Sunday, February 17, 2008

turning things on their ear

Isn't it great how as soon as you think one thing, God turns it on its ear? So here I was writing about how I was happy that I was unaffected by the negative criticism that I knew wasn't accurate (a wonderful Godly man I know once said that he always listens to criticism and asks God, "What do You have in this for me?" Learn from anything that could be true, and then discard the rest, and don't let it get to you). And with a group of friends, I'm working through Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way workbook, and she also has sage advice on Dealing With Criticism.

So not a day after I was so proud of myself for thinking I didn't mind the ridiculous negative comments I realized that while I genuinely don't care about the people who I don't care about (well I care about them as human beings, but I don't care what they think of me), I sometimes put too much weight on what people I want to like me think, or my friends, and what they think... There are people that I genuinely really like or feel a connection with, and I really do not want to say things to upset them - or rock the boat. However being the sometimes too-honest and heart-on-my-sleeve person that I am, I often share my thoughts when maybe I should just shut the heck up, and then I obsess about whether I said too much, or in the wrong way, or.... you get the picture. So maybe I really do need to continue looking only to God for what He would have me to do, or think, or say.

But I also got to thinking, in line with the teachings of Debbie Ford (author of The Best Year of Your Life, and Dark Side of the Light Chasers) how even what we perceive as our most negative traits are part of our makeup, and instead of hating or despising them we should look at what we gain from them. If we're a bitch sometimes, then ask, are there certain situations where being a little bit of a bitch can help?

So I think that maybe while I should ultimately draw my self-love from the love I believe God has for me (and for all people), the trait of being hyper-sensitive to how others feel about me can help me constantly be aware of, and introspective towards, what I may be saying or doing that could hurt someone - even if I don't intend to. It allows me to apologize or make amends, even when the person hasn't expressed to me that they were hurt. People often don't.

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