Saturday, June 26, 2021

It's Time To Look Outside of Ourselves For a Change

We have gotten really good about knowing what we like. And what we don’t like.

We’ve gotten to be excellent at knowing what we prefer, and what we don’t.

The world has done so well at getting the message across that we need to, “Be true to you.”

For so long, I think a lot of us denied our personal preferences. We failed to speak up about what was good for us, and we simply felt pulled along by the tide of life.

So it’s good, that we now feel strong in our boundaries and what comes into and out of our lives.

Or is it? Is it really “good?”

I’m not so sure. I think it WOULD be good, if we had balance. If we knew when not to speak up about our food preferences in the company of someone else’s home. Or if we knew when not to deny a gift extended to us because we don’t really like it, or won’t use it.

No. I don’t think those times or instances are GOOD.

We have gotten so GOOD at knowing what our comfort zones are, that we have, instead, made others uncomfortable.

It’s ok that you’d rather eat sugar-free or vegetarian. But do you have to tell your host who just worked a couple of hours to create a great meal for you in their home? Wouldn’t it be more of a blessing, to simply partake of the foods you CAN eat, in quiet manner without drawing attention to the fact that your host… gasp.. failed at filling your stomach?

And maybe you won’t use that gift that someone gave you. Maybe you don’t like it. But isn’t refusing it, or giving it back to the giver… kind of… rude?  Isn’t it denying them the blessing of loving on you and thinking about you? Isn’t that more important than sharing with them that they too… didn’t meet your personal requirements?

You see - it’s okay to have guidelines in our lives. In fact, normally, it’s healthy. To know our limitations, to see where our temptation areas are, or the things we need to abstain from - that’s a really solid thing to implement. BUT…. We often go too far.  We forget the feelings of those we are with and we inflict our own personal standards onto them.

And it usually hurts someone else.

We have no right to put our self-imposed boundaries on someone else OR to insist that they abide by them.  

So, if we aren’t comfortable not knowing what food will be served - we need to figure out a game plan to deal with the situation ahead of time. Then, we can still enjoy the love that is seeking to be lavished on us.

And if we aren’t comfortable receiving a gift that we feel will clutter up our home, or one that is just not “us,” then we can come up with a plan to pass it along to someone else who will truly enjoy it in a quiet, gentle manner at a later date… without refusing the blessing that someone who cares about us tried to gift us with.

These are only two scenarios - but they are examples of how we have used what is comfortable to us - and ended up EXPECTING it in all situations and circumstances. And you know what? Life just isn’t like that. And we end up getting a little self-rightous, and arrogant about it all.

What matters the most in our relationships is love, grace, mercy, humility, and kindness. It doesn’t matter that someone failed to understand what you prefer or how you have to live.

OF COURSE, there are always exceptions to the rule. Sometimes it’s a matter of life and death - when it comes to food, drink, etc. But even in these times, I’m sure there are creative ways to lovingly express and make up for the gap that needs to occur from sharing time with someone else.

PEOPLE matter. Their FEELINGS matter. Their investment of time into us, (and thank heavens they WANT to spend time with us! - those all matter.)

So let’s re-look at what we’ve implemented or demand in our life and see if it’s really “good.”  See if others feel “good” about it or if it causes them extra efforts, pains, and time to just simply share our presence.

If we can help it, let’s never cause those in our lives to feel uncomfortable by making them abide by OUR standards or being extra difficult to have around.

It’s time to look outside of ourselves for a change.