Tag Archives: rejection

Memoir vs Autobiography


Adopted CS Cover.inddI recently wrote a memoir. A family member asked me, “Why wasn’t so-and-so mentioned in your book?”

“I didn’t include many special people, interesting places, and events of my life in the work, mainly because I wrote a memoir, not an autobiography.” I said.

“What’s the difference? I’m not sure I know. Isn’t a memoir supposed to be about all that you remember in your life?” he said.

That’s when I gave a brief comparison as I understood the differences.

“To me, a memoir presents slices of memory around a theme. The theme I chose was my adoption and healing love. The memoir began simply as a journaling of the various encounters I had as an adoptee with the love that finally healed my life and my wounded heart. Much of what I wrote when I started out was for my own personal reflection and not intended for publication. Only later did I see the theme emerge.

An autobiography, on the other hand, is a full, comprehensive accounting of everything in the life of the person writing. The autobiography organizes itself chronologically. The memoir or personal narrative, may meander through various memories and snatches of experiences surrounding the developing theme. Is that explanation helpful?”

“I think you should share that in an Introduction or Preface then.” he said.

“Perhaps a blog post will do. On behalf of my readers, I was trying to be brief and focused.” My family member seemed satisfied.

This is the simplified explanation of how I envisioned and wrote my recent book entitled, Adopted: An Adoptee’s Memoir of Healing Love. I hope I clarified the distinction enough to not be held guilty of leaving out him and others I love and value.

QUESTION: Is the explanation I gave clear and accurate as you think about the differences?

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Adopted Memoir Available for Kindle


“I thought I’d be dead by 21”

 

Great pain produces character. It can just as easily produce fear, rejection, and self-loathing. 

 

My early life produced in me a fear that I’d be dead by 21. This personal narrative is my memory of a lifelong search for love, belonging, and a sense of place. Walk with me on my journey through abandonment, panic attacks, fear, rejection, bullying, and unbelief, out into the blinding light of healing love.

 

Adopted touches on the issues nearly every child or adult adoptee must face on the way to maturity, wholeness, and redemption. Along the way it provides valuable insights to adoptive and foster parents who long to see their children whole; and, to adult adoptees who wonder why they do what they do and how healing can be the next chapter in their life story.

adopted-cover-kindle

See product page at Amazon.com

The REAL Hate Crime


Open hand raised, Stop Hating sign painted, multi purpose concep“They hated me without cause.”

–Jesus Christ

I find it interesting that in our current culture, those who cry “hate” the loudest are non-believers, atheists, and the religious Christmas and Easter crowd. In reality, they are the haters.

They hate the followers of Jesus who must speak the truth. How the guilty project upon the innocent is an interesting psychological phenomenon. But since I am no psychologist or psychiatrist, I’ll stick with the Son of God’s evaluation. His perspective cannot be improved upon and proves, after all, to not be limited to a time in history. Hating has been going on for a very long time. However, Jesus tells us who the real haters are, giving us also the reason behind the hatred.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’” (John 15:18–25, ESV)

Here Jesus warns his disciples—those who know and love Him. He tells them in advance the many strange things that are going to come upon them so that they won’t lose heart as they stand in a sinful culture holding out to a hateful world the word of life and love.

First he makes it crystal clear: When you are hated, recognize what is really going on underneath that hatred. The world does not recognize you as its own. You are not seen as a part. Since you are not of their world any longer, they hate you. When you were with them in their sinful, self-directed lifestyle, they loved you . . . or not. But now that you have been rescued from that way of life, you no longer belong—as you grow in Christlikeness. You are no longer under their control. You don’t have to perform to prove your value. Your value is intrinsic in your relationship to Christ.

The reason

They hate Christ. His righteous life shows the decadence of theirs or at least does not recognize their self-made “goodness.” But beyond that . . . why do they hate Jesus? Because, Jesus says: “all these things they will do ON ACCOUNT OF MY NAME (because of Jesus), because THEY DO NOT KNOW HIM WHO SENT ME.” (That would be God, the Father). Nor do they want to know Him.

Think of the immense danger their souls are in. In hating you and me, they hate Jesus and in hating Jesus, they hate God the Father. They are lost to the uttermost and until they turn from their hatred—instead of falsely accusing us of hate—they will remain lost and forfeit immortality.

