The Best Story

So Hey. Hai.  Bon-Joyr (said with obnoxious twang).

Happy Valentines Day you doughnut!  Quit yer fussin’ about it and eat these:

IMG_20150214_102404Pink Dreamz.

Here are a few things for you to just know, you are my valentine and cannot do anything about it–I LOVE that.  Sarcastic hater to V-Day fanatic I want to wrap you in a cloud of ground up candy hearts.

This human also cannot escape being my Valentine…

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because you know I’m all ’bout that bass

*Dear Jonathan: if you are reading this and your eyebrows raise a little bit I have only had cookies and coffee for breakfast today.  That might clear things up.*

And to the rest of ya’ll: I know this is getting annoying but please let me do it…please please please okthanks.

OMG. BECKY.  Look. at. that. RING.

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Right now my crusty self is sitting in my room drinking coffee bean blood, trying to recollect what happened the past several weeks with days and nights (I can’t tell the difference anyways).  Guess some things never change…?(!) KIDDING.  Actually, if you know me you know that it’s an event if I DO remember what I did 12-24 hours ago.  What I’m experiencing now is essentially a work-hangover. With a lot of baby.

So barf. (yeah, a lot of it. All night.)

Before we get cozy you know I like me some life-visuals.

Most of my more-experienced co-workers lives with me in it:

tumblr_inline_n3bgmeUVVU1ql3o4g tumblr_inline_n3bgmywLPF1ql3o4gWhen I’m your nurse:

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Explaining anything ever.

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It is still so dang odd to be on the other side of student-hood.  When I try talking with pods of nursing students on the floor it usually ends up in a confirmation that I’m old and weird just trying to kick it with the young folks.  But sometimes they laugh and if I remember correctly, laughing is better than crying in nursing school!  In fact the other day some nurslings asked me what my ‘story’ was/nursing advice and I basically became a sage of wisdom.

Not.  This is more accurate:

 

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Don’t worry, I still told them there were fairies and rainbows!  Dressed like babies.

Being alone in my apartment, hearing anything:

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Coming home after work:tumblr_n30p3oJ1SX1tpg4boo1_250

OK

‘Ohio-filous remix’–Damien Jurado

On that note, I’m going to finish encapsulating myself in this blanket here, and talk at you! Because I’ve got some stuff to say (surprise of the century…) How about you pull up a chair and endure join me so that I don’t feel like a total Weis markets doughnut? And because you didn’t ask and you certainly don’t want to know—a large doughnut is roughly the size of a fully dilated cervix. I love sprinkle- crusted doughnuts and I’m pretty proud of the fact that I have a cervix. I regret using the word “crusted” in the same sentence as “cervix” now. Holy Cow. DOMICO. You had to stare at the line while you jumped over it didn’t ya? Ew. stop now.

But really, doughnuts are a favorite, and when you get here we’re going to make some.

Welp, so how are you? Probably not trying to convince yourself that you don’t really spend your not-working time watching HBO. Classy piece of work you are. Also, I bet you can talk real good grammar.

And for all that “stuff I have to say”?

OHMYGOSHIAMGETTINGMARRIED

In 5ish months.

“REBECCA.  What in all that is sane are you doing.(?!)”

That is a very feasible sentence coming out of your tooth cave right now.  Here is why, the last time we really had a good sit-down here this was not on the horizon at all and much of this decision process occurred over blog hiatus–much due to being strapped into the minivan of the adult workforce like a defeated 8 year old being driven to violin group lessons on a Friday night instead of a sleepover.  That is the closest metaphorical feeling that describes how I feel about going to work.  However, I like the other kids at my grown-up ‘group lessons’ and we can not be at sleepovers together.

Sometimes, to pep myself up before night shifts I pretend I’m just going to a sleepover. With babies. And no sleep. And then I listen to Gold Digger.

