My heart is pounding. I do not know why. My peace is still there, but I'm anxious. Not a bad anxious -- just anxious. There is so much I want to say, yet I hold myself back -- not out of fear, but out of respect and love. Yes, love.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I haven't experienced anger as of yet. Sometimes I feel it trying to bubble up inside of me; but I control it. What is the point? Besides, there is no reason to be angry. It is just that need I have had my entire life for control. No, I never wanted to control others; but the feeling of hopelessness that I would get everytime someone in my life did something that ended up affecting me in a negative way; well that always made me angry. I hated not being able to control the events in my life. When someone would hurt me, especially after giving them my complete trust -- it just devastated me. It absolutely rips me apart. So my first reaction was always to try to control them...to try and make them see how they hurt me and to try and get them to feel badly about what they had done.
The last time I did that was with Reid. I started to with Jeremy when he called me that Monday. But after I got to North Carolina I realized the futility of it; I realized that it was not God's will. I had learned that with Reid, and now I had a chance to apply it. Someone had hurt me -- and I had a choice: I could either try to change his way of thinking and convince him of his wrong-doing...and make him feel guilty for how he treated me, or I could do what the Lord would do; I could turn the other cheek. I could calmly state my side of things and then let go.
This is one of the hardest lessons to learn in life. I never understood that grey line; when is it "turning the other cheek" and when is it allowing people to walk all over you, to hurt you, and/or to use you? I thought about it for years; I prayed about it; I asked my bishop. I just didn't understand. Could I forgive the people who have hurt me so much in my life?
The answer was yes. At first I thought, though, that to prevent hurt and being used in the future, I would have to put up a wall and not let anyone in. When people got too close to me, I had to back off. That was the only thing I could do to preserve myself and keep myself in tact; when I started to feel suffocated (a dear friend of mine had this affect on me last summer and I went bezerk) or afraid of closeness...I felt I had to let them go, because I knew that if I kept it up they would just hurt me anyway. Right? So then I started to imagine all these things; case in point, my friend last summer. I started to believe she was taking advantage of me and using me. I got so irritated by her constantly being around me that I started to notice every bad habit she had. It angered me just to be near her. She, on the other hand, couldn't understand my point of view. She saw it entirely different; she saw it as being my friend. As loving me.
After some time apart, I realized how much I missed her friendship, and I recognized how badly I had hurt her. I then was able to see things from her perspective, and when we decided that we could tolerate each other again, we set some loose rules. She said she wouldn't hang around too much or smoke near me. I said I would be more patient and understanding and less judgmental. And guess what? I haven't been annoyed by her since. She is a good friend who truly does love me, and I love her. I am glad I went throught that experience to learn truly what Christ would do. Turning the other cheek doesn't mean you are letting people walk all over you. Putting up walls and keeping your distance from those who love you seemingly too much does not help matters any; in fact, it just makes things worse.
I realized my friend and I were very similar creatures. We both had been hurt badly in the past by people, but we both were the type of people who just loved so much! I realized then that God intended it to be this way. This was a gift, not a curse. I had to continue to trust people and to love them despite how much I could be hurt. This was the only way to truly enjoy life and to be enriched by others.
I still have to work on it; I'm not very approachable and I can still be quite mistrusting. However, once that trust is there, I never take it back. Yes there are some people in my life who will continually hurt me, but I know from experience how to deal with those situations when they arise, and I know to separate their actions from the person. By doing so, I find a greater love for them than I ever imagined I could possibly have. It really is true what the scriptures say. When you love those who despise you, who hurt you, who use you...even those who are your enemies...when you love them and serve them, the anger and the hurt in your own heart is healed so much more quickly....and your love deepens instead of growing cold.
I thank my Father in Heaven for the scriptures and their wise counsel. I just wish it didn't take me so long sometimes to understand the valuable lessons taught.