Have you ever found yourself in a pickle? One thing I’ve found is that I’m often in a pickle from trying to “help” someone. Sometimes they come right out and ask for support, guidance, or even money. Often afterwards I realize “Oops! I did it again.” By again, I mean I’ve allowed someone to take advantage of me. When that realization comes, I would like to just bang my head against the wall in hopes that it will be a reminder for me to PAUSE and say SORRY, BUT NO, next time.

Lately, I’ve become seemingly compulsive with my apprehension to please others. I please others at the cost of my own wellbeing. I find myself pessimistic about my ability to pause and give the response that is healthier. In the quiet of my home, I often look back over the day and realize that even in the small things, I have failed in my desire to be true to myself. If I fail daily at the small things, how can I be ready to pause in the big moments?

Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep, potential problems that may or may not happen will swivel to the forefront of my mind. When that happens, I’m up all night trying to solve this future problem that may or may not happen. At times an indignation comes with these late night thoughts that I find I can not shake in my waking hour. During these episodes I can become angry at someone who hasn’t responded in my late night scenario in what I believe to be the correct manner to a problem that hasn’t even occurred. This makes me think that I may be just a little unhinged, or perhaps I’m only human.

Recently, after one of these late night sessions, I could not get these negative feelings out of my head. I can’t remember the exact circumstances, but somehow the subject came up with a friend the next day. This particular friend already knew the backstory of what had kept me up the previous night. I explained to him my feelings about the subject matter. He listened attentively and I could tell (or at least it seemed) that he really was going to give me some words of wisdom that would help me deal with this person and potential problem. At the very least I was expecting an acknowledgement of my situation.

Instead, what he said was, “God has blessed you.” He went on to say that I have so much and this person in my late night consternation has so little. That might not be verbatim what was said, but that was the gist of it. What?

The road to where I am was not a smooth ride. Like everyone else in this world, I had to make choices along the way. Occasionally those choices were good, and other times they were something else. I was never given anything. I have stood consistently and perpetually on my own two feet. I still work hard EVERY…..SINGLE…..DAY…..

So, what kind of screwed up reasoning is this? Blessed?  I have EARNED everything; I have. The loses I have experienced were for the most part, bad choices or decisions that I made. I wasn’t blessed with what I have, nor was I cursed by what I lost or don’t have. In this situation, telling me I am blessed feels feels very much like a slap in the face. Is this some sort of message? It feels dismissive.

I know the above may sound angry, but I was bumfuzzled. Was my friend saying that God had not blessed the other person?.

Telling someone that they are blessed is not always a compliment or even an encouragement. In this case it appears he wanted to appear that he was expressing empathy without actually being empathetic. The message I was hearing was, “you can afford to take on someone else’s problems, so quit your whining.”

Yes, I’m angry. I feel dismissed. It’s another lesson learned. A lesson I need to make sure that I apply to myself. When someone is distressed, and they feel safe enough to share their feelings with me, I hope that I will remember that that person really just wants acknowledgement and maybe just a little kindness.

1 Comment

  1. I find that my religious friends tend say people are blessed. Others says people are lucky. I’d say I’ve had the success and failure in life directly correlated to the effort I’ve put in added to the sum of being born white, male and middle class. Or, as Thomas Jefferson never said, “I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”

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