Thursday, February 4, 2010

And the Loser is Stubborn

Are you a stubborn person? I am. I’m not proud to admit it, but the reality is that I am that person. The one who likes to win the game, the race, the fight, the whatever. Somehow it feels good to win, right? For that instant, you are on top of your game – winner of your world.

But, at what cost did you win? Did you say hurtful things to win? Did you cheat? Did you lie? Did you purposefully behave in a less than likeable way to avoid admitting that winning is not everything? And now that you realize it, can you take back those actions, words, or lack of action?

I suspect we are all guilty of all of the above at some point or another.
For me, it is not about cheating or lying. For me, it is often about saying or doing hurtful things that seem to make me feel better at the time. Or, avoiding bringing a conflict to an end because I choose not to be the first to say “I’m sorry”. Even as I type this I feel childish. But, the reality is that it is SO easy for me to do this as a way to somehow validate my feelings.

I have to wonder in the moments of clarity where God was in my thought process. How did I somehow make ME bigger than Him and His love? How did I forget that love conquers all and selfish, childish behavior reaps more selfish, childish behavior that eventually leads to lonliness. As you know, sinful nature costs us. We all pay for our sins. In prolonging any dispute, I’m sinning. The longer I prolong it, the more costly to me and those around me. Why? Because I’m prolonging the love that I could be showing. I’m missing moments that are so precious and memories that could be formed….all because I choose to be stubborn. Also, life could be over tomorrow. Would they know how much I cared or just know that I was frustrated?
In the quiet of my drives to work, I realize that I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined. I am truly thankful for all that I have and appreciate it. But, when my car arrives in the driveway, life seems to smack me in the face and somehow that appreciation floats from my consciousness. I’m working on creative ways to put the appreciation at the forefront and give my selfishness, childishness, and stubbornness a backseat for awhile-they’ve ruled long enough.

Some thoughts for how one would do such a thing? I’m not sure what works for you. My thought would be to remind myself prior to walking in the door that I love my life and I am blessed. A mantra was given to me recently “God is WITH you and God is FOR you.” Maybe the same could be said about those family members. “I am WITH you and I am FOR you.” Maybe it is more about actually telling them? I’m thinking a nicely written letter, explaining the reasons for my appreciation and eventually a verbalization of those sentiments. Baby steps.

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