Everybody has one of THOSE days! You know - the kind of day that starts off rough for one reason or another - or maybe we just woke up angry! It can make us and everyone else around us miserable the rest of the day...if we let it define us and govern our thoughts, words, attitudes, and interactions!
I had one of THOSE days on Saturday morning! Since I am a verbal processor, I was talking to myself while I was doing my hair and make-up as though I was having a conversation with the person that I was struggling with. This person is someone that I love and respect, so as I practiced my “pretend talk” with them, of course I tried to be cautious of their feelings as I mentally calculated their possible responses. (WOW! As I think back, I look like this picture!) The further I got into this conversation with myself, I noticed that it became more and more how “I” was feeling; what “I” thought was happening; “MY” understanding of what they were dealing with; that they should listen to “ME” and take into account “MY” feelings! Have you ever done that?
So...I stopped talking. I just stopped and replayed the things in my head that I just spoke out loud in the privacy of my bathroom. As I stood there looking into the mirror I asked myself,
“Brenda, what is the TRUTH about this situation?”
The truth is that I have made this a far bigger issue than it really is. I, NOT THEM, chose to magnify it and make it something that it wasn’t. The chances are favorable that they didn’t even know that there was an issue.
“What is TRUE about me?”
-I am not only a believer in Christ, I am a follower and a student of Christ. If I say that I believe in His word, then I need to live like I believe Him.
-I need to deny my emotions, knowing that I can be wrong and misled by them if I don’t thoughtfully consider what the truth about any situation is. If I make decisions ONLY from my feelings I know that I will misunderstand others. My natural reaction will be to fire back to protect myself.
-I am a peacemaker in my heart and I don’t like it when there is dis-ease or conflict between me and anyone. Because peace is what I strive for, I work to make it. I don’t like confrontation but I am not afraid of it. It becomes a tool to mend the relationship.
-I try to assume that I am wrong or have misunderstood and give them the benefit of the doubt.
-I process privately first so that I don’t go into any confrontation with “Guns a blazing!” It’s in this process, God usually gives me a clearer view and a correction before I have to do damage control!
“How would I want to be treated if they were upset or struggling with me?”
-I would want them to pray for me and ask God to help me where they see me failing or disappointing Him and/or them.
-I would want the opportunity to have an honest conversation with them.
-When it comes to struggles in relationships I don’t like to be talked about, I would rather be talked to.
-I would like to work through the TRUTH of any issue there might be and bring clarity to any misunderstandings or miscommunication on either side of it.
-Apologies offered from both sides and forgiveness extended to build a healthier, deeper, and more understanding relationship.
From that moment on, I changed my thoughts and turned them into prayers:
*I asked God to help me with what I was feeling, knowing that He knows me.
*I prayed for the person that I was struggling with and asked God to bless and help them today, knowing that He knows their struggles and I don’t.
*I apologized to God for putting MY feelings above Him and who He has called me to be. My feelings about any particular person or issue does not negate my responsibility to be who He has called me to be - OBEDIENT from a place of genuine love and trust.
*I thanked Him that he showed me this whole conversation that I had in my bathroom didn’t need to happen outside of it, and that I didn’t hurt the other person.
After that, I was able to choose my attitude and what kind of a day I was going to have! My emotions didn’t dictate my course of action!
I am happy to tell you that no one was injured mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually in this exercise!