This chapter ended with the question: "Am I limiting God's power in my life by trying to hide my weaknesses?" I thought this was an appropriate question for my life right now, even as I take this trip with my family. My relatives don't often get to see the real me, the flawed me. They often see the me that is in control, on top of all the family needs, doesn't worry about money and has an answer for everything. That "me" they see is so far from the truth. Part of it i know is that people see what they want to see and the bigger part i know is because i lead them to believe that is the real me. My baby sister has a very sensitive personality to say the least and she made a comment that stuck in my head. "I think we'll stop bumping heads if I just decide to let you have the last word everytime". Its not the fact that she thinks I need to have the last word that bothers me, anyone who knows me knows that i don't often back down from a challenge no matter how small. That's an issue to be discussed in a later chapter...lol. I think what bothered me is that in all of my compulsive controlling habits and my need to appear that I'm on top of things, I've made my sister feel somewhat inferior to me. The whole "Golden Child" syndrome is not what i ever intended for my relationship with my sister to be, but i think it explains us. My constant correction of her errors or Nick-picks about her quirks that come from a place of love can often seem like judgment and comparison to myself in her eyes.
When i apply this thought to other relationships in my life i see how I've made some of my past friends and boyfriends feel inferior to me and also how some behaviors of current people in my life have made me feel inferior to them. All that does is bring negative feelings and a need to prove yourself to the person you feel inferior to which creates negative competition. As long as you are comparing yourself to another human being and not God, you'll never win. I realize that one could say I'm too hard on myself at times and isn't it the responsibility of the person that is comparing themselves to you to learn that they should compare themselves with God? Most people have the attitude of "Well all i can do is be me, its not my fault is they're jealous because of what i got or who I am?". Thats not a humbled mindset and also not a person that draws people closer to them. A humbled person understands that you have to step down off your "ladder of pride" and show others that look up to you that you have flaws just like they do. Show them that you hurt and feel pain just like they do and cry at night and have insecurities just as they do. You connect better with people when you're real not perfect. Sometimes that ladder of pride is really just denial because you probably don't have half as much going on as you lead others to believe anyway. The sooner you admit your weaknesses to yourself and to others the sooner you can turn them into strengths and build healthier relationships.
I choose to influence people versus impressing them and that's gonna take some honest work on myself. I've been flipping myself inside out and exposing my weaknesses, so they can be offered up and turned into strengths. That doesn't mean I'm opening myself up to scrutiny from the world or that every flaw i have needs fixing. But it feels good to embrace your quirks and no longer require the approval of people who stand in judgment and highlight each one of them. Day by day their voices get softer and softer in my head and i start to hear Peace get louder and louder. With that being said i also want to help the people who hear my voice as a loud judging horn in their lives by humbling myself and choosing my words wisely, becoming a voice of Peace to them.
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