Do you remember when you were little and you would get teased at school? You'd run home crying and hurt from dagger-like words spewed at you from someone else in anger and your Mother would always say, "They are just jealous of you!" I've notice through facebook and Pinterest posts that even as adults we are teased and hurt by others, and our natural response is still the same. "They are just jealous of me." Except as adults we are more poetic in our response and say something more to the affect of, "Whatever they don't like in you, is just a reflection of what they don't like in themselves." I love this thought anytime I am feeling attacked by others. It makes me feel like the bigger person. The "winner" in an argument. But what if you were not the victim, but the one throwing the daggers?
I have been battling with some anger issues towards others who have hurt me in the past. I know I should just turn the other cheek, but I really don't want to. This group of random people have collectively, in one way or another, either threatened my livelihood, told direct lies about me, or have gone out of their way to make my life miserable. Now, this group of people are ones I see at least once a week and they on the rare occasion speak to me as if none of the aforementioned daggers were thrown into my back. (A bit dramatic I know, but I'm upset, so I'm allowed.) This is where the other cheek comes in. I know, deep down in my Christian heart, I should be the bigger girl, turn the other cheek and forgive, but I just can't. And since I can't, my bitterness towards them has festered into something that I don't find fitting to my character. I hate them.
Every time I see them or talk to them or even notice their existence, I give off the energy that they are not welcome near me. I don't say anything rude, or even out loud, but I most definitely dislike their proximity to me and do everything I can to translate it to them by short answers to their questions, lack of eye contact and obvious changes of direction. The discomfort that I feel has even prompted thoughts of moving and/or changing where I attend church.
So today when I read someone's repeated post about one person's attitude being a reflection of what they dislike in themselves prompted me to think, wow, what does all my anger towards these people say about me?
I had posted something on facebook where I shared a belief I had about how it is best if we not compare ourselves to anyone else because then we don't have the expectations that create fictitious ideas of what "good" and "bad" are. One dear friend of mine posted her opinion on it and I'd like to take the liberty to share what she had to say.
"First we need to love ourselves, in order to love others. I personally feel that people who have love and respect for themselves, have a much easier time than people who dislike or don't respect themselves. Make sense? Love begets love....judgement begets judgement. Once we stop judging ourselves, we can stop judging others. Just my humble opinion ♥"
*sigh* Okay, so obviously I agree with her. And as much as I dislike the idea that I could be in the wrong, I must admit that I am. *grrrr* Not that it excuses at all what they did to me, I must stop treating them the way I have been.
This is not going to be easy, and because I am stubborn, I know it will take some time to completely overcome the urges I have to punch them in the face when they walk by. However, I know my Lord would have me do so. Besides, I don't want to have to ask for their forgiveness at judgement, so I might as well grant them the forgiveness my Savior has asked me to give them.
This whole blog has really brought me inner reflection. I hope it will for you too. I know the next time I reach into my figurative bag to pull out my imaginary poison tipped dagger, ready to throw at annoying people, I will take that second to look at myself in the mirror and find out what is going wrong with me. I am the only thing I have control over in my life. If I'm angry, then I have control over it. If I want forgiveness, I have control over it. If I want to truly be a happy person regardless of whom I encounter, I have control over that. And whatever I send out into the universe, is what will come back to me. So I better be sending out good energy.
So the next time we have anything bad, or ill spirited to say or do towards anyone for whatever reason, maybe we could take a moment to reverse our wise Mother's words and ask ourselves, "What am I jealous of in them?"