Thursday, November 19, 2015
Whoever Said that "Sticks and Stones" thing... was an Idiot.
There's always that one person, right?
No matter where you go or what you do... there they are somehow always ready to pop your little bubble. There's always a snarky comment spoken, a face made, a look given. While it can be somewhat hurtful... it's mostly annoying to me.
I used to take everything so personally. Well, that got old real quick. I don't have time for drama anymore. I don't have the patience for it. I'm learning now to simply ignore any negativity people throw my way. Really. I have to. "The less you respond to negative people, the more peaceful your life will become." It is my decision whether or not to be offended, so I choose not to be... most of the time.
I lived the first 24 years of my life in such a fragile state. I walked on egg shells and carried chips on my shoulders from sun up to sun down. I cared about everyone's opinion and pleasing people was my idol. I didn't realize it for a long, long time. I never hurt others to get people's approval, I refused to lie or cheat, and it's just in me to give 110%, so I thought all was well with me. I couldn't understand why anyone would have a problem with that. But, some did... and some were not afraid to express that. Others just didn't understand me and misread my intentions. I couldn't figure out why my feelings were always hurting. Then one day, all of a sudden, I got smart. I learned that some people were just mean. They might not be unkind to everyone all the time... but there was still a mean bone in their body somewhere, and I was always going to get hit with it if I hung around.
So, I got even smarter... I found a new hang out.
I "unfollowed" people on social media, stopped calling them on my cell, and found kind ways to avoid them. As a Christian, that was rough to do at first. Because we want to be loving and good, and because we want to be a kind example, we sometimes convince ourselves that we have to endure damages. But, 95% of the time, that's absolutely untrue. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 even tells us to avoid certain people. This isn't meant to cause division or judgments... It's just telling you, for your own sake and your own peace, avoid people who are heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, etc. because they're only going to cause you unnecessary pain. Still, how often do we allow negativity to move into our thoughts without any notice to vacate?
Today has been one of those days. If I didn't have writing as such a needed outlet for me, I'd probably just be lying on the couch binging on Netflix and ice cream. Yep. That sounds fantastic right now. Sitting around, lazing in my pajamas, safe and secure in my comfort zone... That's what I want. I'm going to be painfully honest here; I've gotten to the point that I almost dread being around people. I can't help that in any way... it's just the truth. While a lot of them are wonderful, there are several that aren't, and they seem to find the path to my heart every time we get acquainted. I don't know if it's because I'm just too willing to invest everything I have into a relationship, or if maybe I'm too trusting? Could it be that I'm just too sentimental and long for close, unbreakable bonds with people I click with instantly? Am I lonely and longing for a tight-knit "family?" Honestly, I don't know. It could be a mixture of all three, and it could be none of the above. At this point, I just... I don't know.
Now, I am all for knowing who is in your circle and keeping the circle somewhat slim. But at the same time, I'm not sure total isolation is the best thing to doctor the situation. Actually, I know it's not. So how do we find that happy medium? If you're a teeny bit baffled by this question, no worries; It flusters me, too. As much as I've brooded on this and searched for the perfect answer, it's not yet been discovered. It's imperative that you know most of the time it's not because you need to change yourself. You don't need to morph into a hermit, either. So, how do you avoid these unpleasant obstacles? Brace yourself here. You can't.
As I said in the very first sentence of this post, there's always going to be that person. You just have to determine within yourself that they won't be able to stop you... not even for a moment. Say a prayer for them, give them a nice smile, and go on with your bad self. You have to look down deep within your heart. If it is longing to do right and help make a difference in this world, know that through Christ, you can do anything! (Philippians 4:13) Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Refuse to think less of yourself because of a few opinions. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) Turn to the Lord and rely on Him to be your strength in distasteful circumstances. (Isaiah 26:3) Life is too short to waste a single second. Don't forget that any battles we face aren't really against other people per se, but against principalities and powers. Purpose within your heart that he will not win. When you encounter sordid people, understand that its just another tactic or scheme set in place to knock you off track. Stay the course! Be the person God created you to be, fulfill your destiny, and be the happiest you can be while doing so.
Don't hide your talents out of fear of others' responses. And don't abandon your abilities because of frustration either! I get that words can cut you in a way sticks and stones never could. These invisible knives propelled your way can cause you to feel a sense of loneliness or worthlessness more than any other weapon in the world. When a cross statement is made toward you or about you, it can be devastating and heartbreaking. Seriously, I feel like a little kid at Christmas who gets to open this big, bright, beautifully wrapped gift just to delve into an empty box. It far exceeds disappointing... and it's more likely to happen.
Prepare yourself for it. Let it be known that its just a part of life. But, it doesn't have to stay part of yours. Find those people that offer you encouragement and support. Cling to those who know how to offer you necessary guidance with the right motives and in the best spirit. Ignore the rest. Just do me and the rest of the world a huge favor...
While figuring out how to become confident, determined, and unaffected by insult... don't become that person. I'm working on that, too.