Yesterday I talked a little bit about my need to adjust my thinking and steer away from focusing on unnecessary worry in order to endure life’s stress. I published that post, and I got things done. I worked in my classroom. I worked around the house. I ran errands and made phone calls that I’ve been putting off for weeks. I was proactively fending off my apprehension over things by staying busy and preparing my surroundings…..and then BOOM.
Do you ever feel like the universe looks at you and thinks, “She really has it together today. We can’t have that.” That was me at the end of what was the most positive, productive day I’d had in a long time. I found out some pretty hurtful information and was back at square one with my stress. Rephrase. I was at about square -10. Why does that happen?
According to Joe (who is constantly reaffirming his position as the wisest person I know), the only person’s behavior I can control is my own. So, it makes sense then to focus on myself and what to do in the face of pretty seriously hurt feelings. Therefore, instead of venting about the problem which might seem passive-agressive, I’m going to reflect a little bit about myself as a person and how I deal with things.
- I am different. I seriously don’t know another person 100% like me. This is sometimes a lonely feeling, but most importantly, it is the reason for a lot of misunderstanding. For example, I think people take my introversion for disinterest.
- I do not easily seek relationship with others. Everyone I’m close to has one thing in common: they sought me out, and not the other way around. People usually text me first unless I’m incredibly comfortable with them. There isn’t a big enough font to explain this next statement: I do NOT call people. (Talking on the telephone is my #1 dislike. If the voice feature on phones were to disappear today, I would be FINE.) Students I maintain contact with have made the initial effort to stay in touch with me, not the other way around. I don’t send requests on social media. Even my husband pursued me because I wasn’t going to pursue him. I don’t pursue. Perhaps it’s a fear of rejection or the introversion again, but generally the relationships I nurture are with the ones persistent enough to make it through my unintentional walls. This is something I may need to work on.
- I cannot be anything but honest. In fact, if I’m keeping something from you, it is very possibly to protect your feelings, something I’ve decided wouldn’t bring about anything good if I said it. It physically hurts me to pretend to be something I’m not, which I think people should find refreshing, but many people find abrasive.
- I am unbelievably loyal. If we have an established relationship, I will have your back. I do not tolerate people hurting the ones I love. Sometimes I think this translates to me prioritizing relationships I shouldn’t — like my loyalty is sometimes bigger than the relationship ever was to begin with and I’m too loyal to see it.
- I actually get my feelings hurt very easily and worry that others may do the same. When I think I have spoken without thinking, I agonize over the possible repercussions of what I said. I never speak or act to intentionally hurt anyone because I hate heartache.
- Despite my distaste for confrontation, I have a terrible temper. I have gotten better about acting on my temper, but I get very angry very quickly. I still fail at this a lot.
- I am constantly trying to analyze the way I think in order to rid myself of unnecessary stress. I feel like this process is never-ending because I have days like yesterday where I take a step forward in being positive and productive only to take many, many steps backward.
- I’m trying my very best. I see every day as an opportunity to be better than yesterday. I see myself as a work in progress, in need of constant reminding of the following:
- I have spent far too long accepting who other people believe I am instead of just being who I am. This is why I feel the pressure to please people I, in reality, don’t have to please. Which brings me to….
- The only people I have to please in order to maintain my quality of life are my husband, my employer, my debtors, and God. That’s all. Anything else is doing too much. I will never make everyone happy, and I will never reach a status where everyone likes me.
- Similarly, I have got to stop expecting others to please me. If I’m not married to it, employed by it, or indebted to it (either spiritually or financially), it owes me nothing either.
- Other people’s problems are not mine. I cannot “fix” people. I should not allow other people to take their problems out on me.
- True, deep, meaningful relationships are so few and far between. Much of what I experience is very superficial. I should pour myself into the relationships that make me a better person, and distance myself from the ones which leave me exhausted.
- I have SO much in my life which brings me joy: a solid marriage, bright and healthy children, valuable friendships, an intelligent mind, a loving heart, a comfortable home, and an endless list of other ways I experience God’s many rich blessings. To take my mind off these things — to spend even one second focused on negativity and hurt — seems like such a waste. It gets me nowhere.
Today I will have joy. I will not let it be taken from me by things I cannot control.