Do you ever find that people still can dishearten you, distract you, break your heart or even destroy you? I think all of us have days like that. If you are at a vulnerable or tenuous time in your own life, and trying to heal, it can be especially detrimental to hang around with people who try to shake your confidence and determination to be emotionally or physically or spiritually healthy through unkind or cruel actions. At those times it is essential to surround yourself with people you can count on to be loving and supportive.
I try to proactively prepare myself sometimes. I tend to forget that life isn’t always a bucket of sunshine, and I won’t always be surrounded with loving supportive people.
My dad always told us, and later his grandchildren, that if you have “gotten yourself together” and someone who is still “lost” wants to hang around with you, your initial temptation will be to permit it because your goal has become to “help that person get him/herself together”. He would say, “no, don’t do it”. Why? Was my dad lacking compassion or forgiveness?
Oh, definitely not! His point was well taken, though. He said “it is as though you are standing on top of a chair. The person that is lost, or misbehaving, or whatever, is standing on the floor facing your chair and you. It is far easier for the person on the floor to pull you down off the chair and onto the floor than it is for you to pull the person up onto the chair with you.
That is why it is sometimes so very easy for someone to pull you down or bring you down. I think of my dad]s advice when some cutting remark or rotten attitude in another person ends up emotionally destroying me for a period of time. It is always such a shock! My dad would tell me–when you see them coming’ by golly high-tail it out of there. Do not give them the opportunity.
What do you do at those times when you are surrounded (temporarily or continually) with people who seem to enjoy knocking you down or tearing you apart? I pray. I pray for strength.
I try to find loving and supportive people. I tell myself I AM worth it. I tell myself “no, the bullies are wrong; nothing I did has caused nor justified their perilous behavior”. Sometimes that helps. If I am at a time or place where I truly have no one, I volunteer somewhere. Kindness begets kindness, doesn’t it? [“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24]. Through volunteering (in an official or unofficial capacity) I reach out to others. I get involved. Remember, I am from the 60s. We do that! From hunger hikes to blood drives to Earth Days and more, we got involved.
When I pray and when I pour myself into helping someone else, the wounds in my heart are covered in the salve of grace and healing. This week it seems that we are reminded once again that we must stay involved. It has been a tough week—the tornadoes in Oklahoma remind us to reach out; to love and to comfort. May your day be filled with healing.