Who affirms you?

“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.

About Kate Kresse

I love to write, I love to talk, I love to uplift people when I can. I am a woman in love with life. I am a wife, mom, tutor, writer, and I am a perennial optimist. (OK not every single minute but you get the point! :-)
This entry was posted in Bullying, faith/courage/miracles/hope and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Who affirms you?

  1. This is a good word Kate. It’s hard to disregard the belittlers when life puts them close to us. I have found that many of my greatest challenges arise from within my own family.

    • Kate Kresse says:

      you are so very right Joseph. When the belittlers are in regular contact with us and know our weak spots, we are very vulnerable. it is so challenging when the ones you are “supposed” to “feel safe” with are actually a hindrance to your march toward God.Prayer and practice, right?

  2. Caddo-Jael says:

    What I heard in the message from Canon J. John, guest speaker at Gateway Church (TX) was this: We must forgive–if we don’t forgive, we break the bridge that we must cross. God bless you Kate–love, sis Caddo

  3. dogear6 says:

    Unfortunately the belittlers don’t get enough satisfaction by howling at the moon. . . hence their need to always find the next victim. And they get a tad bit pissy when I won’t let it be me. Okay, a lot pissy. But that’s not my problem that I won’t be an easy mark.


    • Kate Kresse says:

      Good for you Nancy! I go back and forth between being strong and trying to keep the peace by just “taking it”…i guess the “just taking it” happens in social settings where I don’t want to draw attention to the situation, especially when no matter what i respond with, the belittler will continue to misbehave. but believe me, it does redefine the situation. i forgive the actions, but i would be foolish to keep being completely vulnerable to the person.does that make sense?

      • dogear6 says:

        Kate – I think it depends on the situation. There will be people who would rather have war than allow you to push back (unfortunately, they’re usually family members too). You might have to back down and just avoid them as much as possible. Other times, the situation is such that pushing back is not worth the effort – i.e., a party where you don’t really know the person and can just walk away when they get obnoxious.

        Yes, it is foolish to be vulnerable, but not every battle is worth the price.

        What you wrote makes sense to me and I hope this clarifies times when you might protect yourself best by just not being available.

        • Kate Kresse says:

          you are so right, Nancy. We definitely have to pick our battles and determine when to be vulnerable. There is a difference between being loving, and being a doormat. Thee are times when it is wisest not to engage in the battle, as the battle keeps repeating itself and getting nowhere. All we can do is pray for wisdom, and ensure that we do not give the other person the chance to be unkind. I think sometimes people just get in the habit of being rude or inconsiderate or even just plain selfish and nasty. If we “change the conversation” or the situation, and remove the opportunity for them to practice nastiness, perhaps they will in turn change as well. I know there have been times when i have practiced that strategy. sometimes the other person changed (at least in my presence) and sometimes they did not. But I felt a bit safer, and felt that I had more control over the situation. That alone, as they say, is worth the price of admission!

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