So . . . what’s our response as disciples and followers of Jesus—sons of the Father? We are to continue to love them. Jesus said to love those who persecute and despitefully abuse you. We must love them. We must pray (as someone prayed for us), that the veil that covers their hearts and minds from seeing who Jesus really is and who they were meant to be will be removed. In doing this, we ransack the kingdoms of this world which are under the operation of the enemy. We displace darkness with light, lies with truth until all of God’s children know that they are loved by Him and find their way home.

QUESTION: What do you think?

The 8 Biggest Problems People Voice


[I have revised and updated this post from a couple of years ago.]

Are your problems like other peoples’ problems?

Have you ever thought to yourself that you were the ONLY one concerned about . . . (name it).

Let’s take a few minutes and look at the 8 biggest problems people face (whether they know it or not). See where you fall out in comparison.

This is not a scientific study**. These are my personal reflections over three decades of serving people. As a busy, involved Life Coach I get lots of questions from clients, friends, and family. They all center around the following eight concerns:

1. Relational Issues. Human beings are relational. Those who aren’t are considered abnormal, and for good reason . . . they are. Men relate to women, women to men, children relate to parents, people to employers, teachers, and government. Everything in life revolves around relationship. Why are so many so bad at them? Relational equilibrium is what Life Coaches help to establish. People sometimes need a new or different perspective on their old habits of relating that aren’t working for them. Perhaps they need a new mental window to look through when they’re communicating with others.

If you want to see shallow, superficial relationships and attempts at “love,” just watch some of the contemporary reality TV programs. The problem with watching them of course is that they have nothing to teach you. Unless you learn from them that relationships need to be other-oriented rather than selfish and self-serving. Who would want a “friend” like some of the people you see on the “Bachelorette” or “Jersey Shore?” I’m hoping these aren’t the new “reality.” If they are, we should add a ninth problem to our list: Shallow Reality TV.

2. Fear of Running Out of Money. Will the money last? Will I have a job tomorrow? Most people are concerned about their income, especially the lack of income. They are concerned about expenses. He says, “She shops like there’s no tomorrow. She can’t possibly wear all the shoes she owns!” She says,  “He thinks a boat is more important than renovating our bedroom or kitchen. If it were up to him, I wouldn’t have anything.”

Some have more than enough but worry that they’ll lose it. Others have just enough to squeak by today but are not sure about tomorrow. Some say they don’t care . . . and among those are the truly content and the obviously deluded.  Life and death, sickness and health are tied up in these issues. FREE ADVICE: The best place to be in regard to finances is completely out of debt.

3. Health Issues. What happens if I get sick? How will we get by? OR I’m so tired of hospitals and doctors. I’m sick of sickness! How can I keep myself healthy? Many are deeply in debt through no fault of their own and see no way out. Many folks I talk with are ignorant of healthy nutrition. Others have begun to take seriously the way our food in America is raised and processed (for a real education watch the documentary Food, Inc.–you can stream it on Netflix). They are opting in on organic produce and fruits, grass-fed cattle, and free-range foul. Some worry about their health future. There are solutions that do not involve medical insurance. More and more believers I know are taking advantage of group sharing programs like Samaritan Ministries (for those who are disciples of Jesus).

4. Anxiety over Finding or Losing Loved ones. Am I lovable? Will someone care for me? Am I worth caring about? Am I perfect enough? Can I find mister/ms right? Will I ever find someone like . . . ? Love is at the center of most relationships. All but the most dysfunctional people care deeply about finding, keeping, and losing love. Yet no two people can agree upon what “true love” is. Some say there’s no such thing . . . and they have enough broken relationships to prove it. Relational issues in families, between families have escalated since the late sixties, early seventies. I’m not a sociologist, so I can’t give you the reasons for this. What I can say is that the majority of people I speak with or coach desire whole, functional relationships. Others don’t want to pay the price to change. They want the OTHER person to change. Our difficulties are always easier to blame on someone else when we’re too immature to take responsibility for the way we relate.

Abandonment, rejection, and loneliness have attacked every one of us through some relationship. Good reason exists for us all to be love-shy. Yet, people who can’t or won’t love will remain incomplete and dysfunctional. Love is after all what our Creator says we were created for. All the negative experiences are the result, not of love, but of SELF-love.

