the dance of the ink riddled fingers


Posted in epiphany tiffany by enisea on 11/07/2011

I have a new definition of ‘success’.  This definition I’ve borrowed from John Maxwell (who spoke at Hillsong Conference 2011 – which I obviously attended).  I had never heard any definition like it and as much as it first shocked me, this sentence has reverberated through me, louder than any other epiphany from my 6 days in Sydney last week.  It is this:

Success is when those who know you the best, love and respect you the most.

I suppose when that sentence finally penetrates the surface of it’s apparently cliche lexicon, it is very indicative and revealing of the depth of our closest relationships and the manner of ourselves.  Think about it, if those who knew you the best had little love for your character, or little respect for who you really were then what is that saying about you? What does it say about me when all who don’t know me well are impressed or inspired by me, whilst those who know me, know me differently – and don’t think such as often.  What good it is to have a shell of sugar around a rotten core?

This has shifted my priorities greatly.  I think understanding this statement made my stomach churn of a homesick realisation.  My family and a handful of others know me best, but I couldn’t honestly say that they might respect me more than those who know me shallowly. They love me more than others, just because they made that wonderful commitment to, despite my ugly potential – this I know for sure, having tested it.  But it’s the respect criteria I’m struggling with.  Those who know me best, know of: my disorganisation, my last minute struggles, my condemning and judgmental tendencies, my pride, my stupid boasts, my frequent taking for granted or forgetting of people, my favouritism, my poor prioritisation, my mess, my issues with self-control, my selfishness, etc, etc.  And I wouldn’t put it passed them (nor blame them) if they had a little less respect for me than those whose perception of me was at a distance and airbrushed.

Because honestly, I can scrub up well, put on my best face and can convince a stranger I am worthy of love and respect.  But stripped down to the crux of my imperfection, without fancy outfits or titles or boasts to camouflage my less-model-esque traits, to be loved and respected more in this state than in “pretty” efforts, is a large ambition made possible by only the strongest bonds.

And my bonds aren’t as strong as I need them to be.

I always reasoned that I didn’t need to be home often, because the people I lived with didn’t need “my love” as much as my friends did – and so I would leave in the morning and return to shower and sleep.  My house was merely accommodation whereby all the chores and housekeeping was maintained by helpful and serving parents – because that was their job.  I gathered that my family loved me the most and would always accept me and always love me, and so family relationships never needed to be “worked at”.  Alas, it’s taken me twenty-two years to finally resolve how important it is to maintain build and strengthen these family bonds, because there is nobody who would be at my side faster than my family, but they don’t really know what’s going on in my life, because I’ve kept so much of it from them.

So, this my challenge, to slowly erode these barrier between our understandings.  My new definition of success means that I have new direction and insight about where a good portion of my time and effort will now be allotted… and it ain’t leaving home! Don’t get me wrong, this household of four Fongs holds together nicely, and very well, but there’s an infinite potential for it to be even better than it is currently, because I probably need to practice being part of a family before I have “my own” (hahahaha, don’t get suspicious, I’m saying this in faith).

Anyway, not a lot of people are “real” with me, or have the balls to tell me how it is or how it isn’t.  My family never had a problem telling me how it is.  There is no pretending at home.  Only we know we’re crying, and only we can make it better sometimes. So I’ll be trying harder to resemble a ‘good daughter’ or ‘good sister’ now, because these people will be the last people to leave me, and for that, I should be the first one to love them everyday and all the time.

I wondered why I wasn’t very good at being a consistent friend, it’s looking like I haven’t quite firmed my foundation of being a consistent family member.  And really, if anyone by meaning of worldly success, for example: the CEO of a world renown company, had a really broken family and no good relationships or friendships, would you sincerely regard them as ‘successful’?

Like everyone, I want to be successful.  I want to be successful in everything.  I want to eat up the world and make it sing for me, so that life has no option but to be its best!  But apparently, eating up our desires entails chewing some tough elements; and apparently, enjoying the song of life takes some tuning of the ear to hear beauty and melody from the noisy clamor of broken potential… not to mention advocating appreciation for those who gave us the strength to get to where we now are – though most times we didn’t realise it.


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