The Straight and Narrow


Growing up, I was the kid that did as I was told. True, partly or mostly due to the fear of a butt-whooping but I was never one to break rules too often. Growing up, we were not allowed to listen to ROCK N ROLL as this music could only come from the devil. We woke up to “The Sound of the New Life.” This was the Christian radio station in Dayton, Ohio. This is all we listened too. Even when I got my license, I never really thought to change the station. I remember the day my brother, Rajiv reached over and switched the station to Z93! Even though I knew my dad was not in the car, it was very unnerving. When we reached home we just would switch the station back.

We were not allowed to go to the movie theatre. I never went. Well, OK I did sneak off once with my girlfriend to see Rocky because a boy I liked wanted to go. (Obviously he was just using me for a ride)! I didn’t do this till my senior year in high school.

I never sneaked out of the house, broke curfew (even though it was unreasonable… but I was a girl). I did not “forget” to do my chores (I learned that lesson quickly and young too)! I did not tell lies (at least not ones that would be found out).

You get the picture, right. I was a good girl. As I grew older, this stuck with me. I was never a partier, never drank anything other than diet coke, never smoked anything even once. Part of this may be attributed to the fact that I was a chicken. Or maybe I really was a goody-goody.

I never even had a boyfriend till I was in university. One, my parents would have frowned down on this, as they did not feel I was old enough. Second, there really was no one knocking on my door. Ummmm…. thus no doubt, my Valentine’s Day complex. Ok the list could go on, but what is the point. I was a good girl.

When I went to university, there was so much to check out. But still, I stayed within the boundries I was familiar with. I think it was easier to do because most of my friends were similar.

After university graduation I experienced a very devastating experience. It changed my view of life, all that I once believed and of my reality. It was a very painful and confusing time. I was angry. Angrier than I had ever been and suddenly all that I thought was important, no longer was.

I had no where to turn. No one understood. No one got it. I was alone for the first time in my life. When you do not care or really feel that your purpose for life is gone, what do you have to lose? Not much.

I did things for the first time ever that I knew was wrong. In the scheme of things, they were mistakes but not as bad as they could have been. I was being saved. (Thank You, God)! When I think of some of the things I did, the dangerous decisions and possible consequences… I was an idiot.

Not only was I an idiot, I was alone. I did not feel that I could turn to anyone. It was a thankfully short period. God brought Sanj into my life to give me new focus. When I did share some of the things that happened, it was hard. I felt judged and misunderstood. This was my perception and how really could I expect others to understand when I did not understand myself?

It took years to make sense of what happened. I still don’t understand it. But when you are trying to analize that behavior of another being, it is usually a lost cause. I think that thankfully there is a gracious Being that is all forgiving and knew me even before I was born, from beginning to end. He knew my mistakes and still used them to better me.

I realized that it is so easy to KNOW what the right thing is. Some of us see no other option than doing the right thing. But there are so many reasons to someone in the midst of a crisis why it may not be so clear. They need to ride this one their way… despite the fact that you just want to protect them, help them. They need to experience this, own it,figure it out and if they have not asked for help, then alone.. their choice. A choice that needs to be honored.

What can you do? Not much. You can tell them that you are angry. Why not be truthful? And you can tell them you love them. That is all they really want now anyways.

That is the sucky thing about love, if it is true… whether it is love for a parent, sibling, child or friend, you can let them know you love them not their behavior. Tough love… tough on you to see the pain coming their way yet loving them despite it hurting you. It is easy to love someone when it is all good, but the bad stuff… shows us what we are made of… real love will stand the test of time and pain.

The straight and narrow is a blessing and a curse.

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