A few weeks back my cousin Tori gifted me this new read. I’m only a few chapters in, but boy has it been speaking to me.
Over the last year, personally, I’ve gone through some challenges. Facing loss not only because of Death, but because…my relationships with certain people have failed. It’s so easy to love people when they agree with you right? When things are going good & you’re getting along…it makes friendships/relationships a breeze and then..shit hits the fan. Someone does or says something that crushes your soul..and after that your ability to love them becomes a little less unconditional.
I think we all are guilty of this at least a few times in life. And something I’ve learned is..even though their actions may have been wrong..doesn’t mean I was right. I think I had gotten into the habit of holding these people I love so dearly on an unrealistic pedestal. Assuming that their thoughts aligned perfectly with mine and they would never hurt me. When in fact..that is SO unfair to them. They are HUMAN just like me..and at some point are bound to mess up. Humanity is messy, and selfish, and imperfect. So why on earth would I be expecting my friendships/relationships to be any different? Now thats not to say there aren’t boundaries. Of course if someone is truly toxic there comes a point where removing them may be necessary…however grace also needs to be taken into consideration.
One scenario that comes to mind for me was when I was recently told that I share too much on social media. Okay, so for those of you who may not know me too well..social media is not only my job but its my chosen platform to share my heart. To help heal & inspire & to be inspired by others. I firmly believe that we were created with a set of “gifts”. However they aren’t ours to keep. These gifts are meant to be given to others we come in contact with. And the more we all open up to one another the more we can learn and find the gifts that are waiting for us in the very people we pass by daily. I think thats why so many people live life feeling empty. They build these walls out of fear that they are sharing too much..and all thats left is a heart shelf full of gifts that were never meant for them to keep to begin with. It’s our job to go out and find the people who need the gifts we possess so that we can make room for the ones we NEED. I read somewhere once “There is power in your pain”..and boy has this year been painful. After losing a few people to death I began sharing some of my heart when it comes to grief. And for whatever reason it was viewed by some as “attention seeking” or “unhealthy” etc. And let me tell you that hurt. It hurt because I know my heart & I expected that they would too. I assumed that I wouldn’t have to defend myself or the way I share whats on my mind. I could have easily gone off the handle and called all of them out after figuring out what went down. But instead…I prayed on it. I recognized that I am not in control of how others perceive me (even those I love) I am only in control of how I react to that perception. And learning to embrace my insecurities and not let them overcome me I could ground myself in confidence and know that…no matter what was said I KNOW who I am and what I’m about. And its not up to me to convince anyone else to catch up with that. I also knew that just because there was a disagreement in this matter doesn’t mean I should stop loving or caring for them. And even though in the heat of the moment it may not have been that easy…its worth it. Its okay to hear opposing views on not only life but yourself at times. It helps you gain perspective & helps to push you further towards the person you are becoming.
“Why are you so afraid? Who are you trying to impress? Am I really so insecure that I surround myself only with people who agree with me? When people are flat out wrong, why do I appoint myself the sheriff to straighten them out? Burning down others’ opinions doesn’t make us right. It makes us arsonists.” -Bob Goff
I read this quote earlier in “Everybody Always” and it hit so close to home. Why is it that we often find ourselves only choosing to surround ourselves with those who agree with us all the time? Why is it so hard to love people when they think differently? I haven’t quite mastered it however as I reflect upon this last year I truly believe God is trying to teach me something. He is trying to teach me to learn to love even when its hard. Even when I’m hurt. Even when I don’t agree. Because thats what he does for all of us daily. And if there is anything I am certain of in this life it’s that I want to be more like him every day.
So here is to smashing pedestals, forgiving those who have hurt us, & learning to respect opposing views and meeting them with love instead of defense.
***If you’d like to pick up a copy of “Everybody Always” (which I highly suggest you do) you can grab it HERE