Truly, there are days when I get on my own last nerve.
But arriving at the point in life where I accept that not everyone will like me has been a long time coming.
Starting in school…..
I don’t know about you, but, oh, how I admired (even, envied) the most popular girl in my class. You know the one. Everyone liked her, both students and teachers. All the boys wanted to date her. She made good grades, was always elected to whatever post she sought. Perfect hair, perfect smile, perfect clothes. Cheerleader one year, majorette the next. And it all came so easily, or so it appeared. And I couldn’t dislike her because she was so very, very nice to everyone, even me.
I thought it had something to do with her appearance, because that’s how young minds work.
In college, a small campus of about 1,500 students, mostly teachers in the making, I learned the magic of saying hello to everyone I met. If I passed someone on the sidewalk, whether I’d been introduced to them or not, I'd say, “hello.” That might seem like a no-brainer, but to a somewhat shy and sheltered 17-year-old, this was splashing knee deep into the unexplored waters of socialization.
Lucky for me, my childhood friend from a nearby city enrolled in the same college and, without her knowledge, I became her understudy.
Sue (not her real name) never met a stranger. Like me, Sue was average looking. Unlike me, she was confident, enthusiastic and fun. She was always surrounded by a gaggle of friends, with as many guy friends as girls. Her example served me well, my social circle expanded, and I felt a little more comfortable in my skin.
But then came life as an adult...
So the scenario repeats -- in the workplace, in extended family, in social clubs, in communities, in churches -- until at some point in life, preferably sooner than later, you realize that not everyone is going to like you. And that, my friend, is a good thing.
Trying to please everyone is exhausting. And impossible. And frustrating.
Frustration often leads to anger, doesn't it?
Remember the trash bag commercial: The angry man is about to throw a fit when his inferior trash bag breaks at the curb. But a booming voice from nowhere shouts, "Don't get MAD. Get GLAD. Glad brand trash bags!"
Easier said than done.
I've read that anger turned inward leads to depression. Anger expressed is rarely productive.
Ephesians 4:26, reads, in part, "Be angry, but do not sin ... Sound advice for people of all ages. Unless you can take the energy behind anger and channel it productively, just let it go. Let it float off into the atmosphere like a troublesome piece of lint.
Just be who you are, even on days when you think you are is a total mess. I am right there with you!
You are God’s grand design, not to fit into someone else’s fancy shoes, but to walk your own path in your own way, leaving in your wake kind words, genuine smiles and hearts that are lighter because of you.