AND it’s one of those days where I’m gonna throw my 2 cents at you. One of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth of Delightfully Tacky provided a prompt (a while ago) for this post with a very popular topic:

“write your own post on your own blog, sharing your experience with how the media has affected your body image, how you’re fighting to change the harmful messages, or how you’re changing the future for your children?…How can we fight the harmful messages that are literally killing girls and women? Are you still fighting for your own life? To love your own body? To believe you are beautiful just the way you are? You aren’t alone.”–Elizabeth, ‘Delightfully Tacky’

After reading this prompt my snob-town inner troll was all “oh. my. gosh. look at this super original problem of media and self-image! Never heard of this before.” –Rebecca A. Domico, Professional Sarcastic Jerk

Well what is that all about Domico? Park it right here, before you step on my toes and tell me how you’re going to save your daughter’s self-esteem by withholding all Disney princess movies and Cosmo, let me state my case. To get a baseline, what are the harmful messages? Who exactly is sending them?

A harmful message is harmful because it contains a threat to something basic we want and/or crave in order to live as well as we hope. It must threaten a deep-seated desire for a good thing, such as love, safety, acceptance, intimacy, significance. Who’s sending them? We are.

The world, and members of it, work on a conditional system, like a payment system, there is always expectation after action. Payment comes in different forms, there can be a down payment (actions done with expectation of a beneficial future outcome) or just some ‘repayment’ in response to a past deed.

Perhaps this is deviating from the actual question but I’m not so sure media is the problem. Plus, media doesn’t just mean the magazine/TV ads. Media itself is in a unique position nowadays, because virtually all people can use it to send their message (instagram…facebook…insta-face? etc. you know what I’m talking here). We “sell” personal messages through media too. That perfectly posed selfie?? “Oh hi, I woke up this way…I’m so deep and introspective because I won’t look the camera in the lens…totally natural photo here I had no idea my hand was taking of myself just smiling off into the space of a thousand “likes” that I really don’t need but I really do because I wouldn’t be posting this super pretty picture of myself if I didn’t want a shot of verbal affirmation.” ***hey now hey, guys. I basically just recounted an actual brain conversation from my own head, not trying to poke you! My phone is a graveyard of my ‘good hair days’. Help to all who discover.

People implementing media to influence us know what motivates us—think about what this is: to be enjoyed, to know we are significant, loved/cherished, approved. Note, that people communicate and receive these things in different modes or “languages”. I’m going to save my spiel on ‘love languages’ for another day when I can afford you a stronger beverage. Back to the topic, here’s my 2 cents–>The media is simply a venue to play on these designer desires (say that 5x fast). The media is simply the vehicle being used to enforce the idea that we can have these desires fulfilled if we can procure a particular “payment” for them. The ideas that are portrayed via the media are very often using these desires as leverage for what they are selling (this isn’t necessarily them actually selling you something, you are always being marketed to, being sold an actual item, a school of thought, a belief etc..). They portray a person having something you want and you instinctively led to develop a theory as to why they have “it” and you seemingly do not have “it” (or have as much of “it” as you want, or in the form you want). Why do we watch films/shows, listen to music? Because we identify with it, the character, the emotions, the content of portrayed experience. If we want what that character has, we naturally do come up with rationales as to why they have it and we do not. Which in turn leads to our developing a plan of action ending in our acquisition of that desired blessing.

As far as how this relates to body image, well, I guess our body is one of the dysfunctional methods of “payment” we’re selling in exchange for significance/to be loved—or as I like to think of it, to know one is enjoyed and valued to the fullest extent. I’m not saying bodies aren’t enjoyable or meant to be enjoyed in the original context, but that bodies are yet another amazing creation we have misplaced, mistreated, disrespected and abused in frantic grasping for the fullness our souls truly crave.

