Not Your Puppet

Several years ago, when I was seeing a psychiatrist, he suggested I take a small role in a local theater production to help build confidence.  I thought he was nuts, if for no other reason than there were plenty of true actors and actresses vying for any role in these plays and I didn’t stand a chance against them. Another reason? I had no desire to do this. I wasn’t scared of doing it, I simply didn’t want to.

So I told him no, I wouldn’t do it, and he was shocked. “You mean you won’t do what your psychiatrist asks you do?” he asked. Now it was my turn to be astounded. Was this man’s ego so big he actually thought I would substitute his judgment for mine in any situation? Yes, I went there for help. But no, it didn’t mean I was a puppet.

When I was in high school, I joined a local church who taught us that what was preached from the pulpit was absolute truth and we were headed down a solitary road without God if we didn’t follow those teachings. I eventually left the church, but not before I heard someone praise one of the men in the congregation.

stack of books pixabayThis man didn’t blindly accept anything as gospel truth without testing it first. He knew the Bible better than just about anyone in that church and wasn’t afraid to contradict the pastor if he disagreed with him. But wasn’t a contrary man, he was loving and gracious. He just thought for himself. He wasn’t a puppet.

It was a good lesson for me. I was young and impressionable enough that I struggled with leaving that congregation because I thought it meant I was rejecting God. I later learned one of the great lessons of my life: you can make up your own mind, and you can change your mind. It doesn’t mean you’re always going to be right, but it does mean you’re using the brain God gave you to try to get to know him better. And those are the lessons that stick.

Thinking for yourself can be a challenge if you’re a people-pleaser, which I used to be. I’ve gone through enough in the last twelve years that I no longer care what others think of me. But I’m not a rebel, in fact, I show a lot of respect for others, whether I agree with them or not.

Just don’t tell me to follow you blindly. I’m not a puppet.

Image Credits: Puppet © ArtFamily–; Stack of books–courtesy of Pixabay

3 Replies to “Not Your Puppet”

  1. Was that some kind of test from the psychiatrist or did he really mean for you to join a theatre group? Good for you for standing your ground.
    I used to aggravate some people at work by asking why? when we were told to do something. I needed a reason, not an order.
    It’s good to question people. Some of them might be the puppets they expect us to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He really wanted me to join a theater group and was genuinely shocked when I said no. I stopped seeing him shortly after that, for any number of reasons.
      I agree with you about needing a reason, not an order. I’m much more motivated to do something when I understand why it needs to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

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