“He doesn’t respect you like he should.”
“I stay away because I can’t stand to see the way he treats you.”
“He is not nice to you.”
I heard the words that people around me were sharing. I listened to their concerns. I understand what instigated their words. He does raise his voice to me now and then. He does get up in my face when he is frustrated. Those two things do not normally go together.
In short, he gets short, but we all do that.
It is easier to go off on the people closest to us because we know that they are the ones that will take our “stuff” and still stick around.
I make no excuses for his attitudes or his behaviors. I know that people that are close to me and protective of me will see even the smallest slight as a big issue. That is the job of the people that love and protect you – or at least that is the reaction that the flesh of those people will usually take.
I see more. I see the love he has in him. I see the compassion that pours out of him on a regular basis. I have learned to look beyond his "stuff” and see his heart.
But those words that were shared with me continue to haunt my thoughts. They threaten that vision of his heart. They make me question my own direction. Now every sideways glance or crooked look sends those words spinning through my head. Every raised voice or angry word makes me second guess the reality of my situation.
Am I too forgiving of him? I have faced some tough situations in my life (although not as tough as some women that I know). Rape, stalking, and even abuse have cropped up in my life. I would like to think I would recognize it all if it came knocking, but I know how deceitful it can be. I am left wondering if the lines have been crossed even though my gut tells me no. When the people around you share words of negativity, it can leave you wondering.
Am I naïve in my acceptance? I have been told that I look too much for the positive. It has been suggested that I seek out the “silver lining” and close my eyes to reality. I am hopeful. I do look for the good, positive and uplifting in all situations. I would like to think that I recognize reality but live in pursuit of the possibilities. The words that were shared with me make me wonder if my pursuit is for a mirage.
The more I contemplate the words of others, the actions of others, and the ideas of others, the more I am aware that it JUST DOES NOT MATTER.
I love him. He is not perfect. He is not where is he is going to be. He is where he is. I choose to accept that and encourage him on his continued journey. I do not accept his bad behavior. I do not turn a blind eye to his negative attitude. I am aware and I walk fully in the understanding of what that awareness reveals.
I did not make him what he is. I do not dictate his current steps or his future. I did not design his past. It is not my job to fix him. No matter how hard I try or how much nagging I might invest, I will never change him.
I am the only one that I am able to change.
I am the only one that can hinder my journey or make it possible.
I am the only one that controls my joy, my peace and my faith.
All of the rest that goes on is just noise. I can choose to find a rhythm in that noise – a beat that will allow me to hear, handle and move forward. I can choose to have the noise overwhelm me and ultimately crush me.
The words of protection from those around me are part of that noise. I hear it. I accept it. But I choose to listen and to continue to dance to my own beat. I continue to be alert and aware. I draw the lines and I stand firm. I have support and comfort and understanding from more than just those that are designed to protect me.
It is okay. I am okay. Not because of my circumstance, but because of my awareness. Knowing makes a big difference in how I choose and choosing will make all the difference in my direction.