My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back during the AOL J-land (Journal Land, for those not around back then) days, there was occasionally some drama between journals. Someone said something then that I have made my mantra, of sorts: Live your life in such a way that if someone says anything bad about you, nobody else will believe it.

Back during my Jacksonville days (and Woodstock days for that matter but that makes me sound like a hippie covered in mud - I digress) when accusations were routinely made about my character and I had a choice to either let someone's opinion become my truth or stand strong in who I KNEW I was... I learned that just because someone says something negative about you, it doesn't make it true.

I carry a lot of guilt because of my inability to perform physically. In a way, it's misplaced guilt because I didn't ASK to have the health issues I have... but I know they impact others negatively. Fortunately, though, my limitations provide for me a unique ability to empathize when others find themselves limited in some way, be it physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally... if your "well" is running a bit dry, I get it.

Yesterday I was accused and attacked for something incredibly ridiculous and incredibly untrue. For about thirty minutes it sent my heart rate back into that dangerous tachycardia zone and shot my blood pressure up and made me a bit shaky and really sad. But then the rubber band snapped back... and I stood up for myself, hopefully in a kind but firm way... and went on with my day.

Moral of the story: don't allow someone else's skewed perceptions become your truth. Don't let anyone else steal your joy. Whether it's a matter of misunderstanding... jealousy... or just the need to find a victim to abuse... don't let hurtful words penetrate your heart.

On the day I was released from the hospital after the carnage of all that happened in Jacksonville came to a head, my very wise and loving cousin Melissa said to me that getting away from Michael wasn't enough. I had to figure out what it was about me that allowed someone to so drastically change my opinion of myself (paraphrased). What was it about me that let someone hurt me so badly?

I see it all around me. Men and women who are allowing themselves to be defined by their income, their abilities, their past sins, their weaknesses, their social status, their relationship status, the ex who still controls their life via child support and visitation issues, the parents who might not have understood grace based parenting, their failures and disappointments... it comes in many forms but it is all the same thing as what I faced yesterday: a crossroad where you can either believe in yourself or take someone else's opinion and allow that to become your character.

I have this deep seated belief that everyone reaches a point in their life where they are facing some kind of life changing tragedy - a death, a disappointment, a job loss, a financial reversal, a break up of a relationship - whatever it is - and in THAT very moment they either become better or they become bitter. Every angry, pushy, rude, disrespectful, demanding person that I come in contact with (and it happens on the job and away from the job too) I try to picture who they might have been had they chosen the road to becoming better. I know that their anger toward me is not about me and our brief encounter. I know it's about some hurt that didn't heal properly and has festered and spread through their soul like a cancer. I know that there was a time - however far back it was - where they needed to believe more strongly in themselves, in the person that God created them to be.

In a way, it's a declaration of dependence - not independence. It's a decision to stand firm in truth and to find that truth in a loving and merciful God. It's allowing His words about you to be how you define yourself. I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. I know this full well. I am not junk. I am not mean. I am not selfish. I am not dishonest. I am created to be a loving and compassionate person and no one... not one single sinful fallen man... is permitted to change that truth about me. Harsh words cannot penetrate my soul. Untruths, false accusations are contrary to the words that my God has spoken over me.

If I have the choice to allow a human to define me... or have my Creator define me, I pick God, every single time. And I will hide in the shadow of His hand where He covers me. I will FULLY depend on Him, who knows every intention of my heart, to be the one who gets to speak His truth over me.

I hope you will choose that same path, toward better - not bitter. Love and hugs, y'all.


Jeanne said...

I completely agree with you. It's like the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." It's those life changing moments...and how you handle them (and that is important because some choose the "pity me" path, some choose the "I hate the world" path and some choose the "it is what it is and it sucks but I must get through this and thank the good lord for what I DO have" path. And which path you choose, I believe truly defines the person you are...or the person you are about to become because you choose that path!

Roberta said...

Heather, I enjoy reading your blog so much! Thank you for always giving me something to think about!