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What I am Learning About Me

I’ve had a rough couple of weeks.

Last week, this was mostly due to a hectic schedule.

Not all of the blame can be placed on a to-do list, however.

There’s a little something called the “human factor” that took all of my best-laid plans for ourselves and threw them awry.

In the last two…well…make that three weeks, I have been lied to by a parent and another person who works in education.  I’ve also been put down, quite rudely, by someone I’ve tried desperately to respect but have sat more in fear of for the last four-plus years.  I’ve also been talked to like a kindergartner (not my words but my students’, who overheard).

Talk about confidence breakers.

Most of us carry many scars into adulthood.

Our childhood years serve as petri dishes for the cultivation of nasty viruses that work themselves into our hearts, corrupting our self images and scoring major blows to our self confidence.

I can’t say that my childhood was any more difficult than someone else’s, for when I’ve truly listened to another person, I’ve been ashamed that I thought mine was so bad.

But still.

I can’t make excuses.

I’ve got deep hurts.

Though I thought I’d been healed from them, and I truly think I have, small flashes of pain sometimes strike me when circumstances imitate those in which the original wounds were struck, much like phantom pain strikes a person who’s experienced an injury of some sort and recovered from it.

I’ve discovered recently that I really don’t get mad often anymore.

I used to have a temper.  When you’re the oldest child left to fend for yourself and your younger sister because your single mom has to go out and bring home the bacon on her own (and it wasn’t much bacon, let me tell you), you get scrappy.

As I’ve matured, I’ve grown out of most of my feistiness.

But…

When I’m lied to…

Well…

That just doesn’t sit right with me…

Especially by people I trusted.

What’s worse, though, is when working my behind off to earn the respect of others, I’m torn apart by inconsiderate comments.

I called Super Sis today, and she listened as I tried to talk my way through my hurt.

One of my sweet friends who I work with also called.

She’d witnessed the hurt I’d gone through today.

I think the reason why the latest round of Nathalie-bashing (as I see it in the midst of my hurt) cuts me so deeply is because God has been laying on my heart the need to stop indulging in so much chatter.

It’s not always productive.

Often, I get sick of hearing myself talk.

I talk a lot.

I know this.

The comments made today were said by someone who has never bothered to get to know me and who referred to this need that God has already brought to mind.

But the person did not say it kindly, as God would.

So, while I know I need to work on this aspect of my personality, I sit in judgement of myself.

Super Sis reminded me that God doesn’t judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves.

My friend later said the same thing.

Wow.

I think that my self-judgment is the reason why I’m struggling so much.  I question the words that come out of my mouth after-the-fact and chide myself for dominating conversations or saying what I think I shouldn’t have, believing that I’m reading more in a conversation than I ought to.

Ugh.

My friend then told me that talking is…

Ready for this?

A gift.

Um, really?

I wanted to tell her that she was just being nice, but I knew that wasn’t true.  She’s sweet, yes, but a liar?  Nope.

She has a quiet way of speaking the truth (something I should learn how to do).

A gift.

Hmmm.

She told me that not everyone has the words to communicate with others.  She reminded me of answers I’d provided during the day’s training and how easily the words had come to me.

She told me that she talks a lot too.

Really?

She’s always so quiet around me (maybe I think this because I talk so much).  She always defers to others.

She assured me that she’s a gabber too.

I guess what I’m starting to learn is that my talking is a gift.  What I’m recognizing, though, is that God is trying to tell me that I need to become better at discerning when to step back, close my mouth, and let others speak.  I need to choose my words more carefully so they’ll have more impact.

And that’s why the rude comments by the person today hurt so badly.

Poor timing?

Probably.

But God will use this too.

One final thing I’m starting to learn is the difference between reflecting and wallowing.

Yes, I have been upset about some of the situations that have come up recently.

Have they been of my doing?

No.

Have I been angry and hurt?

Yep.

Is it okay to be upset and talk about it?

Sure.

For a short time.

I so desperately do not want to be like someone I recently worked with who stayed miserable ALL THE TIME.

Why?

Because this person wallowed in the misery…choosing to stay there instead of pulling on big person pants and getting on with life.

I don’t want to be like this person, whom I have little respect for.

And so I wallowed…while I vented.

Like a pig cooling off in the mud he rolls around in, I gave myself time to do the same, succumbing to the filth that I named as anger and hurt.

And then I stopped.

Sure, I’m blogging about it.

Why?

To come back to later…

So I can see my growth.

I’m 42 years old.

I’m never too old to learn as I discover this person I’m constantly evolving into.

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One Response

  1. This is a great post, and others can learn from it.

    I tend to talk a lot, too, because I can’t stand long lulls in conversations that are awkward and strained. Thus, I ask questions and chatter on. Lately, like you, I’ve learned to hang back to see if others will initiate a conversation. If they don’t, I try to ask an open question so they can pick up the topic. Sometimes, they don’t seem interested, so I pick it up and take off.

    I’ve come to see my talking as a gift, too. Now, I need to be more aware of how and when to use it.

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