Category Archives: Reblogged

Single…But Lonely?

This was my first post in my blog site “The Unwarranted Bachelor”.


Being single and alone is painful. This I know from experience. It’s what we do during these turbulent times that shapes who we become. And in Whom we place our trust defines who we are. I know people who’ve decided to remain single for a time after a breakup. I know others who’ve blindly jumped into the next relationship.

For me it was neither of these. I find myself single for another reason. Even if I wanted to deliberately be single or have a girlfriend is irrelevant. At least so it seems. My current circumstances are forcing me to rely solely on God.

Whatever the case may be in reality I remind myself of the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Jeremiah. One chose to never marry for the sake of the Gospel, and the other was instructed by God to remain single.

When we find ourselves alone we need to pray and ask, “Father God, how long?” and “How can I bring You glory in this?”

If we place our trust in God ahead of our desires of the mind and flesh He will answer us. By trusting Him we open ourselves to receiving the answers we need.

On the other hand, if we hunt after self-gratification during such times how can we trust ourselves in times of plenty?

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Bouts of Depression

Originally posted in “The Unwarranted Bachelor” in 2016.


Depression is one of those topics no one really wants to talk about. Many people go as far as to claim the psychological condition isn’t real, people only use it as an excuse or a crutch.

Most, if not all, people in the West go through moments of being depressed. These are times of sadness or regret. People need down time to recuperate from whatever is going in their lives.

How is this different from depression? Medically speaking, I can’t say for certain. I’m not an expert by any means. But from experience I can say a lot. Depressed moments require moments rest and rejuvenation. Depression needs a lot more than that.

As you know, I have suffered from depression most of my life (childhood and adulthood). It runs in my family. Some friends have speculated it may run in my people and culture. To be honest I believe depression is a result of the Western Civilization’s materialistic greed. (That’s a topic for another day.)

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, just ask any good family doctor. While meds can help in some cases, they don’t help in all. All some people need is understanding friends and family. For me it was a combination of both: meds and friends.

(Please remember: these are my thoughts and experiences on depression. Please refer to your doctor for advice.)

How can one tell if a friend is going through depression or is merely depressed? The best sign is their level of rational. How logical or illogical is their rambling? My closest friends can tell you that I have been illogical many times. I talked about people hating me, ending my life, the world is better without me… In essence I felt sorry for myself and that was all i could think about.

People who are suffering with depression speak as if the world revolves around them and only them. Whereas people who feel depressed have a moment of sadness without making things all about them.

Everyone has a different trigger. The bouts of depression I feel last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. I thank God, my Heavenly Father, that I don’t suffer too long any more. In the past my depression would last from a few weeks to a few months. In high school years had gone by and no one seemed to care I was suffering.

What were or are my triggers? In primary and secondary school my depression was linked to the amount of bullying I received from peers, older students and teachers. In adulthood it was the fact I was alone, and it hurts when everyone around me was in a relationship. I wasn’t happy or pleased with my lot in life back then. What about now?

Yesterday I felt depressed over what I’d call stupidity. Being alone in a world that puts too much emphasis on relationship was the catalyst. The cause was my desire to experience true, loving relationship.

While depression is a thing of my past, I will never say that I have totally triumphed over it. In fact, it is only by the grace of God that I can detect a wave of depression and true it into a moment of feeling depressed.

My journey in and through depression as been long and difficult, but it isn’t over yet. I pray that my experiences can help others overcome it or aid them in helping their loved ones.

 


Temperaments

This post was first published back in 2016 in my other blog site “The Unwarranted Bachelor”, under the title “Life-Long Temperaments”. This has been edited and renamed for “Writings of Seb”.


Life goes on. Mistakes are made. God forgives.

With my recent move and my struggle finding employment my past mistakes are floating up to the surface of my memory. Some are fresh, within the past year, while many are nearly two decades old.

Most of these mistakes are temperament related. As a child I had a bad temper, which has  morphed into new forms of reactions for the years, but in essence it hasn’t really disappeared entirely.

My entire life I’ve struggled with a negative temperament.

As an adult, I fear my past has finally caught-up with me.

For each one of us, whether Christian or not, there is always at least one thing (a pet peeve) that irritates us the most. How do we react when other folks act in a manner we don’t appreciate? Or if they speak in an unwholesome way?

The truth behind this is we are not “our brother’s keeper” when it comes to the general public, our co-workers, or anyone else who is our equal. The fact is there is someone else who is in charge of them.

I’m not speaking about ignoring accountability with our fellow humans, that’s an entire different story. What I am speak about is changing them. We cannot correct everyone. We need to choose our battles. This is where I’ve struggled with in the past and I find myself doing so more often than not.

Why do we tend to fight up hill battles? Why not fight those that are truly worth fighting?

We, as humans, have the innate need to be “right on everything”. This is true for the theologians, scientists and philosophers. Everyone has an opinions, and everyone has a temper.

My explosive temper is my “thorn in the flesh” (or personality). This doesn’t have to be true, but it has become a part of my mentality. How am I doing to try to mend this ingrained mindset?

The hard truth is: alone it is difficult to fix. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b, ESV). If this is what we believe, then why is change still not happening in our lives? I can’t answer for you, but I can answer for me. I’ve been separating my “Christian life” with the rest of my life. Why?

While this may be an infection within churches, this is no excuse for me.

(I guess this post is more of a confession than anything else.)

The reason why I keep finding myself in the pits of anger issues is a lack of relationship with God. What does God have to do with this? You may be asking yourself. In reality, God has everything to do with it, but not responsible for everything.

