Being a Southerner, there are a few things I do when relating to other people that I don't like. One is that I develop opinions about people pretty quick. The other is that I won't tell a person to their face when something about them bothers me. I'm not prone to go talk about them behind their back, but I will instead hold it in a let it fester. You would think that over the years I would have learned my lesson that this is often merely a "PERCIEVED" something that is gettng under my skin, rather than a "REAL" something.
I am not a person who dislikes other people, however there are a few that I absolutely dislike. Usually this dislike stems from a "percieved" arrogance on the part of the other person that turns out to be a "real" arrogance that causes my stomach to turn. I just have a really hard time with people who think they are "all that". Now this is where the "South" comes out in me. I do usually tell my husband when I don't like somebody. Not when I am just aggravated with them, but when I really don't like them. I feel bad telling even him this. I know I am supposed to love the other person. It turns out that in the last year, I have run into rather a few of these types and I feel like I am just an opinionated b**** for feeling this way. I have been praying that God would let me see these people through His eyes.
Know what He did? Instead of continuing to see these people and getting angry over their actions, I thought He would let me see through their facade and see what really makes them tick. No, what He did instead was turn my head to see others. For the last couple of days, I have been literally grieving over people who hurt. It has most definately taken the focus off the attitude that was growing in me.
What is astounding me more than the direction this is taking, is that I am seeing that EVERY human has something they ache for or over. We were all raised by imperfect parents, have had dealings with imperfect friends and coworkers, been disciplined by imperfect human authority, and we all have the scars to show for it. I know we all get caught up in our own hurts. To us they are overwhelming and need to be fixed. If there is one thing I have learned in this last year (and this truly has been a LEARNING year for me) is that THE best way to heal our own hurts, is to pour ourselves into other's hurts.
I am normally a person that will do for others and do for others, but not really with a sense of serving them so much as like a duty...a job that has to be done. But it really does have a healing quality about it when service is done, even with only an attempt to really care for the one(s) served.
Alot of this introspect has come from a power struggle situation that I myself was being caught up in. I didn't like it, but I could see how wanting to hold onto a certain position was luring me. Then God said "It's not about you, Joy", and started giving me the ability to step back from the situation and see how I was really cutting my own throat by not grooming someone else to help me with the position as well as how it would hurt others who may want to try it. I don't think I can change the minds of the others involved, but maybe I can set the example.
It often seems that the most hurt are the most angry, hateful, and demanding. Don't we all, from time to time, react to pain in ways that can seem harsh to others? It's the old fight or flight mentality.
I'm not the most understanding person. When someone cuts in front of me in the Wal-Mart pharmacy line, I just about want to chew them up and spit them out, but when the cashier is in a bad mood, I now start wondering what happened to her earlier that day that has her so frustrated. I'm sure I will always have times that I get angry, but I am going to continue to ask God to let me see others as He sees them.
In the meantime, did you know that a true Southern Belle can get away with gossip? All she has to do is follow it with "Ah'll pray for theyum." And she can also get away with insulting anyone. All she has to do is follow it with "Bless yore haaahhht"!!!!