Ever since Oprah visited Australia late last year, there has been a resurgence of her popularity. One of the local channels who were instrumental during her visit also aired her ‘big secret’ episode last night, in which she revealed that she had a half-sister. In the program, both Oprah and her half-sister Patricia confronted their mum for holding the truth for them for such a long time and why she refused to meet Patricia when she tracked her down. Oprah then shared that she had an epiphany when she left her mum’s house – that her mum had been carrying the shame and secret for so long that she couldn’t handle the truth when it emerged. Oprah also related it to an incident in her life when her other sister Pat sold a story to the tabloid about Oprah’s pregnancy during her teenage years and how she was abused when she was young. She mentioned that while it was harsh and painful, and actually affected her relationship with her sister, it had set her free. She has not carried the guilt and shame because it has already been exposed to the open.
The story comes to mind as I evaluate my words and actions. I say some pretty harsh things to a young friend recently that may have hurt the person – and although what I mention may be true, the dosage in which it is administered may have actually been ‘lethal’. It gets quite annoying and predictable when I am approached by the said friend only in moments of needs, in which my friend would be so kind and helpful, and then when it is done, Yani and I would not hear a peep until another request for help emerges. It may be a fact of life for everybody, I may actually inadvertently do it to my friends as well. However, when my friend approached me again a couple of days ago, I cheekily mentioned, “What’s up? You only talk to me when you need my help, eh? When you don’t, I don’t hear anything from you for a long time”. My friend was quiet for a while and then said, “I just don’t want to bug you as I know that you’re a very busy man.” I told my friend not to put the words to heart as I was just being cheeky.
Truth. In high dosage, it can be quite overwhelming. Nobody wants to be exposed and stripped naked emotionally.
I realise that I can be very abrasive with my words and actions. I’m not a patient man in so many areas in my life and it’s only after I get married I realise that it is an aread that is really a ‘work in progress’. When God gives me a wife who is quite different in terms of pace of thinking and areas of interest, I know that I am being shaped to be a better person. It would’ve been easier for me to have a wife who is totally similar in all regards – however, that would make impatient and intolerant even further. Yani and I are still learning to cover each other’s weaknesses with our distinctive strength. I am thankful that her loving character masks a lot of my abrasiveness to my friends. I once joke that I am the bleach and she is the fabric softener – we work well effectively together. On the other hand, I am still learning as well not to focus on her weaknesses and how she can’t see things the way that I see them, but to use my strength in that area to protect and cover her.
Jesus says in the Bible that “The truth will set you free”. It’s true. I just need to find God’s way to administer it -so I don’t administer lethal dosage and that I only give the right amount that would effectively cleanse and restore. Just like what He does with me every day.