“Who told you that?”
“Sounds like a really good friend.”
If it weren’t for some wisdom my best friend Meagan as departing wisdom, I’m not sure where my behavior would have taken me at that moment in time in the future, misused words, misdirected anger, murder? I kid. She told me to take deep breaths when I felt stressed out, offended, just take a deep breath and count a few seconds before responding. Her words circled in my head and it changed everything, it played a pivotal role during a specific, recent time in my life.
The issue isn’t about what the other person is or isn’t doing to you, or your unfulfilled expectations that causes frustration or self-doubt, it’s about YOU and your heart. You should care about your behavior, your heart and how you are handling it, because we cannot control anyone else. And to live with an unhealthy heart is not the way God wants us to go through our days!
If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. – Galatians 6:3-5
I wanted to share a few tidbits given to me by close friends who I consider Godly women.
- Go back and like the photo. If you’ve scrolled by and ever felt a twinge of jealousy or who knows what the thought, hm, why didn’t I like that photo? Go back and intentionally like it. Even if for whatever reason you’re mad or upset about it, like it. Learn to celebrate others and your heart will follow.
- Celebrate others. Period. You should cheer for your friends, you should hope they win the lottery, get promoted, find the fountain of youth (so they can share it), get that job, go on vacation, live their dreams, find the love of their life, yada yada. You should. You should never be envious, and you have to be honest with yourself if you are and nip it. If you don’t, that’s not good for your poor heart. You can say, “Your vacation to Greece looked so amazing!” you don’t have to say something you don’t feel like, “I am so glad for you that you went to Greece for a month and got a nice tan,” if you don’t. But you can tell them their trip looked great and ask how it was and what their favorite part was, soon you’ll find that you are celebrating in their happiness with them instead of being jealous.
You should care about your behavior, your heart and how you are handling it, because we cannot control anyone else.
- Don’t act on impulse to get back at someone. When someone does something rotten to you, don’t act impulsively to get back at them. Instead, pray with a friend about the situation and tell them how hurt/sad you are and let it be before you decide to act upon it (if at all). The last thing you want to do is act when you’re raging, like answering an email, phone call or anything else when you are not thinking straight and your ego is bruised and your heart is sad. Give it time and if you must, let a friend read the email before you send it.
- Ask yourself why, then why, then why again. I was feeling rejected and it bothered me so much. Why it it bother me that I wasn’t getting approval any longer from a friend? She used to leave comments all the time and chat with me and one day, she just disappeared. It had been months, what suddenly happened? Did I offend her? Did I do something that made her not like my page anymore? I sat and asked myself why it made me sad. Because I want her to like me. Why? Because I want her approval. Why? (Answer). Why? (Answer). Eventually I realized, I shouldn’t be chasing after her approval, the approval of man. I should be living for an audience of one. Deep down if you continually ask yourself why are you upset and keep digging you will pinpoint the answer and hopefully find the remedy. I prayed about it and gave it to God and crazy enough heard from her and that she was just so busy with kids and felt terrible. We are definitely friends but I was putting so much pressure on regularly hearing her approval, how silly of me! This has happened many times to me overthinking silence is someone ignoring me when a friend is just really busy.
- Take a deep breath. If you are entering a difficult situation, maybe it’s difficult personalities, be prepared – you may feel like you are going into a battlefield. Be prepared to either be agreeable for the sake of not going into a heated debate, and – take a deep breath when you’re offended before calmly responding. And sometimes, ignoring it for the sake of a good vacation is just what you have to do to make it through.
- Being upset is (or can be) selfish. When we are upset, it’s usually because something has been done to us and we think we deserve more or better. It’s an inconvenience to us, were not treated fairly, I mean think about the reasons we get upset. It’s because it’s about us! So try hard to let it go, suck it up and take one for the team if you can. The times you have gotten your way might have been because someone else sacrificed what they really wanted.
- Did you sin against her? I’ve once worried that I did something to offend a friend, I think she’s mad at me but I didn’t do anything and now I’m just over thinking. My friend said, “Well, question is, did you sin against her?” I said, “No, I have’t seen her for weeks.” The response, “Then if you have nothing to apologize for then, her feelings are on her. But you can reach out to her and say hello to check in to see if you guys can connect to catch up.” Relief! And what amazing wisdom!
Phew! Well this was therapeutic for me just to write this out and remind myself and it also makes me incredibly grateful for my girlfriend who have shared their bits of wisdom and encouragement with me. I struggle all the time and am thankful for friends to remind me and even day is a “do over” for us to get it right!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
Do you ever playback wisdom from friends? Like they are little pieces of wisdom that you hold on tight for those moments of panic – or when you are feeling down, or not yourself? If you have any to share I’d love to hear.
Photo by Julianne Marie Photography.