“Be with those who bring out the best in you; not the stress in you.”
There are those we encounter who affirm us. They add joy to our days and strength to our hearts. They surprise us with joy and love at unexpected times. They have our backs at expected times. We are safe with them, and they do not humiliate us.
The ones who stress us? They are easy to recognize (by their behavior) but sometimes come in unexpected packages. We all have people that are friends or relations who say cruel things at unexpected times, or say things that humiliate or belittle us, or roll their eyes and put us down when we thought that they cared. Indeed, they bring out the stress in us.
Can the ones who stress us be made to stop? Well, probably not. The reason they stress us is that they are free to run amok over our hearts. We are kind and loving, and really don’t want to stoop to that level. But it puts us in an unsafe place. We can pray that we remain loving people. We can appreciate the ones who affirm us, and know that with them we are safe. We can remember that our Shepherd will uplift us. He keeps us safe in His love.
The ones who hurt us and belittle us, or leave us out? Well we can pray that we find a way to let go of the hurt and anger. Dragging the hurt and anger around is destructive. It doesn’t stop their behavior, and it changes our own outlook. The belittle-rs do not deserve that trophy.
I know I keep writing about this topic in one way or another. I struggle with this concept at times…. and so I pray anew. I pray for an increase in my willingness to overlook and forgive. I pray that my heart is surrounded with the presence of God so that some of the hurtful things roll off my back better.
Who affirms me? More people than I deserve. I pray today that you receive affirmation and encouragement. May the belittlers howl at the moon rather than you.