Who We ARE

Recently I was reminded of a scene in a movie I saw a few months back. It really caught my attention when I first watched it. There are many things we see or hear that are cool, or we find deep at the time that we often forget. It usually takes us many times going over things to really learn or grasp them. I’ve only seen this movie the one time and yet it has really stuck with me. And so, yes, I’m bringing up a Christmas movie in April. The movie is called Cancel Christmas.

I find it interesting that it is not the plot of the movie that has stuck with me. In fact, I am infamous for not remembering if I’ve even seen a movie at all if I’ve watched it just one time. So it is apparent to me that this scene left a mark. The plot is your typical storyline of good versus bad. Santa has to get three teenagers to change their views. Bring them to where they have a change of heart.

All three of the teens have an attitude problem due to valid emotional issues. They have unaddressed traumas controlling their lives. Two of them frequently act out at school. The dad of one of them is both loaded as well as a benefactor for the school. He continually buys his son out of trouble. Everyone but him is painfully aware of it and his son exploits it.

The particular scene is between one of the teens and a teacher. The two teens had set up a malicious prank in the classroom aimed at the teacher. Unfortunately, it landed on the janitor instead, who angrily quit knowing no action would be taken – again. The teacher understood it was meant for her. But because she cared more for their well-being than her own she went to talk with the principal hoping to get them some help.

But just like every other time no appropriate discipline was given.

This made her quite sad. She felt particularly bad for the friend of the entitled son. She believed he was just following and that there was good in him. With that motivation, she called him into the classroom for a chat between classes. She told him how what they had done had hurt her feelings and the boy was shocked.

She then went into an explanation as to why. She told him how he knows her as his teacher but she is more. She told him how she is a person too and that she has feelings and what they did hurt her. He had never thought of that before. The scene goes on into the good she sees in him and all that goes with the plot.

Her explanation is what I found remarkable. She’s a person. She is not just a teacher. She is not the role she plays. She is not the title she wears. She is a person. She has feelings. She has a life outside of the classroom with issues of her own. She stood up for her personhood in a very gracious way. She even validated the teenager’s personhood.

Roles are a part being played, a position to fill, a purpose to complete, a behavior…

Titles describe what someone DOES

But a Person?

A Person is an individual, a soul, an entity, a human spirit…

We are more than a title or job!

We ARE a person.

I AM a person

You ARE a person

Each and every one of us matters!

How many times do we fail to see that people are a person underneath whatever role they are playing? Those people are the person behind the title that they wear. Coming to understand this and allow it to change the way we treat people can change our world. It is easy to discount a role or title. It is easy to be mad and act out on what we consider a thing. But when a person becomes a person in our eyes we treat them differently. It breeds compassion in our hearts. It even happens with criminals. Law enforcement calls it “humanizing”.

We need to see deeper.

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Moms were once not a mom. And when their children grow up they will need to be a person separate from that role. This is where many run into trouble with empty nest syndrome.

Soldiers may be trained to put feelings aside but they still miss their families and many deal with PTSD because they are a person and not a machine.

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Skilled workers, doctors, professors, construction workers, gardeners, day laborers, singers, dancers, wives, husbands, preschool teachers, tour guides….and the list goes on.

These are all roles or titles. Our roles end or change. Our titles are incomplete. People go home at the end of the day. They have reasons they do things that may not make sense. Perhaps they have unresolved traumas like the boys in the movie. Or perhaps they are in the middle of a crisis, or distracted by a big event coming up that is joyous or waiting to hear if they got the job or have a disease or got the loan to buy the house, or…

If we could see inside others hearts it would change us.

I dare you to look – watch this:

Who we are flows into what we do. We have feelings, hopes, and dreams. We have an enormous capacity within us. It is written that God has created humans in His image and set eternity in our human hearts. Eternity is a huge capacity. It is also written that God is love so if we believe we are created in His image that makes our capacity to love ginormous. Seems to me that getting a grasp on that will only make us better at whatever role we play or title we wear. We need both to receive and to give love and compassion. It is how we are designed. Psychologists have proven it.

Good or bad. We ARE a person. What we do is not who we are.

Another thing that I believe God has given us is the gift of choice. We get to choose what kind of a person we want to be.

We get to choose what we do, with who we are. We have that power within us.

What do YOU want to do?

I want to be the kind of person that helps others.

I have found a love that has changed me. I want to personify that. I have been validated and healed on my insides. I want to help others get that too. Being vulnerable is scary but I have opened up and let people in so they could help me. I have been encouraged and I have grown. And although I am still very much a work in progress I want to share what has helped me.

I am here because I am a person

who understands

 #TraumaIsPersonal and #healinghappenstogether

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