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The “fullness”?  It IS Valentines Day guys so you know we’re taking a dip in this pool too.  The fullness is to know one is loved and to know how to love well.  This includes a cross-over of someone’s priority from themselves to another person. This is difficult. This isn’t natural for us. Some might even argue it’s biologically counter-intuitive. If you’ve been a victim of this blog or my frank verbal opinion on this topic in the past here’s a review: Every human being serves something. Generally, themselves. Regardless of good intentions or deliberately malicious ones. I serve myself. You serve yourself. I will make the world work for me. To attain the feelings I want.  The practice of love requires you to see yourself “caught in action”.  Caught in the act of who you’re really serving (which is more often ourselves).  I don’t know about you, but “loving well” has been on the brain lately.  And for someone who grew up in a family who demonstrated love in so many ways I am bewildered at how shallow my practice has been thus far.

“..if you will love, I will love.  I will redeem you, if you will redeem me?  Is this our purpose, you and I together to pacify each other, to lead each other toward the lie that we are good, that we are noble, that we need not redemption, save the one that you and I invented of our own clay?”–Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller p. 148

This is a slice of several paragraphs of gold within this book (the whole thing is a major favorite) where the author shares a plat that he wrote in college, this part between the main character and his wife during a conflict.  Isn’t this so much the attitude of our loves today?  If you will __ then I will too.  But if you don’t ___ why should I?  That is our trade mentality, our buy-sell culture.  That is not love.  It is painful to realize how we fail to love those around us because of their ways and failings yet do not see how we ourselves are equally unlovable.  Unlovable, selfish, creatures with our eyes closed to truth.  The truth that we make excuses for not loving each other well which are nothing compared to what God could implement as fully just reason to shut us from his presence  forever.  Yet the only pure loveable being of the universe is the one we have such great difficulty loving, and who is the only one to love us in the purest form that no human does for another.  The best love on earth is a gift from God to his people, he designed us to be in relationship and love in many of the ways he relates and loves us.  Parent-Child, Friend, Friend, Family, Husband to wife.  All unique loves that can be lived either with our invention of the buy-sell “love” which is entirely dependent on self-action and is driven by self-satisfaction–or styled after original love.  Sacrificial dying to oneself to uphold the other love.  This is so so hard, and it’s this kind of love I am growing to realize I know so little of how to do well.

A classic Bible passage probably comes to mind when you think of love (“love is patient, love is kind etc….) certainly good and all but may I share a personally favored passage regarding love?  Please read the whole thing.  It’s Isaiah 43.  I won’t type to whole thing here but please read it and hear what God is saying there.  Vs. 23-28 clearly lays out the unworthiness of Israel (that’s us) of God’s favor, mercy, certainly not his love. However, earlier in the passage God clearly states who Israel is and how he will act towards her regardless of how she behaves towards him.

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine…you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you,  I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!…I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself and they may proclaim my praise.”  Isaiah 43:1,4,18-20

The perfection of relationship and love that we so want and try to glean from each other does not work outside of divine intervention. It is not our natural inclination to love well beyond ourselves and we are left in a loveless desert because all we do is soak up drops of water around us in fear that it might run out someday and we must store up enough for ourselves.  True love is not fear of being unloved and therefore chasing and gathering up affection to pacify that fear.  If we are to love well and know true love, the closest we are able to become on earth is to allow God to mold us into creatures that can love well based on his original love design to sacrifice one’s own ego, control, fears and wants in favor of holding up another in effort to help them along their own journey with God.  Because love isn’t ultimately about human-to-human relations (thankfully, because they are broken and only mended through forgiveness and grace–also from God) it is about the pure unbroken tie between God and mankind, it is God making “a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland”.  And it’s His story.

982eed8174774da75b8e682b87acd089“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”–Psalm 61:2

Isn’t it marvelous that not only can we not solely rely on each other to nurture relationships, but we can and must rely on God to show us how to build fruitful and rich relationships that really do became pools of grace in this world?

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Working Titles–Damien Jurado

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2 thoughts on “The Best Story

    1. theblueberrydays

      Thank you Hannah! You probably know this feeling, but it’s definitely more often that I need reminded of what I write than anything 🙂 but it’s even better when others get something useful from it too. Hope you and Nate are doing well and moving is going smoothly!

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