I caught myself thinking about the word, responsibility, after giving someone close to me a short mini lesson about what it means to take responsibility for our actions. It's a funny word...to be honest with you. I was trying to explain that taking responsibility for your actions does not mean simply stating the words, "I take responsibility for that."
While trying to explain what is does mean in such a way to bring perspective, I found myself completely side-tracked by the word itself. There are two words in responsibility: Response + Ability (or able); meaning at we have that ability to change our own responses. It was at that point that I began an inter monologue- after realizing that I was actually giving myself a mini lesson. Isn't it funny when life does that to us?? Or does that just happen to me?
It seems I am the most knowledgeable in the areas where I need the most help. Go figure!
The whole conversation started because this person (whom I will refer to as this person..haha) has had a bit of an attitude lately and nothing I said or did was helping the situation and I ended up being "infected" by the funk. Yes, the person's attitude was affecting me...no, it was impossible to ignore...BUT... I could have easily taken responsibility to choose my response.
I have learned (but not quite accepted) that when someone wants to be mad or upset, they will do anything and everything to suck as many people in with them in that boiling state. This person will say things deliberately meant to hurt others and then hope and wait for a reaction. If it is not an angry reaction, this person will just keep trying. If you have come in to close contact with someone like this... I will be praying for you... and if not... you are very lucky and should be thanking God with every breath you take.
People like this can literally suck the life, energy and motivation from you down the the very core of who you are. I am one of those people that gets sucked in every single time - no matter how deliberately I make an effort to change my response. No matter how I change my response, I always allow the behavior to get the best of me and I LOSE it!!
It is like the movie, The Devils Advocate... you know at the very end, where Keanu's character decides to make a different choice after seeing where the first choice will take him...and then the story lets us in on the secret that the devil will play any angle possible to get you.
However, it is not like this movie in the sense that we do have other options.... we have the freedom to speak and the freedom not to speak. Sounds simply easy, right? WRONG!! It is not easy to stand completely silent when someone is throwing insults your way... It takes an extreme amount of self-control.
Meanness is very ugly.
I have a very different respect now for Jesus. I grew up going to church and hearing the same Bible stories to the point of numbness; however, learning to understand those stories through life will bring an entirely different meaning to them. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for Him to stand in the public eye and be torn down...and NOT say one word to defend himself. He didn't need to defend Himself because He knew who He was and so did those who loved Him.
Although it would be a nice benefit to have the entire picture laid out right in front of me and to know WHY I must go through certain situations, I can have peace in knowing who I am, knowing that those who love me know who I am and taking the ability to change my own response when it happens again.
If you would like to know where this is coming from.... well, I purchased a book on Amazon and I am taking some time to tackle some of the issues in my life that have plagued and debilitated me. I am not saying that a book will heal you from anything; however, it can bring awareness and comfort - and allow you to address things in your life that you might have not been willing to address if you could just stuff the junk to the bottom of your core - hoping it disappears on its own...it won't.
That pain only gets worse over time. People do not simply "get over" it... So if you plan to tell someone to "get over it" as advice, please un-friend yourself from that person on your own... you will only cause more damage. Be living and understanding. However, if you want to help, ask that person what it is that is really bothering him/her and then offer to be a listening ear. Even if you don't want to listen... do so because you might learn something about yourself in the process. Most women (I can truly only speak for myself), do not want to be interrupted with the offer of a quick and meaningless solution. Most (again I can only speak for myself), just want to be heard. And truly heard..... Think about it. Why would anyone want there to be someone else to talk to and listen to them?? Not for the attention, and not for a reason to dump either (although, there are those out there that do want this)... Most want to feel like they matter in this world and that there is at least one person who cares that they exist.
I am not sure if many of you know, but I had quite a tumultuous childhood and I have struggled with other things in my marriage that have caused quite a lot of pain. So much so, that at time, I have felt completely hopeless. Pain, when not healed, can manifest itself in all sorts of ways - anger, depression, fear, insecurity, bitterness, and ultimately hopelessness. If you have ever made it to the point of hopelessness (trust me, I have), then your pain has probably gone through a transformation and manifested itself in several ways and in more than one time.
I am no longer in a place of hopelessness, but in a place of hope. I know that I have quite a lot of pain to address and clean out. I often do not even know where to begin, but God does know where to begin. He reveals himself in the most inconspicuous of ways....like when you are giving someone ELSE a mini lesson on responsibility..HA!! I am sure that many of you out there might read this and think I am crazy for talking abut Jesus, but I am not a preacher and I am FAR from perfect (beyond far). I will not be offended if you do not believe in God.. or your belief system is different from mine. I will not even claim to have all of the answers... or even attempt to try and prove that God is real... I know He is real because He is real to me... but that is another story in itself.
I am sharing this with you because I know that I can not possibly be the only woman out there dealing with the junk life handed to me as a child and that I am the only one with a mountain of insecurities that would make Mt. Everest look like an ant. This is part of what I am working on this summer and I would love to chat with anyone else out there that may be struggling with the same issues. I would love to hear your stories and read about your personal journeys.
I HIGHLY recommend this book by the way. I am very impressed with Beth Moore's writing style, her ability to find humor in anything and how open she is about her own struggles as well as those she writes about in the book. It is quite a good read!! I would have loved to do this as a group or book study... it is definitely one of those books!
Her book is called, So Long Insecurity and you can find it on Amazon. I even think you can get the Kindle version...maybe. Click HERE to check it out and if you happen to get it - let me know... I would love to get a book chat going!! What are friends for anyway?? haha... not just to drink and tell jokes I am sure...hahaha.
Have a very happy weekend!! I hope you learn something new about yourself...or someone else..haha!!