Too often we hear but do not listen. When someone…
- opposes our opinion, we seek those who agree.
- loves us, we wonder why.
- hurts us, we hurt them back.
- insults us, we believe them.
- offers praise, we want more.
- criticizes us, we try to change who we are.
- rejects us, we think we are the problem.
- gives judgment, we retreat.
- compliments us, we don’t believe them.
- ignores us, we crave their attention.
- says something we do not like, we try to ignore it.
- offers to help, we pretend there is no need.
People do become lost in their own pain and often try to heal the wounds by hurting those around them. In an effort to control the uncontrollable, they speak harsh words and spread negativity without realizing the depth of damage left in the wake.
Others, however, are well aware of their actions and say things with a purposeful intent to cause harm. They try to lift themselves up while knocking someone else down.
And what about those times when we are offered a genuine helping hand or positive reinforcement? We question the motive behind the gift or convince ourselves they do not mean what is said.
Words carry power, but our heart holds more.
Allowing others to steer our emotions and reactions in a direction we do not want or deserve can prove toxic. Over time, it corrodes, removing layers of trust, confidence, and self-esteem until there is nothing left but an empty shell. And although we may not be able to stop the dialogue from others, we can change the conversation in our minds.
- opposes your opinion, open your mind.
- loves you, love them back.
- hurts you, seek to understand why.
- insults you, realize your own worth.
- offers praise, be proud of your accomplishment.
- criticizes you, view it as opportunity.
- rejects you, know you matter and are loved.
- gives judgment, show yourself compassion.
- compliments you, say thank you.
- ignores you, give yourself what they will not.
- says something you do not like, look for the message.
- offers to help, accept it.
Navigating through this life can be difficult. The paths are bumpy, the signs hard to read. Sometimes it is about others, sometimes it is about us. Decoding the meaning behind everything is not only exhausting but futile.
Rise above the noise. Stop relying on what others tell you. Learn to listen to your heart.