping others?  If so, we are less likely to flame out.
    • Is it for an unhealthy reason such as avoiding dealing with abuse, hurt, grief, pain, trauma, etc.   If so, we might find we need a higher and higher dose of living on the edge just to keep the avoidance up and we will be more likely to flame out or spiral out of control.
    • Living on the edge in a way 
  • Whatever your faith--for example, Christianity--it is in many ways necessary to be willing to not be 'ordinary'.  Mother Theresa was not Ordinary, she could have lived an easy life, but instead she sacrificed to help the poorest of the poor.  Sometimes our faith requires us to go against popular opinion or worldly views or behavior   In other words, going against the grain and not being 'ordinary'.