I was sitting the cafe at Target doling out cake pops and and chatting with my girls, where two tables over sat two middle aged women deep in conversation. I was doing my best not to eavesdrop but in a small space it was hard not to hear what they were saying. It was a conversation about love and betrayal. Both of them had eyes brimming with tears, and her friend reached across the table to hold her hand and whisper her apologies and share in her suffering. The woman took the hand with a half smile and said something that stuck with me, " The truth is I stayed. I stayed longer than I should have, and that I cannot blame that on anyone but myself."
It struck me because there is power in those words. I stayed. It means I take responsibility for my role in this outcome. It means I refuse to be a victim. It means that I acknowledge that I made choices about how I let people treat me. It means I don't find my worth in someone else's opinion of me. It means I choose to dust myself off and move on. It means I reject bitterness and choose acceptance and joy.
In my 36 years, I have witnessed a lot of pain. I have seen people walk through adultery, betrayal, families falling apart, church splits and chronic illness. I've see friends and family members overlooked for jobs and/or promotions that they deeply deserved. I have seen tragedy happen to the same family over and over and over again, and yet often its the ones in the most pain that have the best outlook on life and from whom I have learned the most about joy.
I have walked through painful circumstances myself, and so I am acutely aware of the choice. The choice to blame others and/or circumstances or to take responsibility for the part I played in the outcome. I have been lied to but I chose to believe. I have been hurt but I let myself be vulnerable. I have been overlooked but I let myself be taken for granted. There is a fine line between trusting and being gullible, loving and idolizing, being a friend and being a doormat. And yes, there is a learning curve. You will be hurt in this life, there is no getting around that which is why it is so important to own your mistakes. If it's always someone else's fault, you forfeit the power that you do have. The power to change and grow into a person that recognizes and rejects being treated that way in the future.
I know there are true victims, people that had no choice in the matter, but often they are much quicker to forgive and reject being a victim their whole lives. Someone chose to victimize them but they don't have to choose to BE a victim.
I have seen bitterness destroy marriages, friendships, and lives more than any offense or crime. Bitterness is a living thing that grows and takes over every area of your life if you let it. You can't control other people, or circumstances around you but you CAN choose to respond to those circumstances instead of simply react. Be willing to take action in your life. Design your life and sculpt your character. Being willing, like that wise woman, to say, " I stayed and I take responsibility for that."
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"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.