All the while, I’m striving for a positive temperament.

As a Bible believing Christian, my relationship with Jesus Christ should be first in my life. The lack of it, from my end, is I am not pursuing it as deliberately as I should be. Reading the Bible; praying to God; in essence communicating with the Most High is what I struggle with the most.

When I lived in Alberta, a good eight hour drive to my dearest friends, I tended to not regularly speak with them. We still had a relationship, but it wasn’t growing. My relationship with God fell into the same pattern.

If God feels far away, who moved? The answer is always I moved.

When I move away from God my old nature rears its ugly face. This has happened again and again, and I hope I have learnt from it by now.


God, my Heavenly Father,

You are Almighty, Creator of the universe. I am but part of Your creation. Forgive me, oh Lord, when I have acted contrary to this. Forgive my stubbornness, forgive my perfectionism, forgive me when I act like I know best. “Give me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence. Let my past misdeeds not affect my future forever. Give me a godly temperament, one that reflects You to those You’ve placed around me.

Amen.


Concerning Bullies

This post was first published back in 2016 in my other blog site “The Unwarranted Bachelor”, under the title “The Nature of Bullies”. This has been edited and renamed for “Writings of Seb”.


Bullies can come in all shapes and sizes…and ages. As a kid, growing up in southern Manitoba, I experienced taunts from all age groups, this included teachers. You know those people who are supposed to teach you things? Those who are supposed to protect students from the mean students (to some degree)? Yup, those teachers.

I know there are children out there who take it upon themselves to bully teachers. This I’ve also witnessed. But why do teachers take the sides of the bullies? Or become bullies towards their pupils?

I can’t answer for them. What I can do is tell you my experiences and hopefully share some advice.

As a child, from an immigrant family with English being my second language, I was a slow learner. (This was especially true in grades one through four.) With that I was a slow reader. I actually couldn’t read properly until mid-way through grade four. I never told my teachers and they never really seemed to care.

The only students that they cared about was the smart kids and the special needs kids. (That was the term used for such children back then, and if it offends anyone than so be it.) I found myself in the middle and thus I was left out of their care.

As a child that is how I felt. My learning disability was kept a secret as much as my childhood depression was hidden from the world. So it seemed to me.

Back on topic: a teacher, who believed she was constantly the focal point of mockery, was a major culprit in this. As a slow reader and a slow note-taker, it took me ages to copy her lectures from the board and go on to the next section. One day when such a thing occurred, and I hadn’t finished jotting everything down and hadn’t opened my textbook to the page she demanded me to read, she snapped. “You think you’re too good to open your book?”

That day I knew she hated kids and despised her job. The question I have for such teachers is: why are you teaching our children if you loath them so much? Get out now before you destroy their lives forever.

I was afraid to tell the right people about this incident. Instead I handled it the best my young mind knew how. I exploded at her just as I did against all others who bullied me. My low self-esteem got the better of me then and, unfortunately, I find that this training is still prevalent in my way of thinking today.

Old habits die hard.

Being shown that one doesn’t matter, or is demonstrated to be a waste of time and space, remains in the subconscious far too long. A child grows up with the training of adults and his/her mind is moulded more by the negative experiences as with the positive. This is a sad truth.

What can a child do if a “trusted” teacher or other role-model is the bully?

Nothing! That is towards the culprit.

Everything! This is to get help. Children, no matter their age, need to be encouraged by their parents to share how their days went. All information given are clues parents need to be open to hearing.

As parents (which I am not one yet) we need to listen to our kids more than we need to probe them for information. If something seems amiss you, as loving parents, need to relay this information to someone at the school or school board who can do something about it.

Parents, ask questions about everything. Be in your children’s lives from the beginning. Foremost, be their parents; not their best friends; not police officers nor their lawyers. You need to find a balance to deal with bullies and help your child deal properly with bullies of all ages.

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4, ESV). Too much caring and too little caring can both lead a child to anger. Be careful.

When I say don’t be “their lawyers” I mean two things:

First, don’t ask leading questions. Especially when your kid doesn’t want to talk and you suspect the reason. Usually your suspected reason is the wrong reason. Never put words in their mouths just as you don’t want them to put words in your mouth.

Be respectful of them.

Second, don’t always take their word as hard core evidence in any case. If something in ongoing you will know. If it’s the first time a teacher bullied your kid (according to his/her account), listen but don’t go witch hunting that second. The story your kid just told you is from his/her recollection of the day’s event.

Always check the facts.

It may be difficult to sit by while your child is bullied, but what if your little one directly or indirectly asked for it?

One last thing to remember: what your kid believes is unfair treatment may not be unfair treatment. But teacher-bullies do exist and they need to be removed from their teaching posts, a.s.a.p.


DISCLAIMER: I am no expert in the field of mental illness or of childhood counselling/caregiving. All of my posts are solely my experiences and/or my opinions. There are a lot of people around who have opinions on anything and everything. Please, be careful and don’t believe all you read as fact or dismiss it as fiction.


A Psalm of Calling

This poem came to mind the other day. I’d like to share it once again with you all.

Writings of Seb

O, LORD my God,
How majestic are Your ways.
You called me out
From a world of despair;
You called me out
From a life of ease.

O, LORD my God,
How majestic are Your words.
You called me into
A church of love;
You called me into
A family of peace.

O, LORD my God,
How majestic are Your deeds.
You called me to be
Learnt in Your ways;
You called me to be
A light for Your name.

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