The kind of man it feels good to be around 

This is a simple idea, so I apologize if your mind isn’t blown to the same degree that it usually is after reading a Galloblog – but hopefully your mind is at least poofed.

Lately I’ve been falling asleep to one of my favoritest songs in the whole world – Ashley McBryde’s daddy love song, Bible and a .44. (It sounds like a crazed redneck song, but it’s actually heart-achingly sweet.) Anyway, one line of that song that jumps out to me every time I hear it is “[he’s] the kind of man it feels good to be around.”

(These sort of simple, beautiful, strangely profound lyrics are why I love country music, despite recent assaults on its dignity by Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, etc.)

One reason why those lyrics strike me is that I immediately think of the men in my fam – my Dad, my Grandpa, my Grandaddy, brother, uncles, cousins.. They really do feel good to be around, and it hurts my heart sometimes just to think about it.

gramps
My grandpa. That grin! If it doesn’t make you feel good, I can’t help you.

What is this secret element that brings on these good feels? I think it’s kindness. A genuine interest in others and commitment to their well-being.. and a complete lack of self-interest. The Gallomen are confident, so they don’t need to prove themselves by obnoxiously competing with other men or by bringing down women, either overtly or covertly. ❤

But another more somber reason those lyrics strike me is how many men they *don’t* apply to.

(This isn’t a man-basher post, but just a “Ima be real” with a dash of emo.)

I have a lot of guy friends that are fun to pal around with. They can be funny. They can be charming. They can be interesting. But at the end of the day, hardly any of them – romantic or platonic alike – actually make me feel good. And some of them – after hanging out with them – I just feel… bad.

Is that their fault? Is the problem me? Who knows, and who cares. They just do.

My birthday is around the corner, which always intensifies my pensiveness and reflectivity sooooo… the action item I’m going to take away from this beautifically simple ideer is also beautifically simple: I’m going stop friending (and especially dating, amiright?) men* whom — whether or not they’re brilliant, hilarious, devastatingly handsome, Captain of the Tim Keller fan club, etc. — it feels bad to be around.** And if I may get a little dramatic … if I can’t find men who feel good to be around, better to be alone and/or surround myself with sisters from other misters and/or houseplants.

.. Oh, and I encourage you all – especially those tender young blossoms of womenfolk – to do the same *smooch*

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Yes, yes, women too. But the song lyric is about men, so.. just go with it.

**I’m not saying to shun people who you don’t jive with perfectly. I’m referring to people who consistently bring ickiness into your life. You don’t have to hate them, but you definitely don’t have to subject yourself to the bad feels, either.

The Good of Guilt

Recently I did something that I’m not particularly proud of. What did I do? Nunya business, honestly. I don’t want the focus of the post to be on my scandals.* What I do want to make it about is the guilt associated with my scandals.

The next day after my scandalous behavior I woke up with that sickening  guilt that churns around in your gut relentlessly. When I sat down to read my biblio and pray, I felt like a traitorous infidel.

Then my ego-preservation-mode kicked into overdrive, and I thought of so many reasons why what I did wasn’t all that bad. My mind performed some impressively creative feats of self-justification, and one side of me was like, “Chillax, yo! So many people have done so much worse!” but another side of me was like “Nah, you dumb.

Then my self-disgust-mode kicked into overdrive, and I felt a strong compulsion to do some penance. My mind generated several paths of punition for me to complete until I (hopefully God, too) would feel okay about me again. One side of me was like “You are a disgusting worm, and now you must roll around penitently in the dirt like a worm, but another side of me was like, “What’s done is done, brah.

So I sat there for a while, battling myself. And both of mes were kinda right, and both of mes were kinda wrong.

Then a few thoughts struck me as I sat there like a Guilty Gabriella –

  • One of the reasons I didn’t want to pray was that I didn’t feel I deserved for God to give me anything. Uh-oh, legalism-o! Apparently my heart had swallowed a sneaky nugget of self-righteousness dunked in entitlement sauce without my conscious consent.
  • This deep sense that my misdeed deserves punishment is rooted in a truth, but an incomplete one. My actions did demand a punishment, but I wasn’t the one that would take it.** It was such a discomfiting idea – that immediately after I had done this legitimately foolish deed, I was good.  No flagellation required.
  • It’s much more difficult to judge people when I remember how… delicious… sin can be. The humility of receiving grace takes the wind out of the judgiest of sails.
  • I wanted to tell someone about what I did, right away. And I didn’t want to tell someone who would pat me on the head and tell me I is kind, smart, and important (but I also didn’t to tell someone who would look aggrieved and spread this “prayer request” to the rest of the gossip girls).

In toto: Guilt is one of the worst feelings to ever assault the human mind, body, and soul. It’s not appropro when it causes you to obsess over your own badness, but neither is it always an inappropro feeling that should be dismissed immediately. It can 1) expose our general sense of entitlement, 2) awaken us to the heart-twisty kindness of Jesus, 3) give us grace towards others, 4) motivate us to confess (which ultimately helps keep us accountable in the future so we will be less likely to turn right around and repeté).

Don’t try to dismiss your guilt, but don’t wallow around in shame, either. Use it as an opportunity to become all the more in awe of and thankful for the kindness and necessity of Jesus.

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Don’t let your imagination run too wild. If you need something concrete to tack onto this story- just pretend that I threw away recyclable plastic in the trash… yah, that was it *laughs nervously*

** “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Cor 5:21