Sunday, March 7, 2010

Growing up...

When do you start feeling like an adult?

Sometimes I feel like I'm still playing a game. The Game of Life! The goal is to surpass as many obstacles as you can, while making yourself and everyone else as happy as possible.

As a self-proclaimed "people-pleaser" I hate upsetting people. It makes things awkward, and above all else, I hate awkward. I would rather have MY feelings hurt, than hurt someone else's. Why? Because I can handle it. I'm pretty tough. I know that I'll get through it...and I don't know if they will.

The problem in this type of thinking, is that I've unintentionally let people walk all over me my entire life! Is it fair to me? No. Will I ever say something to them about it? No. Why? Because it might hurt their feeling...and I don't know if they can handle that.

There have actually been a few instances where I will speak up for myself. Usually by the time I get to the point that I'll speak up about how you've mistreated me, you're lucky, because someone else would have already knocked you out! However, after I say something, I go home and dwell on it, and feel terrible because I can't stand the thought of having upset someone. Vicious cycle.

There is another side to this, though. Mess with my family, mess with my friends, mess with someone who can't defend themselves, and I won't hesitate to stand up and rip you a new one! Afterwards, I won't feel the least bit guilty!

I think forgiveness is important. God tells us to forgive. He forgave, and we're supposed to follow His leadership. What I think I often forget is that forgiveness is not "justifying" what the other person did. To forgive someone does not mean that you think the way they treated you was okay or just means you aren't going to dwell on it and let the bitterness of a grudge interfere with your life.

I find it extremely difficult to hold a grudge. It's exhausting to me. If I'm mad at a someone, undoubtedly, something funny will happen and I'll think, "I HAVE to tell so-and-so about this...oh, wait...I'm mad at them right now. Guess it'll have to wait." But I'll want to tell them whatever it was SO bad...the desire to tell them the funny stuff is stronger than the anger I feel towards them. So, I just forgive. It's easier for me.

So when do you start feeling like an adult??? I really don't know. Maybe I won't ever feel like an adult. Maybe I'll always feel like life is a game. Maybe that's what keeps me from being bitter and "unforgiving" towards other. If so, I hope I never feel like an adult. I hope I always remember that foriveness is not justification, remembering, instead, that forgiveness is a refusal to let something take #1 spot in your life.

That #1 spot should belong to God.