I have been brought up and uphold to the ideal that treating people with respect is just something you do. It doesn't have to be earned, its just a given. Whether its the girl taking my order at Starbucks ("please" and "thanks you"s - ALWAYS!), or the old man who sits at the stop light a little too long (I'm never in too big a hurry to honk)- I am kind, have patience and give people the benefit of the doubt because sometimes you just don't know the whole story, and when you do, you sometimes end up having a little more kindness and a little more patience.
But as quickly as I give that common respect, it can be lost.
And as of late, I have lost a lot of respect for a lot of people. I can't understand their actions, because I don't treat people the way I have been treated my them. I sit and scratch my head, and wonder how in the world can they go through life acting the way they do and not think twice about it? Being rude. Being shady. Acting as though so many things are owed to them.
I have tried to turn the other cheek. Tried to understand where they might be coming from that would justify their actions. But all that that makes me do is get more and more angry. It just reminds me of why I am mad in the first place. It brings back the sting of what has been said. And worst of all, it makes me sit here and feel like an idiot.
How did I let this happen?
Why was I so trusting and easy-going, when I otherwise would have been very cautious?
Why, still after everything that has happened, have I not taken the action that I would have if it had been anyone else?
Why do I CARE SO MUCH what they think?????
Its too late at this point to do much more. And I hate that for that reason too, all I do is sit and be hurt and angry. I can't shake it. Because, it seems like any time I am this upset over a situation its because its been someone close to me that has caused the hurt. In this case, it was family (and I use that term in the loosest sense of the word). So, now, if I choose to distance myself from them- I am the crazy one. I am the one being overly sensitive. I am the one who should buck up and get over it, so I don't upset the balance of things.
I wish I could say I have given up on caring what anyone else thinks of me. That it doesn't matter- but this time it hit a little too close to home, literally. I couldn't sleep last night. Its the stress of moving, getting everything ready, shuffling between two cities with 3 children in tow. I am just worn out and worn down, so of course everything seems 15 million times worse than I know they really are. I sat there telling myself, "Get over it. Let it go. Forgive them. Pray for them because they obviously need help in the moral compass department."
Nothing. I woke up in such a foul mood.
And then, the funny thing is, as I checked my Facebook this morning, an old friend from high school had written this quote as her status:
"Satan's formula for self-worth being the sum of your performance plus the opinion of others." Robert S. McGee
It was just the message I needed. That was the bottom line of all of this. I felt insulted by the opinion of someone whose opinion really doesn't matter. AT ALL. I have since written that on a Post-It and it is stuck to my computer. I've read it about a million times and have felt a weight lifted off of me. I've been able to clear my mind. Focus on the blessings we have been given over the past few weeks that we wouldn't have had if these things hadn't happened: A beautiful new home, the out-pouring of support and love of our friends and family to help us make it happen. The joy of coming back to a place that is special to us in so many ways, and knowing that so many new memories will be formed there. That's what matters. What truly matters.
(Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig breath out.)
Thanks, Mr. McGee. I owe ya one.