Interestingly, over the past few weeks I have been contacted by several people who are concerned for me. I can only assume most of this stems from my most recent blog post about pants. Extremely interesting to me is the lack of interest my post about suicide caused versus the amount over wearing slacks (not jeans – these are nice dress slacks) to church.
Before I start my tirade I want to say thank you to the people who have contacted me and actually been willing to put their name on that contact. I may or may not always agree with what you say, but I appreciate that you are willing to engage with me or at least contact me with your name so that, should we both be interested, we can have a real conversation about the issues that I’ve brought up. These issues are very, very important to me, and I’m grateful for your interest (whether or not we have a conversation, because I know sometimes I don’t have the energy, and sometimes you don’t have the energy).
Now, on to the rant.
On the one hand, I’m glad people care. On the other, way to choose what to care about. I’m thinking of ending my life? No big deal. Very few people reached out to me. Very few took the time to comment and tell me how they feel. But, I take a stand about women wearing pants to church, and suddenly people are concerned for my well-being, I’m being told I don’t “see” what I’m doing, that I’m heading “down a path” that can’t lead anywhere good, that I’m an “apostate” or that I’m simply being an idiot.
The very most interesting part to me about this whole situation is that there have been several people who have contacted me anonymously to tell me of their worry, concern, or disdain for me and my choices.
I don’t get it.
If you care, care out loud. If you really want me to know that I matter to you, stick your name on it. Call me on the phone. Email me or message me on FB or whatever it is you feel is the right way to contact me. But put your name on it. Stand behind your thoughts and feelings.
Do you worry I will disrespect you? Do you worry that you’ll hurt my feelings? Do you worry that I won’t like you any more? Or that I’ll put a curse on you (because obviously if I think women should be able to wear pants to church then I’m so far gone that I’m into black magic and those sorts of things now)? Do you worry that I’ll maybe even engage with you about your concerns? That maybe if I’m allowed to express my opinion to you personally, you might start to feel a tiny bit of empathy for me?
I’m a big girl. Turns out I’m even a grown-up. And I (usually – not always, but usually) know how to act like one. So if you hurt my feelings, or you make me mad, or you say something that I disagree with, give me the courtesy of assuming that I will handle it in a grown-up sort of way. I’m not interested in changing your opinion. I’m not interested in convincing you that I’m “right” and you’re “wrong”. I totally understand that your perspective and mine are vastly different. And I will give you the courtesy of allowing you to continue believing and thinking whatever you like without deciding you are an idiot or self-centered or anything, and especially without saying that to your face or behind your back. Whatever it is you’re worried about, stop it.
If you want to talk to me, please do. I engage with people on topics that I feel strongly about when I have the energy. If I don’t have the energy, I won’t (and I generally do get around to letting you know (sometimes it takes a LONG time but I do eventually get around to it)). It’s that simple. I’m not going to be mean to you, and I’m not going to start telling the whole world what a dork you are. I’m really not. If I was in 7th grade, maybe. I do recall doing some pretty idiotic things back then. But I like to think I’ve grown up enough to realize that my experience, my perception, my view, my life are not the only valid or real ones out there.
So please stop anonymously telling me what a mess I’m making of my life. Please own up to your words and actions. It’s tough to put much stock in something when you’re not even willing to let me know (privately) who you are. But even more frustrating is that you don’t trust me enough to be kind and civil to you. Give me some credit. I’m not that terrible.
So sorry to hear that more people seemed to care about the pants issue versus something that is truly serious and life threatening. I’ve been to churches where people can wear whatever they want and I can tell you from experience you can still hear a positive message and feel good whether you’re wearing pants or a dress. I get where the only dress folks may be coming from but truly didn’t Jesus say “love everyone” not just love those that wear dresses to church? That’s honestly one of my biggest issues around organized religion that the members don’t always practice what they preach. I get we’re all not perfect and that we’re hear to learn and grow but still you can’t tell me that people like Mother Theresa is going to hell just because she didn’t go to a particular church. People work in Christlike ways from many faiths and someones choice to wear pants or a dress to worship, at least to me, means little if they are living a good life. Then again that’s just my personal opinion. People can agree to disagree but I’m with you, we’re all adults and let’s know that we can share our thoughts and opinions and still live on without making each other feel bad for our personal choices. Isn’t it somewhere we’re not supposed to judge each other, only the Lord is able to do that? I would assume in the end if we are judged by our creator that’s the end all be all decision anyway. Can’t we all just get along?
I read your pants post, this post, and your suicide post. I dig your honesty and authenticity. I wish you and I showed up to more of the same get-togethers.
I have read each one of your posts and I truly appreciate your honesty. I know that you are genuinely honest in all that you do. With yourself and with others. Those that have issues about the pants really need to take a step back and ask themselves why in the heck are they spending so much time worrying about your appearances instead of getting to know a beautiful woman that feels things deeply. I wish that we were closer.
True honest people are hard to find and you my dear are one. We may not agree on everything but I sure do respect your ability to put pain, struggles and triumphs into words.
Love you Christine!
This is Tara Belisle for those that want to know and I think Christine is a pretty great lady so there!!
What a cute cartoon. People at our ccruhh come in everything from beautiful designer looking outfits to jeans and lots of shorts in the summertime. We do have some men who wear suits and ties in the winter but by far the most do not. I think my hubby is enjoying not wearing a suit and tie every Sunday as he did for so many many years. Next Saturday we’re going to a wedding and he will be dragging out one of his suits and picking out a tie again. Hope you’re having a great day.Blessings,Charlotte
Love you Christine. I can’t believe the vast difference between the two issues, and yet I can- that’s sad. I hope you are doing well and taking a break when you can, you deserve it. 🙂
I don’t care that you wear pants — nudity might create some attention…all positive, though it could prove distracting….but I do care that life has been dark enough to think ending it might be an acceptable option. I think you’re altogether lovely. You may discuss anything with me at any time and I’ll put on my best listening ears. Unfortunately, my best “wisdom” is still pretty shabby. I didn’t know you had a blog. Saw it referenced on one of my very rare visits to facebook. My entire family thinks of you often. I’d love to see your face to tale to or even a back to speak behind. 🙂
Oh, I would bet that if people didn’t reach out to you or comment on a potential suicide — it was due primarily to feelings of inadequacy — what can you say in the face of such pain? But something mundane like to dress or not to dress…Pants are the question — now, there’s an issue everyone can safely have a strong personal opinion. Hopefully the silence only expressed everyone’s humility in the face of such a serious issue and not everyone’s lack of concern or love.