Pause and Perspective

Today’s been a tough day.  I grow a thick skin at a much slower rate than other humans and I admit that often I care too much.  I let my heart be open to hurt, and I do it willingly.  This is a great asset, but it’s also one of my biggest weaknesses too.

I don’t feel like trying to be vague to skirt around confidentiality to explain the different situations, but I’ve encountered a few people over the last week that are leaving my too-sensitive heart shattered.  They have every opportunity to change different situations, and in essence to save themselves, but they haven’t reached the point where the work to make what they need to happen is going to be put in.  They won’t take responsibility. They won’t take action.  Some of the situations stem from pride, lack of confidence, addictions, and unmanaged mental illness in some of the different circumstances.  I can’t do the work for people, my job is to stand alongside guiding, teaching, empowering through various resources, being a cheerleader, an accountability point, and a sounding board…to name a few.  Door mat and the one doing all the work, not my job.

This is a marker of God in my life too.  I realize my boundaries now.  They hurt, but they’re there.  And I’m exercising healthy ways of dealing with the stress of my hurt for these people.  Not my first response always, but I’m getting better at that.  I had some time today before a meeting and thought along the lines of, “I can just leave my planned and healthy lunch in the fridge and go get some Jack in the Box down the street.  That sounds really good.  That will make me feel better.”

Lies.  Big fat huge stinky onion lies I can twist in my mind.

I’m grateful today for the tangible things that I surround myself with that caused me pause to reconsider that decision, and put the car keys down.  I was able to read a quote I have posted up in my office to remind me that damaging myself and my resolve to treat my body, God’s creation, in an honoring way did not equate to heading through the drive-thru for a “few favorites” that would probably top out at a caloric level greater than I typically consume on a given day entirely.

I stopped.  I read.  I prayed.  I reread.  I prayed. I shed a few tears. I laughed at myself. I praised for the mindshift that came about.  I breathed. I ate my healthy planned lunch.

Pause for new perspective.

My problems haven’t disappeared, my heart still hurts for others that are hurting–but I didn’t have to hurt myself in the process.  Today, at least.  I praise God for that.

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