Welcome to the Proof of Life journal entry series.
Writing more in general, and specifically with you, is something I hope to continue.
Like many of you, life has become clearer over the past few years and there are many things I have dropped along the way that I deeply desire to pick back up. In turn, there are things I never want to pick up again.
From the very beginning, I have always felt like we are on this journey together and I can’t wait to hear what proof of life will come to mean to you.
Lately, it seems that I have had one person after another come looking for console, advice, prayer, or just a listening ear when it comes to relationships. About a week ago I started writing this post and with each day that passed this advice has proven to be so useful to others and myself.
Have you ever read something on social media, overheard someone talking, or maybe even had something directly said to you and it caught you off guard or made you question another person’s heart for you? Maybe you have had a misunderstanding, you were accused of something or possibly even an end to a relationship? I am sure we could all raise our hand to one if not all of these at some point in our life.
We were visiting with friends in Nashville a few months ago and we were talking about some of the above and I started to share one of the biggest truths that I have learned lately. I shared it for her (based on a current hurt happening) but also to be reminded for my own journey. The Lord has made me to feel and see in ways that make me aware of a lot. There are a million benefits to this but I also know that it has me very aware of words, games, dynamics, manipulation, and motives. These last things can keep me in my head and can cause me to overanalyze a situation. Let’s be honest…to make stories up in my head. It also means I need to be very wise and take time to process my feelings.
I want to share two huge insights that I have started to implement in my life over the past year or so that have stopped me from explaining, justifying, or convincing, but also to let things go, forgive and move on.
I found that when something was spoken to me negatively I would feel the need to explain, convince, justify etc. and later I would regret that I had engaged when often no response from me was needed. Like I said, I am in my head a lot so this causes me to go over and over the details. I decided that I was not going to do that again and instead I would answer with, “Does that sound like me”? It is either going to or not. The last time someone shared something with me that someone else had said I responded with, “Does that sound like me”? and the person paused and said not at all. They went on to say that everything they were told actually went against everything they knew about me. The end. I asked a question and then let the other person make that decision. I didn’t have to try to convince someone of something about myself.
This insight doesn’t stop with me though. There will be times when, how I see and feel the world, that I can overanalyze and come up with thoughts that may not be trustworthy (once again…making stories up in my head). That is when I ask myself, “Does that sound like THEM”? What do I know to be true about THEM? Does their previous behavior align with what I am interpreting right now? There are times when my discernment is right on and I acknowledge that this behavior that I am reading into is correct. So often though, me asking myself that question about someone else gives them instant grace and I am able to acknowledge that my current thoughts or interpretation etc. actually do not align up the previous actions/behaviors of that person.
“Does that sound like me”? and “Does that sound like them”? means we can all walk around in this world believing the best in others instead of the worst. That misunderstandings end almost as quickly as they begin and that others are not allowed to gossip and spread false tales because we won’t let them (or allow ourselves). With texts, social media, emails, and so much coming at us it can be easy to look into the behaviors of others instead of trusting what we know to be true. And if what you know to be true is not trustworthy then that is a whole other post; but I think you get my point.
I think this is a game changer and if we are honest, the world needs more relationship game changer moments.