Sunday, March 22, 2015

4 Things I Wish My Younger Self Would Have Known

I feel like there are so many things that I would go back and tell my younger (teen-21 year old) self, but for now, here's just four things I wish my younger self would have known. 

1. Don't be so sassy. 

It's not cool, it's not cute... you look immature. I get it, joke with friends, but being sassy towards people or towards people behind their back... no. You may think your friends or the people around you think it's funny, but really you look unwise and unkind. 

2. Run the "joke" in your head a couple times before you blurt it out. 

More times than not, your poke at someone is painful, not funny. If your goal is to get a laugh or two for a moment yet you're saying something that could also possibly hurt someone-- don't do it. It's not worth the laughs. Be gracious and lady (or gentleman) like. You can have a good time without running other people down. 

3. You don't have to be friends with everyone. 

I'm the girl that wants every one to like her (what person doesn't want that?). 
I'm the girl that used to feel like I had to strive to make relationships peaceful, have heart to hearts with those I felt didn't like me, etc. Well, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to do that. There comes a point in your life when you realize that people are people, no one is perfect, and you have the responsibility to love them but also the power to choose at what distance. Does that make sense? 
Let me explain. If someone and I don't get along for whatever reason, that's okay, I don't have to be best friends with them, some people don't click and THAT'S OKAY. My job, and my goal, is to love every person, but not with the same way that I love on the people who are close to me in my life. You have to guard your heart. Some people, heck even some pastors may even disagree with me, but I'm telling you that when you stop trying to be friends with every person, and invest your time and energy into the people who are close to you, your world will be a lot less challenging, and a genuine heart shines forth on all those around you. After all, Jesus loved the world, but had a close 12 that he poured into and shared intimate moments with- he didn't try to do that with every single person he encountered. 

4. Forgive but you don't have to always forget. 

Sooooooo many times people say forgive and forget! 
STOP. Here's why. 
When deep hurts happen to you over and over that are directly caused by another person, I would say it is UNHEALTHY to "forget" or act like they never happened. 

TRUE FRIENDS DO NOT INTENTIONALLY HURT YOU. 
TRUE FRIENDS SAY THEY ARE SORRY AND MEAN IT. 

I remember being manipulated so many times by other people who I thought were my "friends" but in reality, they just wanted something from me (again, another reason I will preach number 3 till I die). I think it's right and biblical to forgive many times, but don't be a fool to keep going back to someone who hurts you. That's not healthy. Take a deep breath, evaluate the friendship/relationship. If you are continually having to apologize for things that you don't feel were wrong, and if the other person never takes responsibility for their actions, it's not healthy. If the relationship doesn't feel natural or if it causes anxiety in you-- Let. It. GO. Forgive, but don't forget those feelings. 
Let me explain this a little further to give you better understanding.
I'm saying yes, forgive, but don't keep going back or trying to "work on the friendship". 
I have to work on my marriage, but Ken and I are mostly having fun, laughing, having deep fruitful conversations than we are "working on our relationship". If it feels like more work than play, if it feels like more drama than dance, it's not a well-balanced, fruitful friendship (and let me remind you, THAT'S OKAY). 

Now, I will say this. In my relationship with Ken, if I do him wrong or am unkind to him, I say sorry and he forgives and forgets.. love keeps no record of wrongs. However, if it isn't TRUE LOVE in any friendship/relationship, it's a disservice to yourself and the other person to just keep trying to forget and "start over". 
You'll know when your friendship is real and has substance, but if you know it's not, carry on and number 3. 



 Ladies, let's strive to be kind. 
Strive to lift others up in every situation, behind their back and to their face.
When dealing with people who don't like you for whatever reason, don't take it personally. 
Still, be kind. Be the bigger person. In ten years, the drama won't matter. 


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