When You Worship Someone, You Will Destroy Them, And They Will Destroy You

When You Worship Someone, You Will Destroy Them, And They Will Destroy You

Love people by changing your mark, because the most valuable lesson I have learned in life about people is this: no matter what, they're too precious to lose.

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To worship something means to treat it like it were a God, and in no place do we worship things more than in our friendships and relationships. We worship the people in our lives, from our friends, siblings, parents, teachers, and in our worship, we expect people to behave like God, too. We expect perfect morality, perfect treatment, and perfect everything. We give up on those people when they fail to meet our lofty expectations. We deny them the ability to be human, and what greater injustice is there, then?

When we worship someone, we will be destroyed, because they will always fall short of our expectations. But that, too, is a two-way street. We will destroy the people we worship because we treat them as projects to fix, fine-tune, and adjust to our likings. Worshipping someone makes them innately inhuman, denies them the ability to live their lives and make their own choices. People have needs and meant to be listened to. They are not meant to be idolized.

I have witnessed a fair amount of drug and alcohol interventions in my day, whether for myself or for my friends. I do not believe they work, most of the time. I believe that society has a misconception about addiction. The addiction is usually not the problem, but is a band-aid solution to deeper issues. I believe you cannot make people change, as they need to want to change themselves. You can walk with them. You can listen. But you cannot worship, or you expect too much. You cannot worship, or you will try to control their lives.

Idolatry is considered the "worship of false gods," but I have found, recently, that the word applies not only to religious contexts, but to life. I have plenty of idols in my life, from my friends, my family, running, to TV, caffeine and alcohol. I worship myself: my character, pride, and reputation. I worship my grades in school, my scores on tests, my paycheck at work, my career, my future. The moment something falls through and goes disastrously within one of these idols is a time when I have to check myself, like when I get a B or C on a test, is a time I have to stop, reflect, and tell myself: this isn't everything. It's a huge problem if it is everything.

The good Christian and company line I'm supposed to say is that God and Jesus Christ are the only things we can worship. There is a difference, a strong difference between loving someone and worshipping them. Loving someone allows them to be human, make mistakes, take risks, and inevitably fail. Loving someone means telling them "I'm going to let you go in that direction, even though I disapprove. I will be with you regardless of whether or not you fall." Loving someone is the ability to disagree about almost politics, and disagree almost to the point of getting into a fight, and hug it out at the end of the day and acknowledge that that person is too precious to lose, no matter what they did, no matter what they believe. Worship is conditional. Loving is unconditional.

Sure, the ideas in the articles are good in theory, but what about in practice? The truth is we go through stages of worshipping people in our lives before we can actually love them. I experience this with my friendships and relationships all the time: I sometimes expect too much from people, and get disappointed too easily when they don't meet those expectations. But then I realize I'm no better, that I would make the same mistakes in the same situation. The worst, sometimes, is when I worship myself. I hold myself to unrealistic standards and expectations. Every semester, I start my first class saying, "Ryan, you need to get a 4.0 GPA this semester," and only start to fall apart and destroy myself when I start to fall short of the mark. Part of me gives up, even when I'm doing more than fine.

We have a black and white image of what it means to sin in contemporary society and Christianity. Sin is bad, fundamentally bad, and means solely doing things awfully wrong. In Biblical Greek, sin meant to "miss the mark." It was often used in contexts of archery and spear throwing to denote missing the center of the target. If that is what it means to sin, then I sin all the time, and you, too, sin all the time. We sin especially when we worship things, or other people as if they were God.

I once had an upper-level chemistry professor who said that "if you fail and miss your goal, just move the goal."

I would go on to fail his next exam, but learned a valuable life lesson regardless (and did fine in the class). Remember that quote especially in terms of what you expect for other people. Give them space and permission to be human, not only so you don't destroy them, but so they won't destroy you when they don't meet those expectations. Love people by changing your mark, because the most valuable lesson I have learned in life about people is this: no matter what, they're too precious to lose.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Girls, Your Happiness Shouldn't Be Determined By Your Looks Or Weight On A Scale

I am quite disappointed that a person with that level of intelligence and wisdom was unable to comprehend that my life is centered around much more than just continually worrying about what I weigh or how I look.

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I've been trying to think about what I should write about, and I thought back to what pushed me to speak out about fatphobia in the first place. Last year for my high school senior project I was told that I could choose any topic of my choice. I thought about what topic I was interested in enough to research about for months. While the idea of fat-phobia did come to mind at moments, I was hesitant to choose that as a topic. I didn't know if I had it within me to talk about my biggest obstacle in front of all my classmates. But this instance was what pushed me over that edge and motivated me to speak out, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

It was December of my senior year that I went to visit my doctor. About halfway into the appointment, we started talking about my weight. That was not unexpected. I was at the doctor's after all. But what was surprising was a question that she had asked me. While talking about my weight, my doctor had asked me, "Lasya, tell me, are you really happy with yourself." Under the impression that she was asking me about how I was feeling about myself in general, I was about to start talking about how I could've started college apps way before instead of procrastinating. It then hit me that she wasn't asking me about whether I was happy about the whole me, but that she was just asking about the part that she could see, whether I was truly happy being a fat girl. At the moment I felt flustered and shocked. I couldn't even piece together any response. After I came home, I realized that she was under the impression that as a teenage girl my happiness is mainly derived from my looks or my weight, but she was wrong.

My happiness is not derived by some number on a scale that fluctuates on a daily basis. My happiness is derived from the quality of the relationships that I have with the people in my life. My happiness is derived from seeing the people I love smile and laugh. My happiness is derived from writing with new fountain pens or finishing another episode of Criminal Minds. My happiness is derived from completing a piece of crochet work or typing a sentence on my typewriter. My happiness is derived from all these things, but it is most definitely not derived from some number on a scale. And to be honest, I am quite disappointed that a person with that level of intelligence and wisdom was unable to comprehend that my life is centered around much more than just continually worrying about what I weigh or how I look.

To be clear, this post is not about me bashing on my doctor for what she said. This post is about me talking about her statement and what was wrong with it so that we can all learn from it. This post is about learning that happiness cannot, and should not, be based on superficial things like looks and weight. If it were, we could never be happy or at peace with our selves. It is even possible that my doctor did not mean to say the statement in this context. She could have meant to say something that had a completely different message but was unable to communicate it with me properly. Anything could have been possible, and we will never know unless I confront her about this. But I cannot because I am too much of a coward to ask her about this in person.

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