Thursday, December 22, 2011

Positive Does Not Mean Perfect - Food For Thought

I've had some rough situations happen in the last few days. I admit these things threw me for a loop for a little while...but I will not let them keep me down.

I won't go into great detail about these, because I don't like to complain to everyone or dwell on negative things. I prefer to move forward, pray, and do what I can to help the situation. But I do want to address one of these things because some of you may have the same problem.

I discovered that someone in my life (a supposed friend) expected me to be perfect. I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised. This person constantly complains and feels she is always right. She does have good qualities as well, so I always bit my tongue so as not to upset her. (Not always easy to do.) I always felt that I was walking around on eggshells to save our friendship...even though it caused me extra stress, I really tried.

The other day I gently tried to let her know that she should be thankful for what she does have and count the blessings in her life. It was an attempt to improve her frame of mind. I certainly thought I was being gentle, as I hate confrontation and avoid it if I can help it. Of course, she still took it the wrong way. I received a scathing message from her going into great detail about my many supposed faults (I do have faults, but this stuff was really exaggerating and petty) and how I'm basically an awful person because I don't do everything in my life exactly the way she does. (Wouldn't the world be boring if we all did everything alike? What works for one person may not be right for another.) I was also told that I was a "fake" because I claim to be a positive person yet dared to get a little upset with her. According to her, my positivity meant that I could never have a bad day or else I was fake. (Yet somehow it was OK for her to complain all the time.) And because of all that was "wrong" with me, she was going to have to seriously re-evaluate our friendship.

I now realize that she takes almost everything the wrong way, but at the time it really hurt. I attempted to defend myself, which only led to more bashing from her. I sent off one last message in attempt to clear things up, and apologized if she took what I'd said the wrong way because it was only meant to be helpful. I also let her know that I would not respond anymore if she kept attacking me, because I wasn't going to keep that unhealthy cycle going.

I received yet another message berating me, so I kept my word. I did not respond to her. I deleted all of the messages so I wouldn't have to stress out over it anymore. I also blocked her on social media sites, which is where she was attacking me. I knew it wasn't going to stop, because she can never let anything go. I do know her in real life but don't see her often.

The point of this is - do we expect each of our friends to be perfect? Or do we even expect ourselves to be perfect? We are all human, so none of us are going to be. There is only One who is perfect. And He is always here to help us through our imperfections. Trying to stay positive in this world is essential, or else we'd all lose our minds. Being positive doesn't mean we won't have our human moments or bad means that we will not let the rotten stuff keep us down and we strive to make things better. It means if we fall, we pick ourselves back up instead of wallowing in self-pity. It's just like our fitness efforts: do not beat yourself up for not being perfect....just move on and work harder!

A lot of comtemplation and prayer took place before I wrote this post. I believe God wants me to help others in this type of situation so they know they are loved, should not take abuse from others, and should stand up for themselves if necessary. God always finds a way to send me a message - through a song, quote, or thoughtful post from others. Yesterday was no exception. Just at the moment I was feeling my lowest, I saw one message about pressing on and staying the course while keeping our integrity. Then a little later I saw one that really resonated...about using the irritations from others and in life to polish us and make us better people. I immediately felt better and knew I'd done the right thing.

I pray that my post here helps you in some way as well. God uses all of us to help each other. That means even the people who try discourage you or tear you down. Don't let them get to you or stop you from being who you are meant to be. Even though we're not perfect, picking ourselves up and staying as positive as possible goes a long way.

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