5. Religious Questions. Is there a God? Or is this life all there is? Are we alone in the Universe? What if there is a God and I’m wrong? Do I end up in Hell or Heaven? What are the requirements? Who’s right? Muslims? Jews? Buddhists? Hindus? What’s the big deal about Jesus? Why are Christians so insistent on Him for everybody? Do we really need religion? These are not problems for some, but for those who deeply examine their lives, they have to come to terms with whether they want to live a Tea Bag Philosophy of life or encounter and relate to the One who claims to be Creator, and lover of their soul. The reason Jesus is such a big deal, the reason that every known religion has had to come to terms with Him is because He claimed a relationship with God as Father. Then he rose from the dead and was seen by over 500 credible witnesses. His followers number in the 10’s of millions. Like Him, they claim that God has “revealed” Himself to them. They experience fellowship with their Father-God. Other religions make claims as well, but of a very different sort. None claims that their God is the God who is Love. No other God has demonstrated that love by reaching out to human beings to bring them into his Household. For this reason, and many others, I’m a Christian spiritual formation Life Coach.

6. Concerns about Death. What happens when I die? Of course, the obvious answer is “You’re dead. It won’t matter to you.” Don’t we just die, go into the ground, and float around as a spirit looking to hang out in a place that was special to us? Most of the cultural views regarding death are based upon a misinformed Epistemology–Most people are clueless about immortality, death, the grave, and what happens after (including, and sometimes most especially, religious people). You can change that. You can know what happens when you die. That’s why beyond the grave books are such hot sellers. That’s why Life Coaches, who also deal with spiritual formation, can bring clarity to many of these issues.

7. Global War. Aren’t we headed toward destruction of the world? Why can’t we just all live together? Why can’t we live at peace? For the same reason that people struggle with so many of these life questions. Most people look only on the surface and refuse to see the invisible, underlying realities that shape our existence. I guess they feel that they can’t impact those unseen things. So now combine misplaced Epistomology with a misplaced Anthropology. War is the result of men who are unsatisfied with what they have (greed) OR of men who think that they have to institute their religious laws on everyone else (religious legalistic totalitarianism). By the way, Christians to not believe they must institute religious laws on everyone. Quite the opposite. They fulfill and satisfied the law in their relationship to Jesus Christ. What do Imean? Take a week and read, then reread The New Testament in the Bible. Then you’ll understand.

Think long and hard over these two causes (greed and religious law) before you’re tempted to move on. The lust of man, the pride of life, and the desires that he can’t control all drive him to take what is not his or want what is someone else’s. He wants to control, to enforce his will upon others. No god offered by other religions encourages freedom or liberty. They can’t. They want to control. The One True God–Yahweh–is the God of freedom and love. A person adopted as His child, is truly free and beloved.

8. Concerns about the Future. What should I do with my life? Where are things headed? Scores of questions abound regarding the future–what it holds, how people are to face it, perhaps leverage it. The future is big business too. So naturally people wonder if it’s OK to seek out fortune tellers, palm readers, psychics, and other practitioners of divination. As a Christian spiritual formation Life Coach, I share God’s view regarding those practices. They open people to demonization by seeking future information from supernatural sources–which God has expressly forbidden (not because He’s a Blue Meanie–but for our safety). I explain that two sources are available for believers to KNOW their intended future, including preparing for unforeseen events. But that’s another post.

The eight biggest problems people voice to me seem to cover most things human. The specifics change, but the concerns seem to group together under one of the eight–relational issues, fear of running out of money, health issues, anxiety over finding or losing loved ones, religious questions, concerns about death, global war, and concerns about the future.

QUESTION: Can you think of any BIG problems I’ve overlooked?

©2011, David C Alves

**MY RESEARCH: Just to give you some context to why I know something about this topic: I’m speaking from tens of thousands of conversations for over twenty-six years as a Life Coach. The questions and concerns people bring to me tend to be repetitive. I also speak as someone who has weathered bankruptcy and am now completely out of dept. I have been divorced and have been happily married now for 32 years in my second marriage. I was lost and have been found. I was rejected and am accepted. I have defeated panic attack disorder and quit smoking and drinking decades ago. All this just to say, I’m not someone who can’t empathize with the people I coach. Character and wisdom come from weathering life’s storms, caring for others, being teachable, and taking sound counsel.

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