I’m a very misunderstood person… so I’ll share at least one reason why I believe this to be true.
I could write a book about all the instances where I interacted with someone, intending to help them or simply to bring some positive “thing” to them, and the intention was flipped on me. How incredibly sad. We, as humans, are capable of so much better.
There’s so much distrust in the world that we’ve all become paranoid. Obviously there are varying levels of paranoia. You don’t have to be clinically diagnosed with delusions and such to be paranoid. You may call it something different in small doses, but it’s still paranoia. When someone approaches us, we automatically fall into skepticism that they are somehow seeking to harm us. Sadly, I’ve done this and I’ve seen thousands of people do this. It is unfortunately normal in our society.
“So what!?”, you might ask, “What’s the big deal if I’m protective of all the evil flying around out there, which seeks to bring harm to me. So what if protect myself?” Good question. Fair question even. I think you should protect yourself, but I think you should do it with caution and with love and grace, and in this scenario I do not believe love or grace includes the following: door-slamming, ghosting, out-casting, mocking, labeling, ignoring, etc. You get the picture. I understand that situations are unique and there are times when the aforementioned actions are necessary, but what I’m talking about is when they are not necessary. I’m talking about overreaction. We’ve all done this and it’s not okay.
Our past shapes us and molds us, but if we let it, our past can also make us paranoid and limit our ability to love and accept love, to show grace and accept grace. My hope and prayer for you today is when you feel like you are forced to protect yourself, you will do it in a loving manner with clear communication and grace, selflessly caring for the other person instead of out-casting them. I get that these situations are rarely black and white and they are almost never simple, but the simplicity and beauty of what I’m suggesting works in spite of any circumstance.
This “snowball of denial” weighs on me. Not just for me and my dealings with people, but for everyone. It saddens me deeply. We’re going nowhere if we don’t start caring for people.
If you feel someone is coming on more strongly than you are comfortable with, send them a loving note (introverts) or talk to them (everyone else). If you feel someone is endangering you somehow, then gracefully let them know that you “just can’t”. A note on this, make sure you’re reading the situation correctly because you can easily outcast an honest person who seeks only to lift you up and that is a travesty. You can be open and transparent with someone without allowing them to invade your home or your soul.
Time is an important factor here as well. It may take you a long time to process what is happening, which is why communicating up-front is so vital to love and grace. If you don’t lay it out for the person, then you’re essentially manacling them and placing them in your prison.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Mercy is grace. Grace is love. Give it. Today.
PS: Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. Go and do good things for someone else. Find someone who is hurting and do good things for them.