The Heart of the Matter

So, my most recent writings (typings…?) seem to be centered around the heart lately. Or at least some form of the heart. Maybe it’s because my own has been hurting. Maybe it’s because there are so many things that are contributing to that effect. Nevertheless, no matter where I turn, I can’t seem to get away from it. Not just because it’s literally a part of who I am; mind, body, and spirit. No…something much deeper than the obvious. Things aren’t always the easy go-to answer. After all, God says to “Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

We are told to be at peace with everyone around us. So, what do we do when the waters get rocky? We take an offense and stuff it way down or stifle ourselves, because A) We’ve either had a bad experience speaking Truth in the past with a particular person or B) We don’t want to “offend” anyone or C.) We don’t want to seem difficult…really?…did God really say we are supposed to suck it up and become doormats so the world can feel comfortable around us? And who’s left feeling uncomfortable over and over again? Who dies a little more each time we experience these things and don’t stand up for the sake of Truth. Why should we, who carry the Truth, who carry the Light, who carry LIFE (should those around us be so open as to accept it) deny who we are and change who we are so others can react however they are going to react anyway?

I am constantly looking for the alternative to hurting someone or offending someone or making someone feel uncomfortable. Why? Because I don’t want to hurt or offend or make anyone feel uncomfortable. And then I get labeled a pushover, weak, etc. because I’m doing my best to hold my tongue and the person I’m dealing with doesn’t have the foresight or even give a crap to see it. And quite honestly…I’m tired of it.

Why? Because despite my efforts to avoid inflicting discomfort, those efforts have failed…someone is becoming hurt, offended, uncomfortable…and it ain’t the other person.

There are the ones who piss us off (yes, I can say “piss”…it’s in the Bible!):

I’m so angry at someone right now, I literally want to rip their face off. Why? Because I have allowed this person to overstep me for a year and when I finally was truthful about how I am experiencing this situation and how much of a prison it feels like, I was blown off and argued with. If someone has an agenda, they won’t hear you. Because what they want is more important than how it’s affecting you. This to me is infuriating. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but it definitely caused me to take a step back an evaluate “this” (pointing to me) because I don’t ever want the people I supposedly “love” to feel this way coming from me. Conflict resolution is not “here, let me talk and you can listen and agree with me when I’m finished”. Nor is it manipulating someone into believing they are wrong about how they feel. This infuriates me to no end. Why? Because not only is it wrong, it’s extremely selfish.

If I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. We deal with the world, we live in the world. I expect this type of behavior from the world…I don’t expect this type of behavior from someone who is saved and “should” know better and “says” that they love me.

Love does not belittle, degrade or imprison. It is not oppressive. It doesn’t matter how well you think you are loving a person…if they are not experiencing that love in a good way; if it feels stifling, controlling, etc…it ain’t. And we need to take that insight, look inside ourselves and be willing to let Jesus shed light on the things that might not be so obvious to us.

I’d like to say that’s the only experience I’ve had lately, but it’s not.

There are the ones we anger:

I have just one question…if people won’t tell us what they need from us, how the HECK are we supposed to know…?? I guess I am just magically supposed to know what you need…that I’m not being a good friend to you…listening….know the things about myself that anger you to the point where you blow a gasket. This is irritating, too. I’m sorry…I guess the hours I’ve spent listening you vent about the same things over and over was really selfish of me. And yet, I can’t do the same thing? Because this is where we are in our lives right now and each of our situations hasn’t changed yet. So, those things are part of what we have to talk about when we get together. But somehow that’s not okay….??

Someone please explain to me how that is supposed to work. I thought the point of friendship was to be able to share what is on our hearts and trust that that is a safe place and we aren’t being judged. I cannot think of one time where I have told somebody “Oh, geez…this again??“. Isn’t that what investment is all about? Pouring into each other, taking the time for each other, listening to each other, and giving God-sought advise where led, encouraging and building one another up.

Again, if I sound frustrated, it’s because I am. It’s no fun to find out you’re an irritant to someone you thought was in your corner. If I say I’m hurt, I am labeled emotional, overreacting, obsessing, etc. Apparently, it’s okay to be the dumping ground, but it’s not okay to share how I feel? Or that my feelings are valid? If I say nothing, I’m “shutting down” or “feeling sorry” for myself…Holy crap, I can’t freaking win. And I almost always end up apologizing first…for being myself…which pisses me off even more. because I shouldn’t have to apologize for who I am! I know plenty people who think they are the object of perfection and would never think to apologize for themselves.

I love deeply.

I care too much.

I give too much of myself.

…because that is all I have to give. My biggest love language is quality time. Gifts are nice, but I’ve never been big on them. Which is why I don’t give them a lot. Ever have someone give you something and invite you somewhere and then look annoyed if you aren’t contributing or giving back in the same way?…here’s an idea…don’t invite them if you don’t mean it. We love with our love languages, which are often overlooked if not shared by others.

I have the heart I do because God made me this way. And it has taken me years to accept/come to terms with that. I see things others don’t always see, I feel things others don’t always feel. He told me years ago, He has given me a deep discernment which others are quick to write off, because I am meant to make a difference with it. It’s hard enough to doubt yourself without the help of others.

Then there are the ones who take you on a roller-coaster ride:

I don’t even know what to say about that. One day they are your friend, the next day they are not. One day they love you and take time for you, the next day they are listening to someone else dishonor you without defending you. One day they are loving, the next…just plain mean because they feel like it. And it’s extremely hurtful.

So here we are back to the heart again. How well are we loving? How much are we willing to step outside of ourselves to see how we might be affecting someone we care about? We wonder why there is so much brokenness in our relationships…it starts inside.

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