Jesus Wants You to Have a Case of the F**k-its

When I worked in rehab, there came a time in many clients’ journeys when they stopped caring about working their treatment program. Confined to the facility’s three hallways, 7:50am wake up time, always having to remain within staff “line of site,” language censorship, and continual uprooting of every terrible thing that had ever happened to them, even the most penitent grew weary. We had a name for this. We would say the client had developed “a case of the fuck-its.” Instead of responding to staff correction, the once motivated client has decided, either verbally or non verbally, to “fuck it.” Give up. Stop trying. Once this happened, it was incredibly difficult to get the client to start caring again. Coming back from a case of the fuck-its is nearly impossible.

But for me, learning how to develop a case of the fuck-its is one of my greatest take aways from working in rehab. While my clients could hardly be considered role models, the name for their defiant behavior is somewhat descriptive of what I am learning to do in my own life. Something detrimental to their futures has proved greatly beneficial as I continue to pursue mine.

THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ is called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud. (Just skip the first chapter because the writing is terrible. These men are obviously psychologists.) In my brief summary, this book tells you it’s okay to demand to be treated the way you know you should be treated. To let your internal sense of justice, so long as you are not being knowingly selfish, direct you. No longer do we bend over backwards to get people to love us. Either a relationship works or it does not, it is healthy or it is unhealthy. This book sets you free to stand up for yourself and to be yourself. Two things I have struggled with ever since I can remember.

Basically, this book taught me how to have “a case of the fuck-its,” in the best way. I say something unknowingly that might have offended someone. Fuck it. I laugh too loudly. Fuck it. I make a choice I think a lot of people will disapprove of. Fuck it.

I am going to be myself. I am going to laugh too loudly. I am going to do things and people are going to think I am doing it wrong. I am going to offend people. If people are so unforgiving of my mistakes, it is perhaps better for them not to be in my life at all.

As someone who truly loves and wants what’s best for others, the fuck-its do not come naturally to me. I would much rather sit with you in your crap and let you beat me up with your insecurities and let you take advantage of me while I change myself to cater to your needs. Because that feels like love. That feels like compassion. Telling you you’re hurting me, or hurting others, feels mean. Telling you you are stifling someone’s freedom to express themselves seems drastic. It feels sharp. As someone known for being blunt, actually being blunt, in many situations, mainly the ones where it is most needed, does not come easily to me. But that’s when I have to stop caring about the other person’s feelings and instead focus on this new sense of identity being cultivated within me. (And on the fact that sometimes loving someone means putting them in their place.)

In a way, I sort of think these rehab kids were onto something. We are both trying to live up to rules and standards we feel incapable of achieving. Once we realize our efforts will never be good enough, we throw in the towel. It’s when we are at our end that the redemption Jesus offers can begin. If I’m honest, Jesus often does not become a viable option for me until I have exhausted all my own means first.

Maybe, just maybe, Jesus WANTS  us to develop a case of the fuck-its. Maybe that’s when we finally take a breath and step out in faith that we can trust Jesus with ourselves. Our bold, beautiful, messy, here-I-am-I-hope-this-works, selves. Because finally we are no longer in bondage to other people. 

It’s possible there is better language for all of this, maybe even a bible verse I could repeat over and over again that would give me strength. But for now this is what I have. And this is how I say it. I am realizing God absolutely adores me, just as I am, honesty and non-PCness included. Sometimes, I actually think God cares more that we get the point of what he is teaching us, and rest is just semantics. I could be wrong. But in this moment, I don’t really care.

I mean, whatever. Fuck it.

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This entry was published on September 11, 2013 at 11:48 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Jesus Wants You to Have a Case of the F**k-its

  1. There is and it’s my favorite, “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matt 22:37-29

    I think the part the church fails to teach well, the part that is relevant to this post is the last few words. Especially the last two. AS YOURSELF not better than yourself, not Jesus Others You, love for neighbor should = love for yourself.

    • Mmm yes. Still so good for me to think about! Love myself first, then love others. Why is this so hard?? It’s nice that Jesus commands it though. Reminds me that it’s ok 🙂 I appreciate your perspective!

  2. Apologies for what’s to be a slightly long comment.

    In my estimation, most of us move in one of two directions – either the sort of co-dependent cave for others direction or the self-absorbed asshole direction, in which everything revolves around us.

    The church rightly spends a lot of time focusing on the self-absorbed asshole angle. But in that they miss that it’s not everybody’s issue, and so implicitly the opposite co-dependent angle is ok. But that angle is also a perversion of how we’re supposed to live, because it’s in no way true to ourselves and while we may be loving our neighbor, we’re not loving ourselves – a key part of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.

    So, absolutely, there’s a good segment of us who probably need to hear that we need the “fuck-its” and there’s other of us that probably need to hear to stop being so damned self-absorbed.

    Thanks for writing this, you’ve got a great angle on it.

    • Yes! Absolutely, you described it well, and I completely agree. There have been times in church when I listen to the pastor and think how damaging all of the encouraged self giving can be, but I understand that because people are inherently selfish, it needs to be said. But neither codependency nor asshole syndrome are biblical or the freedom Jesus died for us to have. Thanks for sharing!

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